Paganism

Update: Pagan Family Sues Union County School

February 22, 2003

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On February 22, 2003 the St. Petersburg Times reported that "a pagan couple have sued school officials in Union County, Tenn., after they claimed their daughter was harassed for not playing the Virgin Mary in a school play... Greg and Sarajane Tracy say the school district promoted religion, denied their daughter's right to free exercise of her own religion and failed to protect her from verbal and physical abuse... The parents said their daughter, India, was reprimanded for not wanting to play the Virgin Mary in a school play,...

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Wicca in Johnstown, New York

February 9, 2003

Source: The Leader-Herald

http://www.leaderherald.com/news/story/029202003_new01_wiccans0209.asp

On February 9, 2003 The Leader-Herald reported that "locally, Wiccan worshippers aren't making their religious practices known because of their fear of persecution, they say. Some are open about it, but the majority of them practice in solitude... Jessica Henry, a Johnstown [NY] resident and Fulton-Montgomery Community College [NY] student, said she began...

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Interfaith Pagan Pride Parade

January 15, 2003

Source: East Bay Express

On January 15, 2003 the East Bay Express reported that "the mission statement of the Interfaith Pagan Pride Parade defines 'pagans' as: 'Those who follow indigenous, tribal, polytheistic, Nature-based, and Earth-based beliefs.' For anyone who enjoys world music and other international folk arts -- especially from the undeveloped world -- and the spirituality that comes from nature, the 'interfaith pagan' belief system might not be that much of a leap, says Berkeley's Micha Dunston... There are many other pagan orgs around...

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Special-Use Permit for Psychic Advisers

January 14, 2003

Source: Rocky Mountain News

http://www.insidedenver.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_1672617,00.html

On January 14, 2003 the Rocky Mountain News reported that "Wiccans, pagans, tarot-card readers and spiritual advisers turned out in force Monday night to give the [Wheat Ridge, CO] City Council some advice: Ditch an ordinance regulating where 'psychic advisers' can locate businesses within the city... But after nearly three hours of debate...

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President of the Unitarian Universalist Association Considers Inclusion of "God" in Statement of Principles

January 13, 2003

Source: Star-Telegram

http://www.dfw.com/mld/startelegram/news/local/4934945.htm

On January 13, 2003 the Star-Telegram reported that "a former atheist who is now president of the Unitarian Universalist Association will push to put the word 'God' into a new statement of principles of the Boston-based, liberal church group, he said Sunday... 'God' was not mentioned in a statement of principles approved in 1984, the Rev. William Sinkford said at First Jefferson...

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One Pagan's Experience from St. Louis to Cape Cod

January 5, 2003

Source: Cape Cod Times

http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/paganlawyer5.htm

On January 5, 2003 Cape Cod Times reported that "Dana Eilers of Chatham... 'ran away from St. Louis and the active practice of law three years ago,' Eilers said, 'I was fortunate enough before I came here to be plugged into the Pagan community on the Cape. And I'm pleased to say there is an active and thriving group of Pagans here on Cape Cod'... Eilers settled in at the family digs in...

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Pagans Protest School of Americas

January 1, 2003

Source: Reclaiming Quarterly

In the Winter, 2003 edition of the Reclaiming Quarterly reported that "Witches from Florida, North Carolina and New York participated in this year's School of the Americas protest at Ft. Benning, in Columbus, Georgia, November 15-17. The cluster sought to bear spiritual witness for the continuing murders, disappearances, and massacres perpetrated by graduates of the School of the Americas (now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation).

Church Expansion Conflicts with Neighboring Witches' Property

December 27, 2002

Source: The Birmingham News

http://www.al.com/living/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/living/1040984191150340.xml

On December 27, 2002 The Birmingham News reported that the "First Baptist Church of Dadeville [AL]... sued... two self-described witches, [wolf breeders Joseph and Deborah Wilson],... after they refused to sell a building the church wants to buy for an expansion...

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Winter Solstice in New York

December 22, 2002

Source: The New York Times

On December 22, 2002 The New York Times reported that "last night was the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, a good opportunity to explore what New York City residents would do with an extended period of darkness -- 886 minutes, to be precise -- from 4:32 p.m. yesterday, when the sun set, until 7:18 a.m. this morning, when it rose again, according to Tim Morrin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. The solstice itself occurred last night at 8:14 p.m., Mr. Morrin said. In the northern hemisphere, it...

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Wicca in American Universities

December 12, 2002

Source: Fox News Channel

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,72791,00.html

On December 12, 2002 the Fox News Channel reported that "members of Syracuse University's Pagan Society lighted candles in the campus chapel, while curious students signed up for a new class on witchcraft. And at the University of Arizona and Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, believers can be excused from class on Wiccan holidays... 'There is a cultural shift with college students identifying...

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December: Celebrations and Dilemmas, 2002

December 12, 2002

Source: Catholic League

http://www.catholicleague.org/research/decceleb.htm

On December 12, 2002 Catholic League reported that "December presents public schools with the opportunity of acknowledging the diverse religious beliefs of their students while avoiding the kind of divisiveness that some activist organizations foster by misinterpreting the constitutional mandate regarding freedom of religion. Teachers, administrators and parents should try to promote greater...

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Wiccan Sues Chesterfield County on Charges of Discrimination

December 7, 2002

Source: The Washington Post

On December 7, 2002 The Washington Post reported that "in Chesterfield County, elected leaders bow their heads for a brief prayer to start every meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Local ministers, priests and the occasional rabbi, each of whom has volunteered to be on a list, offer words of inspiration before the meeting shifts to zoning laws, budget cuts and public hearings. It's been that way for years. But when Cynthia Simpson, a witch and local Wiccan priestess, volunteered, she received a firm "no." In a letter from...

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Controversy Over Pagan Meeting in Krispy Kreme

December 5, 2002

Source: St. Petersburg Times

http://www.sptimes.com/2002/12/05/Floridian/No_shirt__No_shoes__N.shtml

On December 5, 2002 the St. Petersburg Times reported that "a [witches'] meeting at a Clearwater Krispy Kreme ended when a witch mascot was displayed. The witches say they were tossed out. Krispy Kreme says they were asked only to remove the mascot... The witches say the Krispy Kreme manager asked them to remove the wicker witch and threw them out......

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Pagans in the Military

November 22, 2002

Source: AFP

http://asia.news.yahoo.com/021122/afp/021122074316top.html

On November 22, 2002 AFP reported that "small groups of witches, Druids, Shaman and Wiccans make up the more than 10,000 estimated pagans in the US armed forces, according to the Military Pagan Network, a support group. The first pagan ritual on a military base was carried out in 1988 at Fort Hood, Texas. Since then pagan soldiers have been dancing around fires, in the Navy they've formed...

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Pagans Emphasize Similarity of Experiences

November 13, 2002

Source: The Associated Press

On November 13, 2002 The Associated Press reported that "[Grant] Pontius began to study paganism as a teenager living in Osceola [FL]. A few years later, while attending a 'drumming circle' with some friends, Pontius felt an explosive 'presence of energy.' Pontius' experience mirrors that of Katrina Jones, a 1987 Memorial High School graduate and self-proclaimed Wiccan witch... As a girl, Jones attended a conservative Christian church until the church insisted the friend she brought along to youth group had to join. 'Well, I...

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