Have We Forgotten How to Be Secular?

According to Jacques Berlinerblau, associate professor of Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University, more biblical verses have been invoked by presidents and presidential candidates in the past four years than they have in the previous two or three decades. Berlinerblau posits that our society may be forgetting how to be secular, or what "secularism" even means, and has written a new book entitled "How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom" in order to address the issue."Weary of religious conservatives urging “defense of marriage” and atheist polemicists decrying the crimes of religion? Sick of pundits who want only to recast American life in their own image? Americ … [Read more...]

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. Michael Lloyd's (excellent) new book "Bull of Heaven: The Mythic Life of Eddie Buczynski and the Rise of the New York Pagan"  recently celebrated its publication in Manhattan, and the New York Times covered it for their City Room blog. Quote: "So many friends and followers of Mr. Buczynski turned out, that the evening became one of the largest Wiccan summits in New York in years. “It’s a blessing of the gods,” said Michael Lloyd [...] His was just one of many invocations … [Read more...]

Quick Note on Missouri’s ‘Right-to-Pray’ Amendment

In elections held yesterday, Missouri overwhelmingly passed a state constitutional amendment that claims to affirm their religious rights, reinforces a student's "right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in their schools," and forces schools to post the Bill of Rights in schools. However, critics of the amendment pointed out that the ballot language doesn't tell the whole story. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oF8Ni6MSTQ"The ballot did not mention language in the amendment allowing students to refuse to participate in school assignments that violate religious beliefs, or ensuring elected officials the right to pray on government property. "This was misleading in its presentation an … [Read more...]

Religious Freedom: Once More, With Feeling

Today, a federal judge in Nebraska threw out a lawsuit against the Obama Administration's proposed rules on contraception coverage. The reason was two-fold: some of the plaintiffs lacked standing because they are already exempted from the rule, and the law hasn't been implemented yet, so there's no proof that it would actually infringe on the religious freedom of institutions that oppose contraception. "...although the Rule that lies at the heart of the plaintiffs’ complaint establishes a definitive, final definition of "religious employer," ... [it] is currently undergoing a process of amendment to accommodate these organizations. The plaintiffs face no direct and immediate harm, and one ca … [Read more...]