A Pagan Lawyer’s Take on Indiana’s “Religious Right to Discriminate Law”

There is a clear discriminatory intent behind Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. While “on its face” the statute is substantially similar to the 1993 federal RFRA, the intent behind the law could not be more different. The intent of Indiana’s RFPA is to discriminate against LGBTs, and as such, Indiana’s law violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guaranty of equal protection of the laws. [Read more…]

Church is no substitute for religion, Part 3: Why we need Pagan shrines not “temples”

It’s somewhat surprising, given the degree of theological and ritual innovation in the Pagan community, that we don’t think very far outside the box when it comes to places of worship. We Pagans might benefit from shifting from church/community center model to a shrine model of public religiosity. Here are 3 ways Pagans can offer the experience of “churchless religion” to people. [Read more…]

Church is no substitute for religion, Part 2: The Spirituality Gap

“Religion” is about symbol, myth, and ritual, while “church” is about community, morality/ethics, and ideology/politics. Here in the West, it seems we’ve gotten the church cart before the “horse” of religion. Potlucks and creeds are the outgrowth of religion, not the cause of it. [Read more…]

Church is no substitute for religion, Part 1: The Sunday Assembly and Religionless Church

The Sunday Assembly wants to be “all the best parts of church but without the religion”, but I think they’ve got it backwards. What I am longing for is not “church without religion”, but “religion without church”. And I don’t think it’s just me. In fact, I wonder if maybe the growing numbers of “Nones” aren’t looking for the same thing. [Read more…]

Bowing before the personified impersonal: Prayer for an atheist Pagan

Ever since leaving my Christian religion of origin, I have refused to kneel when I pray. This sign of submission still had power for me, even 15 years after I stopped believing in a God who demands submission. But last week, I was literally driven to my knees. [Read more…]

Wish upon Ostara: Why I wish Ostara was called something else

The year should turn the Wheel, not the other way around. The problem with many of the Neo-Pagan Sabbaths is that we start with a name, then work out what the day should mean from its etymology and history, and then try to associate it with the season — which is completely backwards. [Read more…]