Paganism

Minister Bars Rabbi from Giving Baccalaureate Services

April 23, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On April 23, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported on the response to the Rev. Mickler's decision to bar a rabbi from giving baccalaureate services in his church. "The Rev. Randy Mickler's words earned a standing ovation from his Mount Bethel United Methodist Church congregation Sunday as he defended his refusal to permit a rabbi to speak from his pulpit...The same decision has prompted some Jewish families to cut ties to the Cobb County church's popular youth sports program."

Unitarian Group Seeks More Spirituality in Their Church

April 21, 2001

Source: The Chicago Tribune

On April 21, 2001, The Chicago Tribune reported that two dozen dissidents have charged the Unitarian Universalist Association of being "extremely intolerant" of people who want to talk about God. They "will meet in Virginia to discuss plans for a new church body for Unitarians who want more God and less politics in church...In time, the Unitarian tradition, which has no creed, [has] shed its exclusively Christian focus and embraced other forms of religious expression, including humanism and Buddhism." The group of dissidents is "...

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Professor Raises Concerns About Growth of Racist Strand of Asatru

April 19, 2001

Source: SPLC Intelligence Report Spring 2001

This spring, the Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report contains an interview with Professor Mattias Gardell of the University of Stockholm. His research on the U.S. raises concerns about growth of a racist form of Asatru.

New Miniseries About the Salem Witch Trials

April 16, 2001

Source: Zap2it.com

http://tv.zap2it.com/news/tvnewsdaily.html?17199

On April 16, 2001, Zap2it.com reported on "new CBS mini series titled 'Innocent Blood: The True Story of the Salem Witch Trials.'... Co-executive producer Ed Gernon emphasizes, 'This is not about witchcraft; this is about the suspicion of witchcraft and, on some deep, deep level, about men's inherent fear of women and women's instincts.'"

Origin of Easter Bunny Explored

April 14, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On April 14, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported on the origin of the Easter Bunny. "No one's quite sure just how the Easter Bunny became associated with the Christian holiday...He was a symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt, a reputation that eventually spread to Europe as the rabbit became one of the featured stars of springtime pagan rituals."

Many Modern Easter Traditions Have Roots in Ancient Earth Traditions

April 14, 2001

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

On April 14, 2001, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that many of the customs with which people celebrate Easter have their origins in "ancient earth traditions." Second-century Christian missionaries found that pagan springtime celebrations occurred at the same time of year as Christianity celebrated the resurrection of Christ. The missionaries "cleverly decided to spread their religious message slowly throughout the populations by allowing them to continue to celebrate ancient feasts, but in a Christian manner." The name "...

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National Pagan Summit Held to Bring Together Pagan Leaders

March 10, 2001

Source: The Pagan Educational Network

On March 10, 2001, Pagan Educational Network reported that "the first national Pagan Summit was held over the weekend of 2-4 March 2001 in Bloomington, Indiana. The goal of the Summit was to allow people who lead nationally-focused Pagan organizations to meet face-to-face and discuss issues facing the national Pagan movement... The results are posted on the updated Summit site at http://www.bloomington.in.us/~pen/summit.html."

Florida Pagan Protests Christian School Board Prayer

March 2, 2001

Source: St. Petersburg Times

http://www.sptimes.com/News/030201/Citrus/Sheriff_repudiates_pa.shtml

On March 2, 2001, the St. Petersburg Times reported that Inverness resident Charles Schrader "says he was harassed by deputies" after he spoke at a meeting of the School Board. Schrader "is the pagan who has previously interrupted School Board opening prayer with a Wiccan incantation and who has sharply criticized" the board chairwoman on religion...

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Pagans Respond to Faith-Based Initiatives and Discrimination in Letter to Bush

February 19, 2001

Source: No source given.

On February 19, 2001, a group of Pagans wrote an open statement to President Bush and other government officials in which they expressed concerns about Bush's new faith-based initiatives and about discriminatory comments made by individuals in government and from the media. Pagans are concerned they will be discriminated against in the awarding of government funds to faith-based initiatives. This letter is collecting signatures on the AREN website at http://www.aren.org.

Pagans Respond to Faith-Based Initiatives and Discrimination in Letter to Bush

February 19, 2001

Source: www.aren.org

An press release about the open letter outlined instances of discrimination against Pagans on the part of government officials and the media. For example, on "Mc Laughlin's One on One," Stephen Goldsmith, the Domestic Policy Advisor to the President, said that he did not "think that Wiccans would meet the standard of being humane providers of domestic violence shelters." Indiana Representative Souder stated on the House floor in April that "it is unlikely under President Bush that the witches would get funding."

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Health Risks May Be Associated with use of Mercury in Religious Practice

February 18, 2001

Source: The New York Times Magazine

On February 18, 2001, The New York Times Magazine reported that "comparatively minor sources of mercury contamination in New York's harbor may be a result of local spiritual and cultural practices...Thirty-five New York-area botanicas, or stores offering herbal products and religious items used in the Afro-Caribbean and Latin American traditions of Santeria, voodoo and Espiritismo, as well as revised Wiccan practices, reported selling 100 to 300 capsules per day."

Pagans Publish Online Magazine to Unite Pagans, Inform Public

February 18, 2001

Source: St. Petersburg Times

http://www.sptimes.com/News/021801/Pasco/Web_site_puts_face_on.shtml

On February 18, 2001, the St. Petersburg Times reported on Pagan Mike Rodgers who "helps publish an Internet magazine from Dade City that strives to unite pagans and spread understanding...Rodgers said he knows what it's like to be a pagan" in a country dominated by much larger religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Ancient Heritage Magazine...

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Paganism Growing, Becoming More Visible

February 18, 2001

Source: The News Tribune

On February 18, 2001, The News Tribune reported on the growing movement of Paganism in many parts of the country. Pagans "follow pre-Christian or pagan teachings...Members say they are drawn to the groups' reverence for the Earth, the worship of the Goddess and God, and an approach to spirituality that stresses personal responsibility and empowerment." Pagans still do not feel accepted by others as members of "a real religion...By some estimates, there are at least 200,000 pagans in the United States," but there are probably more....

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