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."
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 "...
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.
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
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."
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 "...
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
On March 7, 2001, The Detroit News reported on the suicide of twelve-year-old Tempest Smith in Lincoln Park, Michigan. The article suggested that she might have been sent over the edge by "constant ridicule by peers." In part, "they teased her because she read books about Wicca, a pagan religion often associated with witchcraft."
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
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.
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."
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."
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...
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....