Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sanity Reigns in Washington (for now)

Thank goodness. My world can now fall back into an understandable state where Presidents care about their constituents feelings, or at the very least, how their public perceives them.

Although I did not see this particular development anywhere in the public media, it came across on the Circle Sanctuary ( news group.

President George Bush personally called Roberta Stewart to apologize that she was not invited to the meeting held in Reno, Nevada yesterday for families of fallen soldiers. He also told her that he admired her spirit and thanked her when she accepted the invitation.

Now, you may know that I am not the biggest Bush fan in the world, but I call it like I see it and I see this as a good and noble and right thing to do. Thank you Mr. Bush, sir, for doing the right thing and restoring my faith that there must be a decent human being inside you somewhere. I realize that that sounds as much like an insult as a statement of apprecitation, and I'm sorry for that, but like I said, I'm not a big fan. I wouldn't invite the man out for drinks, but I'd be polite if I encountered him at the bar.

Follows is the entire article sent out to the Circle Sanctuary News Group. In case you can't find it elsewhere:
(Note particularly the highlighted section that brought tears to my eyes. Thank the Gods that I have not had to face the challenges Mrs. Stewart has. I am not sure that I am a strong enough person to go through what she has.)

President Bush Apologizes to Wiccan War Widow Roberta Stewart

At midday today, President George W. Bush met by phone with Roberta
Stewart, a Wiccan from Nevada and member of Circle Sanctuary. The
president apologized to Roberta for her not being invited to the meeting he
held in Reno, Nevada on Tuesday with families of Nevada soldiers killed in

Reports about Roberta not being invited to this meeting began appearing in
the media yesterday and have continued today:

In the press articles, both Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans
United for Separation of Church and State, and Rev. Selena Fox, senior
minister of Circle Sanctuary, called for the president to apologize to
Roberta Stewart, and to give equal respect to soldiers and their families
regardless of their religious orientation.

During the phone call, the president said that he admired Roberta for her
spirit and thanked her for accepting his apology. He also offered his
condolences for the loss of her husband, Sgt. Patrick Stewart, who was
killed in action in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan on September
25, 2005.

Following her phone meeting with the president, Roberta told Selena: "I am
thankful that President Bush offered his condolences and his apology. This
has helped bring some much needed closure for me regarding this recent issue
as well as the struggles I have endured in the Veteran Pentacle Quest
seeking to have my husband properly honored."

Both Rev. Fox and Rev. Lynn have expressed their appreciation for the
president's phone meeting with Roberta:

Rev. Fox: "I am glad that President Bush provided this support to Roberta
-- it has helped remedy this recent problem as well as helped heal the
stress that Roberta has endured since her husband was killed in action.
It also is a positive development for Wiccans and other Pagans who are
serving and who have served in the US military and their families in the
quest for equal respect and equal rights in society."

Rev. Lynn: "The president has done the right thing, and his apology to
Stewart should be commended. All veterans of war, regardless of their
faith, should be honored and treated with the utmost respect, especially
from their commander-in-chief. We are pleased the president recognized his
slight of Stewart was wrong."

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has issued a press
release commending President Bush for apologizing to Roberta:

Rev. Lynn interviewed Roberta for his Culture Shocks show shortly after the
President apologized to her. The show will broadcast today and will be
archived on-line tomorrow:


Rev. Selena Fox: 608-924-2216
Executive Director, Lady Liberty League

Angie Buchanan: 847-456-4833
Public Relations Director, Lady Liberty League

Paula Johnson: 954-471-1435
Media Relations Coordinator, Lady Liberty League

Background information on the Veteran Pentacle Quest Success:

Adding Insult to Injury in Nevada

I am a simple girl. I gain joy from simple things. I am also annoyed by simple things. And as open minded as I claim to be, I sometimes have a very difficult time comprehending when people do things that are completely outside the scope of my experience. For example. My boyfriend hates cucumbers and melons. What? Okay, cucumbers I can imagine, but it's a stretch, especially when it's grandma's cucumber salad, which is soooo good (and my aunt just explained to me the secret of how to make it because she watched grandma next time, so I can't wait to make it now, though since it was a secret, I guess I can't post the recipe.) but melons? How can you not like melons? Did you try salting them? I can't imagine. That's like not liking chocolate. But then, I guess I have put things in my mouth in the past that I was assured was good and people eat it all the time that caused me to twitch violently in an effort not to spit it out. One thing that pops to mind is a fruit from asia that resembles eyeballs. I can't remember what it was called (it was traumatic, I blocked it out) nichi or something like that. And I suppose it's annoying when people go on and on about how good meat is and they can't believe I don't eat it and don't I crave it? (I don't. It's not good. I do like fried fish, but chicken smells gross and beef is like chewing on shoes. What's to like?)

Where was I going with this?

Oh yes. People who function so completely differently from me that I can't understand it.

Oh and George Bush. Yes. George Bush. Here is a man who is so different from me in his behavior, and aparently, his thought processes that he may as well be from a completely different species.

And it's not a primate. Primates make sense. George Bush does not.

So we all remember Roberta Stewart. She may wall go down in Pagan history. If we ever get Pagan private schools, Roberta Stewart will certainly get mention in our Great Pagans in History classes. Let us hope that her name doesn't completely overshadow the others who came before, like that one woman who died before the fight was won whose name I can't remember... see. It's happened already.

So, earlier this week, our fearless leader, George Bush Jr made his way to Reno to meet with families of fallen soldiers from that area.
Check the story
Now, this would have been an excellent opportunity for Mr. Bush to meet with Roberta Stewart and say "I appreciate the sacrifice your husband made. I am sorry that you have to fight to get his emblem of faith put on his tombstone. I congratulate you on your victory. You stand as an example to all Americans and the world of what the American spirit is all about. Freedom, equality and the willingness to stand up and fight for both if they aren't freely given."

But no. He didn't do this. What did he do instead? He ignored her. He pretended she didn't exist. He invited her husband's parents and brother to meet with him, but not Roberta. What?

Okay, so maybe it was a mistake. A simple oversight. Not the President's fault at all but the fault of his secretary. Maybe it was. And maybe said secretary just flubbed it. Or maybe he thought surely the President didn't want to be bothered with that woman, but didn't check on it. It seems like the administration likes to do things to curry favor with the President without actually checking. If words can be believed. The VA did make the excuse after all that part of the reason the Pentacle didn't get approved for so long was because they knew the Pres wouldn't like it. But that's really a load of crap too, because this fight has been going on since the '90s and though it may seem like an eternity, Ole Bush Baby hasn't been Pres that long.

You would think at the very least someone would have said, "We better make damn sure to invite that Stewart Woman or she'll be screaming religious discrimination again."

It's really unthinkable that our President said to himself, "You know. If I meet with this woman she'll ask annoying questions. Maybe if I just ignore her she'll go away."
Or that one of his aids or secretary thought that. To think that, and act accordingly would be mindboggling. And mindnumbingly stupid.

Maybe there was no thought involved. Scan the list, come to Roberta Stewart's name, Ohh that's a bad name, skip it and move on.

This administration loves to embarrass itself.

I would like to go on the assumption that this was just a terrible mistake and all the King's men are horribly embarrassed.
I would like that.
Because I cannot fathom that our Commander in Chief is that giant an asshole. And I don't want to try to fathom that anymore than I want to try to convince myself that those eyeball shaped fruits from asia are edible.

Friday, August 17, 2007

More Crazy Pagans in the News

Now, my boyfriend has told me that I shouldn't rant about Pagans on a website for Pagans and I say, why not? Should we not take a good cleansing look at ourselves once in awhile. Besides, when I see a loon, I'm going to call it a loon. I am not going to prance around issues because the people involved happen to claim to be in the same religious family as I claim to be in. If you're crazy, I'm going to say it, and Brenna Barney from Wisconsin is a lunatic.

I just want to point out two pieces of the article. First: He (Officer Babe) said Barney at one point poured lighter fluid on the fire, in which she was burning rubber car mats and a cooler. Barney refused to cooperate with police and was belligerent, and her breath smelled of alcohol, Babe added

Followed closely by the obligatory Wicca is a nature-based religion based on respect for the earth, nature and the cycle of the seasons.

Okay, now I don't want to be one of those people who cries "He's not a real (insert religious affiliation here) because real (insert religious affiliation here)s respect (insert moral value here)." But damn. The article just said it, didn't it? Rubber car mats and a cooler? From a practitioner of a Nature-based religion? Nobody better ever scream religious discrimination on behalf of this lunatic. She is not representative of Pagan religions, any Earth-based religion, and especially not Wicca at all.

The whole burning-toxic-materials-for-an-Earth-based-ritual notwithstanding, she was in her underwear, belligerant, and loud- firecrackers?? *sigh* This was nothing more than a drunken debacle. What makes people do things like this? What white trash planet is this girl from? Here's more from the neighbors

(Of course the doll in the fire bit makes me chuckle since we just threw a man made of old boxes, newspapers and paperbags in the fire on Saturday. But we did it quietly, and far away from any houses, and there were no rubber mats on our fire. People see the dolls get thrown in the fire and freak out. I had a friend who had the cops called on her group when they were doing this on a beach on Lake Huron. Of course, the cops came, looked around and left- no disorderly conduct there.)

It is people like this that make me nervous about having rituals in my back yard. I am not concerned that the church next door or the neighbors on the other side will peep into my backyard and see me dancing around my firepit and call the police until I read articles like this- knowing full well that they might be reading them too. Because until someone acts like a fool and makes a big scene, the police just come, look around and decide that they are wasting their time and go home. When people act like idiots, it gets around, and the police get nervous and show up on the defensive. So I must ask each of you Pagan brothers and sisters- please don't be an idiot!

Thank you.