“No School is Being Told to Teach About Paganism” in Cornwall

Last week I deconstructed the Daily Mail’s sensationalist 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. This didn't stop conservative Catholic columnist Christina Odone from flying off the rails, using the story as a jumping-off point to rail against any who dare place non-Christian faiths on equal ground with Christianity. “God, Gaia, whatever: school children are already as familiar with the solstice as with the sacraments. In pockets of Cornwall, … [Read more...]

Teaching Paganism in British Schools?

Muck-raking (and hugely successful) British tabloid The Daily Mail reports on the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education's (SACRE) syllabus for schools in Cornwall, saying that it encourages the teaching of modern Paganism alongside other religions (sorry, I still don't link directly to them)."Cornwall Council has told its schools that pagan beliefs, which include witchcraft, druidism and the worship of ancient gods such as Thor, should be taught alongside Christianity, Islam and Judaism, the Daily Mail reported. The requirements are spelled out in an agreed syllabus drawn up by Cornwall's RE advisory group. It says that from the age of five, children should begin learning … [Read more...]

What Does The Daily Mail’s Internet Success Mean for Pagans?

British tabloid The Daily Mail's website has become the most-visited newspaper site in the world, surpassing The New York Times (though the Times disputes those numbers). Analyzing the rise of the Mail Online, Will Oremus at Slate.com notes that the site drifts away from the xenophobic nativism of its print version to focus on anything that will generate more hits. "This is not news, really. It’s click bait, the stuff pageviews are made of. There’s no parochialism, no xenophobia, no mock outrage, and almost no politics—nothing that could limit the potential audience for these pieces, which is, in short, the entire English-speaking online world." The Mail's online publisher, Marin Clarke, at … [Read more...]