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...]

Will Gay Marriage Mean More Religious Pluralism?

It is far too easy to quote the (largely Christian) opponents to New York's decision adopting same-sex marriage and use it to make some larger point. You've got the Catholic Bishop of Brooklyn advising his flock to shun lawmakers who voted for same-sex marriage, you've got the Family Research Council making some disturbing allusions about the Empire State Building, and you have presidential candidate Rep. Michelle Bachmann trying to be simultaneously for states rights and a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage (even Fox News said she was "threading a thin needle"). I could go on, and on, and on, and on. All the convenient haters saying all the convenient things. It's rare to hea … [Read more...]