Paganism

New Jersey Pagans Celebrate Christmas and Solstice

December 26, 2003

Source: Courier News

http://www.c-n.com/news/c-n/story/0,2111,876564,00.html

On December 26, 2003 the Courier News published a profile on Norma Hoffman and Ed Chapman, Druids from New Brunswick who are "practitioners of a polytheistic religion that celebrates the cycles of nature." The article discusses how the couple has celebrated the winter solstice holiday of Yule with other area Pagans while also celebrating the secular Christmas holiday with their family.

Tallahassee Solstice Celebrations

December 22, 2003

Source: Tallahassee Democrat

http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/democrat/7546521.htm

On December 22, 2003 the Tallahassee Democrat reported on how the estimated 200 Pagans in Tallahassee will celebrate the winter solstice this year. Followers around Tallahassee mark the sunrise by lighting fires or by holding gatherings at covens. Some pagans plan to meet before daybreak and build a bonfire outdoors, adding a yule log at sunrise.

Oregon Pagans Celebrate Yule

December 22, 2003

Source: Statesman Journal

http://news.statesmanjournal.com/article.cfm?i=72660

On December 22, 2003 the Statesman Journal reported on how Pagans throughout Oregon honored the winter solstice Sunday. The celebration, called Yule, is marked with evergreen trees, holly, mistletoe and family, many traditions which were later adapted to the Christmas holiday. Those who celebrate the solstice see it as the beginning of a new year, according to the pagan calendar.

Pagan Chaplain Prepares for University Yule Celebration

December 20, 2003

Source: Beliefnet.com

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/137/story_13754_1.html

On December 20, 2003 Beliefnet.com posted a Religion News Service story that reported, "The winter solstice, which marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, is a sacred day to Heather Botting, a pagan chaplain at the University of Victoria...On Yule, the university's interfaith chapel typically churns with pagans marking the return of more daylight hours by swirling...

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Non-Christians Embrace Christmas in WA

December 19, 2003

Source: The Bellingham Herald

http://news.bellinghamherald.com/stories/20031219/TopStories/168888.shtml

On December 19, 2003 The Bellingham Herald reported on how Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, and Pagans celebrate the Christmas holiday season. Interviews reveal that many local Sikhs exchange gifts, that some local Muslims put up Christmas trees, and that Jews sometimes celebrate secular Christmas along with Hannukah. Pagan celebrationsoften involve time...

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Pagan Study Session in Houston Middle School Creates Controversy

December 17, 2003

Source: KHOU News Houston

http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/khou031216_ds_WiccaBook.ac41feb5.html

On December 17, 2003 KHOU News Houston reported that a teacher at Alice Johnson Middle School has been leading reading sessions on the Wiccan faith for students after school for the last six weeks. Outraged parents claim that they thought their children were in school tutorials at the time. The case has raised concerns over the legality of...

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Minnesota Students to Enjoy Diverse Holiday Break

December 12, 2003

Source: The Minnesota Daily

http://www.daily.umn.edu/articles/2003/12/12/7872

On December 12, 2003 The Minnesota Daily reported on the diverse ways Minnesota students will spend the holiday season. While Christian students prepare for Christmas, Hindus, Jews, pagans and students of other religions will also take part in activities during the holidays. Hindu students will celebrate Sankranti, a festival that traditionally marks the end of southern Asia’s harvest. 40...

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Bush Official Suggests that Pagans and Other "Fringe" Groups Won't Benefit from Faith Based Initiative

December 12, 2003

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/1203/12faith.html

On December 12, 2003 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an editorial taking a stand against recent comments by H. James Towey that pagans and other "fringe groups" won't benefit from the Bush Administration's Faith- Based Initiatives. The Journal-Constitution comments that "it's unclear what the president and governor's faith-based initiatives hope to...

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Bush Official Suggests that Pagans and Other "Fringe" Groups Won't Benefit from Faith Based Initiative

December 12, 2003

Source: Americans United for Separation of Church and State

http://www.au.org/press/pr031202.htm

On December 12, 2003 Americans United for Separation of Church and State published an article criticizing "White House 'Faith Czar' James Towey for suggesting that 'fringe' religious groups won’t get funding under the Bush administration’s 'faith-based' initiative. During a Nov. 26 online 'Ask the White House' question-and-answer session, Towey was asked about the possibility...

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Pagan Sign Vandalized in Penn. Adopt a Highway Program

December 12, 2003

Source: The Pottsville Republican and Evening Herald

http://www.schuylkill.com/pub/2003/Dec/12/E609387A.htm

On December 12, 2003 The Pottsville Republican and Evening Herald published a letter to the editor from a faith-based group called the Schuylkill Pagans. The group, whose stated purpose is to "provide support and socialization to people of pagan faiths in the Schuylkill County area," recently adopted a two-mile stretch of highway on Route 61 through PennDOT's...

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Bush Official Suggests that Pagans and Other "Fringe" Groups Won't Benefit from Faith Based Initiative

December 8, 2003

Source: The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43967-2003Dec7.html?referrer=emailarticle

On December 8, 2003 The Washington Post reported that "H. James Towey, director of the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, has stirred up a pot of trouble by suggesting that pagans don't care about the poor. Wiccans, Druids and other pagans across the country, along with the Washington-...

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Business Leaders Welcome Wiccan Shop Owner in Burnet, TX

December 3, 2003

Source: KXAN News

http://www.kxan.com/Global/story.asp?S=1550010

On December 3, 2003 KXAN News reported that "business leaders in Burnet Wednesday officially welcomed a new business to town. Margie Allen is the newest member of the Burnet Chamber of Commerce. The shop owner practices a religion called Wicca. Allen is part of an FBI investigation because she says threats forced her to close her store in Kingsland and move it to Burnet. She calls the incident 'religious...

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Pagan Priestess Wins Federal Case

December 1, 2003

Source: Circle Magazine

On December 1, 2003 Circle Magazine reported that "Wiccan priestess Cynthia Simpson won her religious freedom battle in the federal court in Richmond. Virginia on November 13, 2003. The magistrate ruled that the Chesterfield County discriminated against Cyndi when it prohibited her from joining their list of clergy able to open their meeting with a prayer. As mentioned in the Spring 2003 LLL Report, Cyndi had been told that she could not be a prayer leader because she did not practice a religion "within the Judeo-Christian tradition...

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