Archive for June, 2007

Same-sex marriage here in New York State

June 22, 2007

A same-sex marraige bill, drafted by Governer Eliot Spitzer, won in the New York State Assembly this week. Alas, it didn’t even come to the floor in the State Senate, and the state legislature’s session ended this week, so the bill is dead for this year. Nevertheless, the win in the State Assembly was an important symbolic victory, increasing the likelihood that we’ll win equal marriage rights sometime within the next two years.

The big hurdle will continue to be the Republican-controlled State Senate, with majority leader Joseph L. Bruno, who opposes same-sex marriage. Elections aren’t until 2008, but, given that the Republicans hold only a very slim majority (by 2 seats), we might possibly get lucky in a mid-term election or two.

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Zalbarath’s commentary

June 13, 2007

Zalbarath has replied here to my previous response to him about the draft of rules for the Theistic Satanism Blog Network.
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Punkwolf’s commentary on the tags and the rules

June 13, 2007

Punkwolf has written a Commentary on the TS Blog Network rules:

For example, it is much easier to keep a debate between Satanists and Christians rational and civil if the link to it appears on a page with a title like “Theistic Satanist interfaith discussion,” so that those theistic Satanists who aren’t prepared to deal with Christians in a friendly manner can easily avoid it.

It’s also for those Satanists who might be prepared to deal civilly with Christians, but who realise that Christians might not be prepared to reciprocate. It would be nice if there was some way to differentiate. The separate tag for the “troll playground” is along the right idea, but a lot of “interfaith discussion” can become hostile without much warning. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any way to weed out the hostile Christians et al. except by relying on their own self-policing, just as the network relies on Satanists (and pagans and occultists) to police themselves and use their better judgement.

Actually, the system will rely on more than just self-policing, especially for people other than Satanists, Pagans, and occultists. Bloggers will be divided into five categories with different levels of access in their use of the network tags. See Sets of people eligible to use particular network tags.
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Theistic Satanism Blog Network: more about the draft of rules

June 11, 2007

Kafele Minkabh, in a blog titled Ave Satana, has written some brief comments about the proposed rules for the Theistic Satanism Blog Network:

I have not read the page in full yet–the document is lengthy and I’ll have to set aside some time in the near future to go through it properly. I have, however, scanned the whole document and read the first few sections carefully.

I look forward to seeing your further comments when you have time to read it in more depth.
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Theistic Satanism Blog Network: draft of rules, etc.

June 10, 2007

Zalbarath says he finds my draft page Theistic Satanism Blog Network: Tag topicality and other rules and guidelines to be more confusing than the rules for my Yahoo groups.

This surprises me. Zalbarath, are you sure that the blog network rules are actually more complicated, or are you just disappointed that they aren’t several orders of magnitude simpler? Offhand, I don’t see any ways that the blog network rules are more complicated than the Yahoo group rules, except that some issues are discussed as gray areas rather than as absolute black-and-white prohibitions.

I would appreciate it very much if you could take another look at the page and tell me specifically what parts you find confusing and, especially, what parts are more confusing than the corresponding rules for my Yahoo groups. Perhaps there are some specific issues on which the blog network rules need to be clarified or simplified? Or perhaps there are some ways that the page could be organized better?
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More bad history by a Pagan Witch

June 8, 2007

Yet another Pagan Witch public relations piece containing the same old historical nonsense: So…Your Friend Is a Witch?. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Consider that you’re spending time with a good friend over a nice meal, some good wine, and friendly conversation. Your friend tells you that she is Pagan. As a matter of fact, she says, she’s a practicing Witch. What does this mean to you?
[…]
It is also likely that some part of you was at least a little frightened by the word.
[…]
In the simplest of terms, your newly found (no matter how fleeting) doubt about your friend is the result of a centuries long media assault on the Pagan way of life.

No, it’s the result of 20th-century neo-Pagans deliberately choosing to refer to themselves by a scary label like “witch.” Once again, the theory that the post-Renaissance European witchhunts were primarily about persecuting an underground pagan cult of the “Horned God” has long since been discredited among reputable historians. (For more up-to-date scholarly ideas about the witchhunts, see Recent Developments in the Study of The Great European Witch Hunt by Jenny Gibbons, another copy here.) Furthermore, Christians certainly have no monopoly on witchhunts. There are all-too-many witchhunts going on today in Africa and India, rooted not in Christianity but in local tradition.

The ongoing worldwide spread of the more fanatical forms of Christianity, and their propaganda campaign against all other religions, is indeed a significant worldwide threat to religious freedom. But, in facing that threat, let’s try not to distort history, okay?
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The lack of historical knowledge about the ancient Celts

June 8, 2007

I came across an interesting post here on WordPress about Halloween, with a lot of annoted info about the ancient Celts, the Druids, Samhain, and the evolution of Halloween festivities. Written from a Christian anti-occultist “ex-witch” perspective, but much more scholarly than most. Among other things, this article points out how little is known, historically, about the religion and customs of the ancient Celts. For example, there’s not enough evidence to know for sure whether the ancient Celts practiced human sacrifice, and it’s not even known for sure whether they had a feast day called Samhain.

However, like a lot of other relatively well-informed writings, this article seems to assume that all Satanists are LaVeyans.

Theistic Satanism Blog Network

June 7, 2007

I hope soon to launch a blog network. Once the script is finished, there will be pages on my Theistic Satanism site containing automatically updated lists of recent posts with particular tags on all member blogs, one such page per tag. My script will be able to support blogs hosted on WordPress.com, Google/Blogspot, and LiveJournal. For more information, please see my pages about the Theistic Satanism Blog Network.

The owner of a blog called Ave Satana recently pinged my post on “Taking elements of” older religions and “warping them into something else”. In that blog there is a post titled Satanism as a uniform entity which talks about, among other things, the need to raise the public visibility of theistic Satanism. Hopefully my forthcoming blog network will help to accomplish just that. At the very least, hopefully it will do a better job of this than my Yahoo groups did.