Polygamy Decriminalization and Polyamorous Pagans

Our modern society is both fascinated and repulsed by the practice of polygamy (multiple-partner marriages), particularly the practices of fundamentalist Mormons, who allow polygyny (one husband, many wives), and who have been given both sympathetic (Big Love, Sister Wives) and critical (any number of documentaries and news reports) treatment by mainstream media. While the custom of monogamy has been called "ridiculous" by some, and perhaps even unnatural by others, non-monogamous relationships have been generally been portrayed as either lurid fantasy, inherently abusive, or yet another step on a slippery slope towards cultural ruin (particularly within the context of the same-sex marriage d … [Read more...]

Are the Prayers of a Metaphysicist, a Sikh, and a Muslim Enough?

Just as legal questions over the Frederick County Commissioners opening invocations policy, initially dubbed a “Wiccan-proof prayer policy,” seemed to be settled, a new issue involving prayer before a government body (and religious minorities) is intensifying. This time Lancaster, California's voter-approved invocations policy, which I covered last year, has withstood its first legal challenge. Plaintiffs have failed to establish that the Policy has been used for an improper purpose or is otherwise unconstitutional. Volunteers of numerous faiths are invited to and have given invocations before City Council meetings, and the selection process does not discriminate against any faith. You can … [Read more...]

Polytheist Prayers Now Welcome in Frederick County

Back in May I wrote an article looking at the issue of opening invocations at various government bodies. At the center of that piece was discussion of a recently enacted policy in Maryland by the Frederick County Commissioners. The new policy was modeled on the one adopted by the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors in Virginia after they successfully survived a legal challenge by Wiccan priestess Cynthia Simpson. That policy, and the Frederick County Commissioners' new policy, called for nonsectarian prayers, but only from members of established monotheistic faiths. “Board members voted 3-to-2 on Thursday to invite religious leaders to attend their meetings to invoke “divine guidance” f … [Read more...]

Americanizing Hinduism and other Pagan News of Note

Top Story: The CNN Belief Blog has a story about Hinduism in America, and how some younger Hindus are trying to "forge a distinctly American Hindu identity that’s more tightly woven into the national fabric."“Our parents had to build everything from scratch to make a united Hindu community in this country,” said Tejas N. Dave, 17, a high school junior who volunteers with a project bringing yoga to unprivileged Americans. “Now we’re trying to reintegrate it back into society,” he said, “to make people realize that Hinduism is a religion and a way of life and a philosophy that’s not too different from what a lot of others believe. We’re all trying to make a better society.” Some young H … [Read more...]


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