Friday Reads: It’s Eostre’s Time of Year

eostreIII’m all in for Germanic fertility goddesses carrying eggs and surrounded by hares these days.  Why remove all the fun from a really good pagan holiday?   The more I read about all these old pagan holidays, the more I want to dump the modern versions.  It’s Eostre’s time of year, so go out and celebrate the weekend like a German Fertility Goddess! BTW, my oldest daughter was born on the spring equinox 30 years ago so I have a special love for the season!

The name “Easter” originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE.) a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Similarly, the “Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos.1 Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: “eastre.”

I know my way back peeps were down with Eostre!  Well, until the Romans headed north and ruined the world for every one!!!

There’s a lot of nastiness still coming from that northward drift of Rome.  However, we’re making some improvements and hopefully, we can see a day in American when we are lot more focused on enfranchisement and appreciating differences.  Jonathan Chait has a great article up at NYM on “The Slow Death of the Anti-Gay Marriage Movement”.  It’s about the rise and fall of one of the bigots who looked to stop the marriage equality movement.

Now the movement is in a state of total collapse, with every day seeming to bring new converts to the gay-marriage cause and the opposition losing all of its courage. There is no more telling sign of the opposition’s surrender than the public demoralization of Maggie Gallagher, the leading anti-gay-marriage activist and writer.

The unusual thing about the campaign to ban gay marriage is that it was dying from the moment it was born. Even at its peak, at the very outset, the portents of doom were visible on the horizon — polls showed that young voters strongly supported gay marriage. The best case for Gallagher and her allies appeared to be holding on for years, or even decades, but eventually gay-marriage opponents would age out of the electorate.

Gallagher understood from the beginning that she had to fight that sense of eventual inevitability. Here she is writing a column for National Review in December 2004 whose thesis is captured in its headline, “Not Inevitable.” In the face of clear evidence, Gallagher seized on whatever tiny glimmers of demographic hope she could find. One poll found that while young adults favored gay marriage, teens did not. Was this a statistical blip because of a tiny sample size? Not to Gallagher, who saw it as evidence that “most likely, as more adults voice firm objections to gay marriage, they appear to be having an impact on their children’s attitudes and values.”

Five years later, Gallagher continued to rage against the dying of the light, but less forcefully. A 2009 column phrased her stance as a question rather than an answer (“Is Gay Marriage Inevitable?”). Gallagher was no longer insisting that the youngest voters opposed gay marriage, but was merely hoping that the generation of voters younger than them one day would in a fit of rebellion. “Right now, it’s ‘cool’ to be pro-gay marriage. In ten years, it will be what the old folks think,” she offered hopefully.

Today, the movement has advanced far more rapidly than expected, and it is hard to find much hope at all in Gallagher. She increasingly casts those on her own side as victims. Gallagher insists, in an interview with National Review — she has given up her column — the cause is about “the core civil rights of 7 million Californians to vote on the marriage question.” The rights of a gay couple to marry cannot be allowed to trample on the rights of heterosexuals to vote to ban them from getting married.

The surest sign of resignation is that Gallagher has redirected her focus from stopping gay marriage to preserving the dignity of her reputation and those of her fellow believers. She now presents her cause as a kind of civil rights movement to protect her fellow believers from the stigma of advocating bigotry and discrimination. “I worry when I get an email from a woman who’s a nurse in a hospital,” she told NPR, “who wrote a letter to the editor opposing gay marriage, and finds that she fears her job is in jeopardy.”

This is the second article I’ve seen recently that states that the most put down group in America is the Evangelical Christian and not the “homosexual”.  It looks like White, Republicans and Southern Evangelicals are the most likely group to claim discrimination these days. WTF?

Perceptions of reverse discrimination – so-called because it involves bias against whites, rather than against minorities – are not new, and have been building among American whites for decades. However, the phenomenon is little-studied, in part because some assume such claims by white Americans have little merit.

“We talk about whites who claim reverse discrimination a lot, but we don’t often study them systematically, ” said Stanford sociology Professor Aliya Saperstein. “The issue of reporting racial discrimination is such a loaded one. So, we were curious about who the white people were who would say out loud to a survey interviewer that they had been treated unfairly because of their race. What makes them different?”

Using data from a 2006 survey of American racial and religious diversity, Saperstein, along with fellow sociologist Damon Mayrl, found that the answer varies depending on where you are. In the South, the most likely discrimination reporters are evangelical Christians. Elsewhere, it’s Republicans.

The reasons for this aren’t ideological – the specifics of people’s religious or political beliefs seem to make no difference. Instead, the researchers suggest, Southern evangelical churches and the GOP are acting as regional communities for racially disaffected whites.

The findings show that common stereotypes of white people concerned with “reverse racism” – the stereotype of the “angry white male,” for instance – are not the whole story. While the study shows whites who report racial discrimination are more likely to be recently unemployed and pessimistic about their future, they are also more likely to say they have daily contact with non-whites, and count at least one non-white person among their eight closest friends.

“You have to look beyond the simple view of who’s claiming racial discrimination,” said Mayrl, a professor at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and first author on the study. “There is no singular profile of the white discrimination reporter.”

The paper is currently available online ahead of publication in Social Science Research.

Here’s an example for your shock and awe viewing pleasure.

In the media’s narrative, you would think that homosexuals are the poor souls who have been banished by society like ugly stepchildren and are now rising to overcome incredible odds.

But what about today? Let’s be honest: If you are a conservative evangelical who believes in the biblical definition of traditional marriage then guess what? You are one of the following: An outcast, a bigot, narrow-minded, a “hater” or all of the above. It’s a different type of ridicule but it’s still ridicule.

The tables have been turned. Evangelicals are now the ugly stepchild. In our American culture today, you can easily make the argument that it is harder to stand for biblical truth than it is to be a supporter of gay marriage in today’s society.

Yes, folks that’s why Jesus always hung out with the kewl kids and money lenders at the table and the Beatitudes were all about how blessed the sanctimonious and rich are!!!

eostre eggsOne of the other things that really gets my goat these days is the lack of awareness of just how unequal wealth and incomes are in the US. This definitely creates an America that can’t reach its full potential.

1. $2.13 per hour vs. $3,000,000.00 per hour

Each of the Koch brothers saw his investments grow by  $6 billion in one year, which is three million dollars per hour based on a 40-hour ‘work’ week. They used some of the money to try to  kill renewable energystandards around the country.

Their income portrays them, in a society measured by economic status, as a million times more valuable than the  restaurant server who cheers up our lunch hours while hoping to make enough in tips to pay the bills.

A comparison of top and bottom salaries within large corporations is much less severe, but a lot more common. For CEOs and minimum-wage workers, the  difference is $5,000.00 per hour vs. $7.25 per hour.

2. A single top income could buy housing for every homeless person in the U.S.

On a winter day in 2012  over 633,000 people were homeless in the United States. Based on an annual single room occupancy  (SRO) cost of $558 per month, any ONE of the  ten richest Americans would have enough with his 2012 income to pay for a room for every homeless person in the U.S.  for the entire year. These ten rich men together made more than our entire  housing budget.

For anyone still believing “they earned it,” it should be noted that  most of the Forbes 400 earnings came from  minimally-taxed, non-job-creating capital gains.

So, BB showed me this great story about another great king of England dug up in an obscure location.  This time it is the grave of Alfred the Great.

(PHGCOM, Public Domain)

WINCHESTER, ENGLAND—Human remains thought to be those of Alfred the Great, who died in A.D. 899, have been exhumed from an unmarked grave at St. Bartholomew’s Church. Alfred, the first “king of the English,” had been buried near Winchester Cathedral, but his body was moved to Hyde Abbey in 1110, which was later destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII. Some think his bones were transferred to St. Bartholomew’s in the eighteenth century. Church officials decided to empty the grave in order to protect the bones from curiosity seekers. Nick Edmonds, a church spokesperson, said that no applications have been made to study the bones at this time. “Of course, that would only be granted if the court were satisfied with everything proposed, both legally and ethically. Whatever happens, the remains will stay in the care and protection of the church and the consistory court until they are reinterred,” he added.

I’m still exciting about the Richard III find.

Okay, one more interesting thing for those of you that find the old ways and the old days interesting.ixchelrabbit The statue on the right is of Ix Chel, the Maya Moon Goddess.  She is also called “Lady Rainbow”.

Ix Chel is the Maya Goddess of the Moon, Water, Weaving and Childbirth. She is shown here in three of Her many aspects. Left to right: Chak Chel, the Old Moon Goddess, called the Midwife of Creation; Ix Chel in Her main form as Mother Goddess and Weaver who set the Universe in motion; and the Young Moon Goddess, shown with Her totem animal the rabbit.

Her story is very interesting. 

Ix Chel (sometimes spelled Ixchel), the moon goddess, is one of the most important ancient Maya deities, connected to fertility, and procreation. Her name has been translated as “Lady Rainbow”, or as “She of the Pale Face”, alluding to the moon’s surface.

Although not directly mentioned in colonial sources, in the codices Ix Chel appears in both old and young variations, to whom Maya religion specialists attribute respectively the names of Goddess O and Goddess I. As an aged woman, Ix Chel is usually portrayed with a serpent headdress, a skirt adorned with crossed bones, and jaguar claws instead of hands. It has been proposed that the two variants correspond to different aspects of the moon: the old Ix Chel is connected with the full moon, and its waning aspect, and the young Ix Chel is connected with the crescent moon. This interpretation is partially supported by some Classic period depictions of the young goddess sitting on a crescent moon, holding a rabbit.

So, that’s a little this and that from me today.  What’s on you reading and blogging list today?