Feb 112010

Hello, my name is Jason Pitzl-Waters, co-founder and Projects Coordinator for the Pagan Newswire Collective. The PNC’s purpose is to share and promote primary-source reporting from within our interconnected communities. Building off the successful “Pagans at the Parliament” site, which raised the profile of Pagan involvement at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and helped break important stories as they happened, the PNC has decided to pursue more targeted single-topic blog projects. The first will be an ongoing group-blog entitled Pagan+Politics.

This group blog is about modern American Pagans, from across the ideological and theological spectrum, commenting on the politics of the day. Giving insight and opinion, and sharing how their religious faith shapes their political views.

Why this project? Because the last few years have shown us that contemporary Paganism, whether we like it or not, is a part of today’s political discussion and process. We have two openly Pagan elected officials currently serving in the United States of America, Democrat Jessica Orsini, Alderwoman, 3rd Ward, City of Centralia, Missouri, and Republican Dan Halloran, New York City Councilman for District 19. There were two openly Pagan delegates at the 2008 Democratic National Convention that chose Barack Obama to be the Democratic Party’s candidate, military widow Roberta Stewart successfully fought the VA, under the Bush Administration, to win the right for Wiccan soldiers to place a Pentacle on their graves, and recently, Obama Administration officials met with Pagan chaplain Patrick McCollum to talk about discrimination towards minority faiths in our country.

It is fair to say that modern Paganism, as a movement of interconnected yet individual faith communities, is long overdue in having a more active and ongoing say in the issues and policies that affect our lives. Pagan+Politics hopes to become an important part of our faith communities having that say.

In addition to discussing politics, this blog is also about eradicating myths. The myth that we are politically homogeneous, the myth that adherents to our faiths aren’t invested in the political process, and the myth that we are incapable of acknowledging and embracing our true diversity. This blog will feature heated discussions and broach divisive issues, but I hope it will also build bridges within our communities, and provide a human face to those outside our movement.

I’m extremely proud to introduce the (lucky) seven initial blog authors, Laura Allen, a political moderate, and student at Cherry Hill Seminary, Duane Clemons, a former Republican-turned-independent who delivers mail in Kansas, Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a progressive Heathen and founder of the Mos Maiorum Foundation, Daniel Allen Maine, a Witch and long-time conservative currently serving in the U.S. Army, Rita Moran, chairperson of the Kennebec County (Maine) Democratic Committee, who served as an openly Pagan at-large national delegate for Obama at the Democrat National Convention in Denver, Eric Robbins, who is partnering with Rita Moran on this project, and who organized of Maine‚Äôs first chapter of Drinking Liberally, and Cara Schulz, a conservative with a rich background in broadcast journalism who was recently elected Tamias (Treasurer) for Hellenion.

As we progress, I envision that we’ll expand to include even more political and religious diversity at Pagan+Politics, and also undertake special coverage of political events that resonate within the wider Pagan community (I’m also interested in initiating projects for Pagan political commentary in other countries, but that’s for another time). But for now, please warmly welcome them as they start this exciting new endeavor. I hope you’ll add this site to your blogroll, subscribe to the RSS feed, follow it on Twitter, and become a fan at Facebook. I also hope you’ll (respectfully) engage them in the comments at the site as they start to post on Friday. Each blogger is committed to making at least one post per week, so there will be plenty to digest and interact with.

  8 Responses to “Introducing Pagan+Politics”

  1. I’m really excited to see what comes of this. The pagan movement is heading towards a breakout period much the same way other groups have when they started seeking legal affirmation of their rights and political office.

    I think something like this blog will go a long way in improving our interwoven faith coherence and increase the volume of our voices in America, which in turn benefits other countries we influence.

  2. So… no actual Republicans.

    How diverse.

    • Daniel Maine served as a precinct captain in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle for the Republican party in the early 1990s. As far I know, he’s still a registered Republican. So I think he’s “actual”.

    • I’m not a registered Republican because I’m further to the Right of the GOP – especially in the state of Minnesota, which is very Liberal. Generally I vote for GOP candidates and have volunteered on GOP campaigns. I am taking a serious look at the Tea Party (couldn’t they have come up with a better name?)

      Daniel, from what I can tell, seems fairly dead on for GOP – but I don’t want to speak for him. And…well…you’ll get to know people very quickly. But this shouldn’t be a one way conversation, your active participation is what will bring true diversity to this blog.

    • Wow! I have yet to post and already have to present and defend my bona fides. I am in fact still a registered republican, though serving in the uniformed service prevents me from doing the grass roots work that I was doing in 91 and 92. I worked as precinct captain in a ballard precinct north of ballard high school. I invite those who question my verasity to check with King County Republican party headquarters. The last time I was there it was located 2 blocks west of Interstate 5, 1 block south of the Mercer street Exit.