Updates: Teaching Paganism, Passive Distribution, Library Filtering, and Project Conversion

Here are some updates on stories The Wild Hunt has reported on previously.Teaching Paganism in British Schools: On Sunday I deconstructed the sensationalist Daily Mail's assertions regarding the teaching of Paganism in British religious education courses, specifically in Cornwall. I pointed out that there is no hard-and-fast mandate requiring schools to insert Pagan religions into their curriculum, and that the RE advisory council is exactly that, advisory. Still, why let facts and reason get in the way of a good rant? That's seems to be the position of conservative Catholic columnist Christina Odone, who uses the story as a jumping-off point to rail against any who dare place … [Read more...]

Buncombe County Schools Passes New Religion Policy

Last night the Buncombe County School Board in North Carolina unanimously passed a policy regarding prayer, religious activities, and the distribution of religious materials by students in their schools. It was the culmination of months of activism that began when North Carolina Pagan Ginger Strivelli challenged her child’s school’s policy regarding the distribution of religious materials. Strivelli felt that the manner in which Gideon Bibles were made available violated the Establishment Clause, and ostracized non-Christian students who didn’t want to use a special break to obtain a Bible. Strivelli, along with local activist and Pagan leader Byron Ballard, and a growing coalition of local r … [Read more...]

“Religious Freedom” Laws, Inspirational Messages, and Religious Minorities

The idea of the United States as a pluralistic, secular, society where no single religious expression is enshrined has always gotten push-back, and experienced robust dissent over the years. To many, America is a "Christian" nation (sometimes a "Judeo-Christian" nation), and all others live here under their sufferance. The Rev. Dennis Terry's recent comments at a Rick Santorum presidential rally typify the more vituperative side of this particular sentiment. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2emBxDOY7g“I don’t care what the naysayers say. This nation was founded as a Christian nation. The god of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. There is only one God. There is only one Go … [Read more...]

Religious Freedom, Religious Exemptions, and the Responsibility of the Majority

Lets talk about religious freedom, shall we? It seems that the religious news feeds are consumed with the notion lately, all centered on coverage for birth control and emergency contraception. For those who haven't been following the controversy, it all stems from a new Department of Health and Human Services rule that would require employers to provide contraception in their health care plans. This new rule would apply to all employers, including schools and hospitals run by religious organizations, though churches and businesses that primarily hire people of their own faith were granted exemptions. This prompted a firestorm of controversy, particularly from Catholics, who claimed the new … [Read more...]