Good Morning Portsmouth! Youíre listening to me, Dee

 

Heather,

 

And we have a wonderful Guest in the studio today

 

I donít want to spend a great deal of time on the opening comments

 

I want to thank those people who wrote after last weekís show. Yes, Iím recovering from the cold I had, and hopefully wonít be coughing through tonightís show. Thanks for the wishes and for the energy you sent. I appreciate it.

 

I heard from a few podcasters this week. Hyperion sent a note Ö heís the host of The Unnamed Path, which is a great pagan podcast for men who love men. But more than that, itís simply a great spiritual program for anyone. I know a number of people who listen to his program, and most of them arenít gay. Itís just a great show, so give it a listen if you havenít already. You can find his show at http://unnamedpath.com/

 

Jay OíSkully wrote. Heís had a bit of writerís block, but heíll be back with another show soon. You can find Jayís program at http://witcheryofone.libsyn.com/

 

I heard from John McNair, and finally got his show on Itunes. In the most recent show he interviewed Spiral Dance. Itís really cool to hear a musician interview other musicians. You can find him at http://johnmcnairshow.mypodcast.com/ Iíll try to get to some of his music again tonight.

 

As time goes by I find that Iím listening to more and more programs, and currently there are about 30 pagan podcasts that Iím subscribed to on Itunes. Itís tough to list them all, but I do just want to say Hi to Darkly Fey at the Dark Side of Fey, Mojo and Sparrow at The Wigglian Way, Greywolf at A Pagan Heart in Maine, Ariel at the Druidic Craft of the Wise, the folks at The Magickal Earth, Tommy Elf at From the Edge of the Circle, and so many others out there. I think that pagan podcasting and broadcasting is really a great tool in the pagan community. We donít have to all agree, but itís great to see the variety of viewpoints that are presented.

 

I suppose this is a good time to let you know that Iím on Facebook, just look for Deirdre Hebert, and there is a PaganFM! group there as well, so stop on by.

 

I happened on another web site this week, called Pagans Against Child Abuse. I had some email exchanges with Rob from that organization. I do have to say that while I donít agree with all their methods, and, at least for me, at the moment, they seem a bit overly zealous, that itís vitally important that our groups do what we can to protect our children. There are just too many people out there who are willing to take advantage of young ones, and in paganism, having no central authority, and nobody who is really able to say what is, and what is not authentic spirituality, we canít ex-communicate pagans, it is good to have at least someone who is willing to step out and do what is basically a thankless task.

 

So, while I may not entirely agree with their methods, I am glad that someone is taking a stand. You can find Pagans Against Child Abuse at http://pagansagainstchildabuse.ning.com/ Perhaps when we get to understand each other a bit better, Iíll post a link to their page on the web site.

 

In other news, the Stimulus package that is being considered in Washington has come under attack from the religious right. One ďNewsĒ Now, an evangelical self-styled ďnewsĒ outlet had an article titled ďPeople of faith may be target of 'stimulus' packageĒ earlier this week, and on Saturday, a follow-up article titled ďAnti-faith language remains in stimulus packageĒ. From the titles, one might think that the stimulus package is somehow doing something to prevent the free expression of religion. But actually reading the article, one comes across this paragraph.

 

Specifically, the provision reads that stimulus funds may not be used for "modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities -- (i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or (ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission."

 

So, what the stimulus package is doing is providing some funds for educational institutions. It wonít be available for the purpose of promoting any religious view. That means that seminaries, chapels and places of worship donít qualify for these funds. This is in no way prohibiting the expression of religious views Ö it simply means that a building that is used substantially for religious purposes does not qualify for Federal funds for their buildings.

 

One ďNewsĒ Now is trying to say that this will mean that colleges will be required to throw religious groups off-campus. In my humble opinion, this is nothing but bald-face alarmism, trying to rally people to oppose what our new president is trying to do. I suppose that if they can block a stimulus package, theyíll be able to say that Obama is failing as president, and then theyíll be able to get their sort of Christian in office in four years. But the truth is that such irresponsible reporting is really beneath anyone who considers themselves a news organization. Itís propaganda and alarmism. It is not the right of a religious organization to be funded by the Federal government, and this is yet another attack by a radical crowd who is upset they arenít getting their way.

 

So, thatís enough of my ranting. I just think itís important to keep up with what others are saying. Even if I donít agree with what people say, I think itís important to know.

 

So, with that out of the way, we do have the honor of being hosts to Catherynne Valente tonight.

 

Welcome!†† Ö..

 

© 2009, Deirdre A. Hebert