Interfaith as a Pagan: Assumptions

After a brief hiatus, we return this week to my series discussing interfaith activities as a Pagan.  If you've missed the earlier articles, part one was an introduction to the topic while in the second part I discussed how organizers often frame an event within a monotheist default and how this can become an opportunity for those that don't fit the mold.  Today, I want to discuss the most common assumptions I face when I engage those unfamiliar with Paganism.We all make assumptions.  It … [Read more...]

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Twixt the Darkness and the Light

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb45/TN_Lark/British%20and%20Irish%20Isles%20-%202009/Flower3-Tremso-2009.jpgFor thousands of years we have marked the turning of the seasons, the progression of light to dark and back again. As with our ancestors and all that live on this planet we attune ourselves to this endless cycle and seek to find meaning in this gift of life. We now balance on the cusp of the Spring Equinox, moving again from darkness into the light and the promise of life. Here … [Read more...]

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Stirring it up: Interfaith News from SC

DSCN2871

So the interfaith panel at a local American Baptist college went well, even though a student introduced me to the auditorium as the director of Cherry Hill Cemetery! One member of the panel, a Baptist minister, was clearly feeling a bit uptight, but he was polite. The facilitator, a prominent member of our city theater community and much-loved for his portrayal of Frankenfurter in many productions of Rocky Horror Picture Show, put folks on the spot by asking about sexuality. Those are the times … [Read more...]

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Interfaith is a Two-way Street

This really happened to my friend. From Shutterstock

Safaa told us that, in her native language, she could tell us so much more about what Women of Faith means to her, but what she does say is perfectly clear. "This group is my life." Members of our local Islamic Center continue to be threatened, but when she's with us, she feels safe. We are safety. She tells us about the death threats and that it doesn't make any sense to her because she's been here since 1982. Her children were born and raised here. This is her home. Understandably, she's … [Read more...]

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Interfaith as a Pagan: Un-quo the Status

Still Image from The Craft Columbia Pictures, 1996

In my last post, I introduced a series on my experiences as an Interfaith Pagan.  Today, that series continues.Let's be honest with each other for a moment:  we've all probably seen it.  I know Pagans who weren't even born in 1996 who've still seen The Craft.  I remember watching it on premium cable while I was in high school and I'm not ashamed to admit ... okay maybe I'm a little ashamed to admit ... that I own it on VHS, DVD, and I have the soundtrack.But, in case you're unfamiliar (an … [Read more...]

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To Those Who Say Interfaith is a Waste of Time

When I hear many people talk about “interfaith” work it seems that their understanding of the topic is confined to the idea that it involves trying to teach each other about our different religious beliefs in hopes that we can convince each other that we aren’t strange and scary. It is this limited understanding which, I believe, leads to the sort of comments I frequently hear from Pagans and others that interfaith work is a waste of time and effort since we will never change peoples’ opinions o … [Read more...]

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Interfaith as a Pagan: an Introduction

a Venn diagram showing intersections between circles labeld with a Christian cross, a Jewish start, and the Islamic crescent

A lot of interfaith events are structured like the image to the right.  Their goal is to find points of intersection, i.e. common ground, between the world's largest monotheistic faiths.  Let me be clear:  such an event is 100% interfaith and the world would stand to benefit from more dialog between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.Here's a question, though:  what are the top five world religious in terms of population?If your guess was (essentially) Christianity, Judaism, and Islam plus … [Read more...]

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Interfaith Harmony Month Notes

PanelHolliAmarjitsmaller

This is the busiest time of the year for Interfaith Partners of South Carolina.  The governor made her proclamation for the third year in a row naming January S.C. Interfaith Harmony Month.  Then the first full week of February is World Interfaith Harmony Week, a project of the United Nations.  Here in S.C., we have a busy calendar of all kinds of events.  I have attended sabbath prayers at a synagogue, been present for Muslim prayers, participated in a multifaith panel held in the gallery of an … [Read more...]

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