Good morning Portsmouth, and welcome to PaganFM! here on WSCA-LP, 106.1 FM

 

A lotís been going on in the past few weeks, and even quite a bit this week.

 

President Obama has officially taken office Ö his detractors desperately trying to find fault, and many starry-eyed adorers thinking heíll do no wrong. Really, heís simply another one of us Ö a human being, with his faults and foibles Ö he will make mistakes. But he does seem to have a keen sense of justice and righteousness, and Iíve no doubt that heíll certainly strive to do the best he can for this country. I believe him to be intelligent, cautious, and willing to listen as well as to command. These are all the qualities of a good leader.

 

So, to the detractors, please give him a chance, and judge him on what he does, rather than what you think he will do. Judge him on what you know, rather than on what someone says. Already, heís been accused of beginning to fund abortions in foreign countries, when what he did was to simply not deny aid to countries that permit such things. There is a difference. There are abortions in America Ö should other countries refuse us loans on that basis? Is it right to cause harm to some people in a country because we donít like what others are doing?Itís just a thought.

 

To the starry-eyed adorers Ö remember heís a man. He will likely do SOMETHING you donít like in the future. Try to keep that in mind.

 

We got word this month from Deo of Deoís Shadow, that his podcast has ended. Deoís Shadow was one of the original pagan podcasts, and perhaps the best produced. Deo, and his wife Mandy, put a great deal of work in to their production, and it was one of the most intelligent, well-thought out pagan podcasts out there. Deo is a Ph.D philosophy candidate, and has been working on that degree for a while now. His thinking and analysis and skepticism are very obvious in his later programs.

 

Well, heís decided that paganism isnít for him, and he ended the podcast, but with some donations from listeners, it will remain available, at least for a time. If you havenít heard his show, check it out. Itís really good.

 

What I like about what Deo and Mandy did, was the way they ended things. While the space between episodes became longer, they didnít simply disappear or call it quits all at once. They sort of let people down gently Ö a soft landing. I appreciate that.

 

Deo has said that the word atheist best fits him now. He didnít want to adopt another religion. But even as an atheist, if he put out another podcast, Iíd certainly listen. I learned a great deal from him, and have no doubt that whatever it is he does will be done with great care and skill. So, Deo and Mandy, good luck in whatever it is that you choose to do.

 

I also got word from a number of people this week who were concerned because The Rev. Dr. Kendra Vaughan Hovey, of the First Church of Wicca in Duxbury Massachusetts has decided to close that church, having become Christian. Her web site bears the following announcement:

 

Thank you for all of your loving support over the past 5
years and we have enjoyed serving the Wiccan community
and answering all of your questions, comments, and
prayer requests. However, the church will be closing due
to the fact that our minister, the Rev. Dr. Kendra Vaughan
Hovey, will be opening a new church in May of 2009.

Living Waters Community of Hope will focus on helping
people heal from their experiences of inequity from past
religions and religious institutions, using Jesus Christ and
his teachings in the Bible as the foundation of how to have
a meaningful relationship with God, as well as, holistic
health of mind, body, and soul.

If you are interested in receiving more information about
Living Waters Community of Hope please see our website
at
www.LivingWatersCH.org for information as it becomes
available or email
ReverendKendra@yahoo.com

Thank you and Blessed Be!

 

In this case, the landing wasnít quite as smooth or gentle. As recently as September, things seemed quite normal, and she was still in the middle of producing a book for Adams Media about coming out Wiccan. Her family was also featured on a recent TLC program as a Wiccan family.

 

The First Church of Wicca has closed though, and a new Christian church will apparently take its place. Itís called Living Waters Community of Hope.

 

To be fair, even the First Church of Wicca did have some Christian elements, and Christ was revered. Magick wasnít permitted during the services, so it was a very different Wiccan Church. However to go from Wiccan to Christian in a matter of a few months is a dramatic change. It also seems a bit of a let-down for the Wiccans in the community who were a part of her church.

 

Her decision, it seems, was based on a number of common charges brought against Wiccans, such as no single authority or interpretation of morals. We donít have an infallible Bible, or a pope or other authority to interpret for us. There isnít universal agreement on what the Rede means.

The trouble is that any semblance of unity, even in a Christian church is at best illusory. I like to look at it this way: if any number of children, from a single family, are asked to describe their parents, the descriptions will be different. Weíre all different people, with different perceptions. We CANNOT describe the same thing because we see them differently.

 

Even in Christianity, the Bible is not interpreted the same way among all denominations, or, indeed, within the same denomination. Abortion, homosexuality and many other issues are contested. Even the nature of God receives no universal definition, as there are Unitarians and Trinitarians. Soteriology is contested. Some Christians will simply say that their way is right, and those who disagree are not really Christians, but that solves the problem only for them.

 

I think that if what I read of her decision is correct, that Rev. Kendra will find that the grass isnít greener on the other side Ö itís the same group of things that approach green, but really arenít. Itís made of a great number of different colors, none of which is truly green.

 

Wicca, today, and the greater group of paganism in general, isnít designed to have universal answers or universal truth. It is somewhat based on relativism. But relativism neednít imply lawlessness; it simply means that those laws may be read differently.

 

The Wiccan Rede ďAn it harm none, do what thou wiltĒ has often been shortened to ďharm noneĒ, and Kendra does have a problem with that. She spoke to its ambiguity. In truth thatís no more ambiguous than ďThou shalt love thy Lord and GodĒ. Exactly how is one to do that?

 

While there is some ambiguity in what exactly ďharm noneĒ means, there is no way that one could reasonably read into it ďDo what you want and blast the consequencesĒ. While the Bible may be perverted by some to consider slavery acceptable, nowhere in Wiccan writing is such a thing permissible.

 

There is not a single Christian denomination on this planet that is not considered, by at least one other Christian denomination, heretical. Opinions are strong and many, and accord is an elusive phantasm of a goal. People may have the same name for god, but he doesnít seem to have the same face very often.

 

Please donít get me wrong Ö I do wish her well. But I am concerned about the people she leaves behind. Iím concerned about her starting a new church so soon. But she may really have things worked out, and I canít read her mind. And just because something might not work for me, thatís no reason to conclude that it wonít work for her.

 

So, Reverend Kendra, I wish you good fortune, and blessings on your journey. I hope you find what you seek. I think there are many paths to fulfillment and hope that yours is pleasant to walk upon. I wish also, that those who were part of your former church have been left with their own way forward, and that their path isnít so rocky as to cause them to stumble.

 

In other news this week, I did hear form K Wiley, S. J. Tuckerís manager. The letter reads, in part Ö ďI wanted to make sure you got the most recent news about SJ, since

that's what I'm working on tonight.

 

We have come a long way since Sooj was first hospitalized. The current

theory, supported by observations during her surgery on Tuesday the

13th, is that she did have appendicitis (which was the source of her

painful hospitalization before Christmas). There was also a benign and

unrelated "chocolate" cystic mass on Sooj's left ovary, which was

probably caused by endometriosis.

 

You can find full details here:skinnywhitechick.com/announcement.php

 

The surgery was successful and smooth and the incision was small (but

not tiny). Sooj is recovering quickly, and we were discharged from the

hospital late Thursday night. She is going to rest at her mother's

house for a couple weeks and we have the doctor's permission to start

traveling again at the end of January.We will be fully on schedule

for New England and for our visit to New Hampshire and Pagan FM.

 

In the meantime, I have some truly incredible news.Some dear friends

are publishing a benefit anthology compiled specifically to defray our

medical expense and recovery... an incredible collection of short

fiction and art that includes works by Neil Gaiman, Holly Black,

Charles de Lint, Terri Windling, Amy Brown and more truly incredible

contributors. You -must- see this to believe it:

http://www.sjtucker.com/ravens.html

 

 

I think that says it all.

 

Coming up in the near future, Catherynne Valente will be here on February 7, and weíll discuss a project that she and S. J. have in common, dealing with her book Palimpsest. So donít miss that episode. Iíve been reading the book, and Iíve got to say that itís in a style all its own. Her words are somewhere between prose and poetry. Often you hear rhyme, but only suggested. Other times itís there, but not fully noticed. She has a remarkable way with words that is entertaining, tantalizing, suggestive. Youíll have to listen in to appreciate it.

 

I do have some of her words and S.Jís music, and weíll hear more of that tonight.

 

We have some new items on the calendar, which you can check out on our events page. Weíll be going through some of those in the Pagan Almanac. Julia will discuss how our programming affects what we believe in her Mystic Moment segment. Iíll review another older book and movie tonight, calledďThe Name of the RoseĒ. And in the pagan Primer, Iíll talk a bit more about knowledge, leadership, responsibility, trying to pull together the topics, as they apply to us as pagans.

 

So, sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy.

 

© 2009, Deirdre A. Hebert