GOP Presidential candidate impresses with pro-Pagan stance

If you are a fiscal liberal and wish for more governmental intervention in your daily life, then GOP Presidential hopeful Johnson is not the candidate for you.  If, however, you are like most Americans and are looking for a President who leans more socially liberal/fiscally conservative you may want to give Johnson a further look.  Couple this view with an unabashed pro-Pagan, pro-human rights outlook and clear openness to alternative views on a whole host of issues and you may have as close to an ideal candidate for President as the Pagan community has yet seen.

Last night’s video conference between Gov. Johnson and Pagan and Hindu media was unusual and groundbreaking.  Unlike most every other candidate for political office at any level, Johnson not only agreed to speak publicly with Pagans, he promoted the event openly on his official Google+ page.   In talking with other Pagan media after the conference, many of us related personal experiences with politicians, even those sympathetic to us in private, who refuse to be seen speaking with us in public.   They don’t want an association with ‘people like us’ to damage their credibility and truth to tell, they don’t care enough about our concerns to address them.  This was not the case with Johnson.  During the interview he showed no discomfort addressing issues specific to our community and never flinched from saying the word Pagan.  An example of how supportive Gov. Johnson is to Pagan rights, and basic human rights, can be summed up in a message he had for Pagans and Wiccans serving in the US military,“It should be about equality, it’s not, and I appreciate their service  even though you are not being treated equally.”

It could be easy to dismiss Johnson’s decision in speaking with Pagans while seeking election as the actions of an unknown candidate low in the polls, but that would miss the mark.  Johnson is a successful two-term Governor of New Mexico and is the only GOP candidate who scores positive approval ratings in his home state.  He is not a ‘nothing’ candidate, but a qualified candidate with executive level experience.  What has hampered his candidacy is the mainstream medias’ inexplicable exclusion of Johnson from televised debates.  They have set up criteria that bars Johnson’s inclusion in the debates, a candidate must reach 2% in their polls, but ensures he can never meet that bar by excluding him as an option in their polls.  This sets up a scenario where Johnson is a longshot for the GOP nomination, unless people vote for him in the GOP primaries.  So while we finally have a Presidential candidate who is willing to listen to Pagans and supports us on many issues important to our community, we may never have the opportunity to vote for him.  What makes it even more bittersweet for some Pagans is that such an outspoken candidate for Pagan rights is running on the Republican ticket, not Democratic.

Click HERE to watch the video conference with Gov. Johnson courtesy of KeithBarrett.tv.

A full transcript is available at the Staff of Asclepius blog.

The hour and a half interview covered a wide range of questions about GLBT rights, Pagan military chaplains, raw milk, teaching yoga in schools, TSA and the Patriot Act, economic, and environmental concerns.  Many of the questions were submitted by Pagan community leaders like Rev. Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary and by your average Pagan on the street.    Below are just a few of the highlights from the hour and half Q&A with Gov. Johnson, but I strongly encourage everyone to view the entire interview.

Cara Schulz, PMC-MN:  It is commonly thought in the Pagan community that Republican candidates are hostile to minority religions such as ours.  What message would you like to get across to Pagan voters about how you would represent them if elected president?

Johnson:  There should be a separation of church and state.  I happen to think the world looks down on Republicans for their social conservative views which include religion in government.

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Happy Birthday PNC-MN! – Editorial

The Pagan Newswire Collective – Minnesota Bureau is one year old! Evolving from a meeting at PSG with Jason Pitzl-Waters, and consultations with a local group who had also sent a proposal for a Minnesota bureau, this bureau posted “Community Notes”  from TCPagans on July 28th, 2010. How the PNC idea had gotten to this point is another whole story, but for us who formed this bureau; Heather Biedermann, Cara Schulz, and myself, Nels Linde, it was the start of an ambitious project.

What is this bureau?

The vision we acted upon was of a blog based information source for our community. The concept of ‘news’ is a hard one to define. Is it ‘Dog bites Pagan’, “Pagan bites Dog’, ‘What Pagans think about Dogs’, ‘Pagan wins at Dog Show’, ‘Pagan buys Dog’, ‘Dog bites Pagan in Detroit’, or ‘Pagan bites Pagan’? Well, we believe it is all of these topics and more. Our concept is to cover whatever seems to be the demonstrated interest, issues, and news we find in our community, and also to stretch that interest. As volunteers, with limits on our time, resources, and local experience, our content will also reflect our personal interest (I may have not written about Pagans hunting, if I didn’t hunt). As much as we are defining who and what we are, we also realize the idea of a local information source is ‘news’ to you, our readers. We know that your expectations may not match with our vision, and pay scale (we are all volunteers and have funded the costs, and time involved, in our reporting out of our pockets). We expect as we all grow and learn, these inequities in understanding will be resolved. Continue reading

PNC-Minnesota – a year of growth – Editorial

From cocyeabroomstick.blogspot.com

PNC-Minnesota began about five months ago (we had five initial posts in July). We believe we have had a substantial impact within our community, region, and nationally.  Our readership is mainly Pagan, but our audience ranges the whole spectrum based on subject. We have had just over 99,000 page views since we began on July 28th, 2010

Our top viewed post with 12, 542 views in one day on Nov. 9th, (   Rape Survivor Devastated by TSA Enhanced Pat Down by Cara Schulz ), has completely skewed our stats, but that is the nature of the internet.   Cara saw an emerging issue, and knew the additional impact it could have for victims of assault and jumped on the story. National blogs (including mainstream news like ‘Newsweek‘ and even Wikipedia ) linked to her article and resulted in that one post generating 84% of our page views this year!  Cara’s past media experience and her  ‘nose for news’ that she brought to PNC-Minnesota has been invaluable. Cara also writes for PNC’s Pagans and Politics.

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