Friday, January 29, 2010

Only in New Orleans

Friday, October 16, 2009

That Theodish Political Candidate

Sarah Pike of California State University, Chico evaluates Dan Halloran's run for a New York City Council seat as an "out" Pagan and concludes, "Since for many Americans, the Republican Party is inseparable from conservative Christianity, Neopagans were surprised that the party stood by Halloran, and took it as a sign that not only is the makeup of the religious left and the religious right shifting, but that the country as a whole is becoming more receptive toward their religion."

I'll be seeing Sarah next month at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting, and I shall have to ask her about this "Neopagan" usage. Following Graham Harvey, who argues that "Neo-" is outmoded now, the favored term (in academia, at least) is "contemporary Pagan."

But she has written a good opinion piece—read the whole thing. The comments display the usual Pagan hair-splitting and in-fighting.

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Aphrodite and Revolution

You don't think of her as a political deity, but a (London) Times writer suggests that Aphrodite Pandemos contributes to the success or failure of popular revolutions.

This theory, which I first heard from a friend in Armenia, holds that popular upheavals only stand a chance of success if a country’s most beautiful young women come out on to the streets.

The idea being that even the most politically indifferent young men want to be where the pretty girls are and that this creates a critical mass at demonstrations that causes a regime to lose confidence in its ability to prevail. To paraphrase Marx, the young men feel they have nothing to lose but their virginity.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Man of Faith (the brochure says so)

Barack Obama drapes himself in his Christian credentials.

Apparently when Mike Huckabee (a former pastor) did much the same thing, he was appealing to the worst impulses of the Religious Right. When Obama does it, there is no problem. Apparently.

I want to see Obama posed on the steps of the Parthenon -- the one in Nashville -- speaking about classical values. A little speech about arete. Then I would vote for him for sure.

Labels: ,