Greece v. Galloway: An Interfaith Opportunity

SCOTUS-Seal

In the town of Greece, NY, sectarian prayer has been opening monthly municipal meetings since 1999.  Members of that town sued it because those prayers were overwhelmingly Christian.  On May 5th, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decided that case determining that sectarian prayer held prior to such meetings was not prohibited by the Constitution of the United States.Before I continue, let me be clear:  I am not a lawyer, constitutional or otherwise.  But I do like lemonade, and … [Read more...]

Three Things I Think

A surprised baby with mouth open

With a tip of the hat to John Beckett over at Under the Ancient Oaks here on the Pagan channel, I thought I'd share three somewhat disconnected things that happened to me recently.You mean sex is okay? Recently, an influential teacher in my life retired.  Actually, he had retired last year, but he was the drama teach for my high school and he remained for one more musical production.  To honor him, a whole bunch of us who had been in shows he put together over the last few decades t … [Read more...]

The Value of Sacred Language

codex regius

I've been married now for almost a year, and my wife and I have been together for nearly three. During that time I've gotten to know the local Jewish community fairly well, and (being the Rabbi's son-in-law) I've gotten a unique kind of “behind the scenes” look at how Synagogues and the general community function. One of the biggest internal cultural movements I've noticed in modern Judaism is this drive to reclaim Hebrew as a sacred language and encourage everyone in the community to learn it. T … [Read more...]

Speaking for Others: Part Two

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In Part One of this series, I talked about the difficulties and dilemmas in being asked to talk about a tradition or faith that is not your own.  This week in Part Two, I'd like to offer some suggestions to those who find themselves in this situation.I must imagine that the monists or soft polytheists who attend interfaith events and work with those of other faiths want to accurately convey the great diversity within Paganism.  I don't believe that anyone is out there honestly trying to m … [Read more...]

Asking the Right Question

A five-pointed star with a dollar sign centered within it.

From time to time, the curators over at the Patheos Public Square send out writing prompts to all of us. Usually, they don't fit well within the overall topic of interfaith that we tend to stick to here at the Wild Garden so I, personally, haven't used them.  This time, though, I think there is a connection to be made.For the public square, we were asked to answer a question:  has capitalism failed?Unfortunately, I don't think the world deals in absolutes, so the answer can only be "yes a … [Read more...]

Interfaith in the Pagan Community

Pagan Interfaith

We talk a lot about how we need to engage in interfaith work to bring peace and harmony among the religions of the world.  Generally when we are speaking to this we are talking about Pagans working with Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, etc.;  in other words, working with members of religions that do not fall under the Pagan umbrella.  All of this is important work that badly needs doing.  And it is vital that Pagan voices be heard in any discussions about how the religions of the world can … [Read more...]

How to Do Interfaith: Basics For Pagan Beginners, Part 1

photo10

Someone asked me recently, however did you gain acceptance in South Carolina as a Pagan interfaith leader?  Honestly, the story is not much of a mystery, but I’ve learned some things along the way which you may find useful.1.  Show up.  Patrick McCollum was asked once what is the key to successfully building Pagan community.  His answer was, “Show up.”  If you want to be part of something, you have to be there when the action happens.  That may mean visiting religious services, meetings, disc … [Read more...]

Speaking for Others: Part One

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In the recent discussions that have gone on in the Pagan community about 'Wiccanate privilege', a large number have mentioned interfaith gatherings.  Some have asked for more Heathens and devotional polytheists to come to the table, and others have expressed frustration that their views are being misrepresented by Pagans who tend towards a duotheistic or monist worldview.  Now, this brings us to an interesting question - is it okay to talk about the beliefs of others (even if they fall under y … [Read more...]


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