Pagan Chaplain Patrick McCollum on the Pew Forum Religion in Prisons Survey

[Yesterday, I posted some initial analysis and reaction to the new Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life's 50-state survey of prison chaplains. Today, I'd like to share with you the thoughts of Patrick McCollum. Patrick has been working as a Pagan chaplain and activist for well over twenty years. He was one of the founding members of the Lady Liberty League, and has been involved in numerous legal struggles involving modern Pagans. In 2008, he testified before the US Commission on Civil Rights on prisoner’s religious rights, saying he “found discrimination against minority faiths everywhere”and that the problem was “endemic.”]First, I’d like to start by saying that I am pleased that we ar … [Read more...]

What the New Pew Forum Survey Tells Us About Pagan Religions in U.S. Prisons

Yesterday the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released the findings of a 50-state survey of prison chaplains.  The survey, which was endorsed by the American Correctional Chaplains Association, interviewed 730 prison chaplains, and has a lot of interesting things to say about religion in the American prison system. At first glance, there are no major bombshell revelations to drive the news cycle, leading to initial headlines like "a lot of religion goes on behind bars." However, if you start digging into the data, especially the section on what chaplains think about the inmate's religious lives', there's a lot there that should be of concern to modern Pagans, particularly Pagans e … [Read more...]