Apr 232011
 

It seems a link to our Comment Policy has gone missing from the header of this blog, so I would just like to take this opportunity to refresh everyone’s memories about the role of civility and hospitality here at Pagan+Politics.

Pagan+Politics welcomes your feedback, insight, and commentary. Because this site wants to foster an atmosphere that is welcoming to everyone, please take note of our comment policy.

1. Please keep discussions civil. A civil discussion is free of personal attacks, rudeness, and aggressive behaviors that lead to conflict. We realize that you are human, so minor and isolated incidents of incivility will generally be tolerated so long as a pattern of incivility does not emerge.

2. Debate the idea(s), not the person. As noted above, personal attacks aren’t welcome. Avoid insulting “cute” nicknames for political parties and famous personages that get thrown around the rest of the political blogosphere.

3. Comments that are libelous, defamatory, pornographic, harassing, threatening, or hateful (racially, ethnically, or religiously) will be deleted without debate.

4. A pattern of incivility, hostility and harassment towards the writers or other readers, or unwillingness to respect the rules laid out here, will result in a permanent ban from this site.

5. Unless specifically called for, do not post advertisements for your business/school/site/etsy shop in the comments.

This site is our “hall”, and we expect guests to Pagan+Politics to abide by the concept of hospitality. A sacred concept found throughout the ancient pagan world. Spirited discourse, debate, and even vehement disagreement, is fine, but as guests enjoying your stay here, we ask you to remember that hospitality is reciprocal. In return for us assuming your good intentions, and providing a sounding-board on important issues, we ask for to you abide by our guidelines.

Some readers have expressed anger or confusion about what constitutes incivility versus criticism. So I thought I would help the conversation by listing a few examples:

Examples of Criticism:

  • “Your point about x isn’t supported by your arguments y and z. Argument y actually suggests something closer to a, especially when considered in light of evidence b and c.”
  • “In my experience, your point x looks good in theory, but in practice I’ve noticed a, b and c tend to lead to unintended consequences.”
  • “If you support position x, what is your opinion of ideas y and z? Don’t x, y and z all come from a similar harmful perspective w?”

Examples of Incivility:

  • “This post is stupid and you are stupid for having written it.”
  • “Other Reader X is obviously an idiot with no grasp of politics or reality.”
  • “If you don’t allow me to graffiti the comment threads with however much incivility or hostility I want, then you are a coward and a hypocrite.”

Comments that fall into the above category of incivility (or which begin with this type of incivility as a preface for a legitimate criticism) will be removed from the comment thread.

Mar 242011
 

American troops are now committed to more fighting in the Middle East, for good or ill; and while the UN resolution casts this conflict as one between Libyan civilians and their illegitimate government (i.e. Gaddafi), it might be more accurate to see it as part of the millennia-long struggle between tribes and states — a struggle that states have been slowly, steadily winning. Is that a good thing?

Modern pagans today often look favorably on tribal affiliations. Tribes were central to human life throughout the world before nation states began coming into prominence several thousand years ago, and if you’re a pagan who believes in the religion of your ancestors, the tribe has to be central to your worldview. The tribe was the locus of the gods, the kinship associations and loyalties, the language, the music and culture, the cuisine, who you could marry and who you could not, and so on. Re-creating something so all-pervasive is not a simple thing. What is the place of the tribe in the modern world? What kind of authority should it hold? What happens, for example, if tribal law conflicts with the law of the state?

This is not an academic question. Most governments take a dim view of any kind of organized power structure that might compete with them, and they take steps to make sure that they are the final authority. Native American tribes, for example, have to be officially recognized by the US government and work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. If they don’t, then they have no legal authority at all — they do not have control over internal tribal affairs of law and punishment or cultural activities or tribal property, they are ineligible for federal assistance, and so on. In some tribes, there are two competing authorities: a tribal authority recognized by the BIA, and a “shadow” tribal government, often composed of traditional elders, working to preserve some semblance of self-determination and autonomy. Of course, divided tribal loyalties of this sort ultimately work to the advantage of state authority.

While it might be tempting to put all states in the “bad guy” role — playing the Goliath to the tribal Davids — the situation is, of course, more complex than that. Libya is an interesting case of a relatively new state in which tribal affiliations and authorities are still quite strong. There are at least 140 different tribes and clans in Libya, and at least 30 that are cohesive enough to have a significant power base in the country. Muammar al-Gaddafi (his name, “Gaddafi”, comes from his tribal affiliation) built his power on the tribes that controlled the military and state security and police forces in the late 1960′s. Although a lot of his official rhetoric emphasizes Libyan unity and downplays tribal affiliations, in fact he relies on tribal loyalties and infighting to maintain his position. Tribes that are loyal to him are awarded privileges and choice government positions; those that oppose him are punished. The powerful Magariha tribe, for example, controls a lot of the military, and has been loyal to him for a long time. But if it were to change sides, Gaddafi would be in trouble quickly.

Gaddafi’s state apparatus is in no position to “recognize” tribes, or control their internal affairs as the US does with Native Americans. Tribes in Libya are independent entities, and they provide a lot of the grease that oils the wheels of society. Just as joining certain fraternities at American universities can help you along in a career in law or politics, being part of certain tribes in Libya gives you access to jobs, preferred treatment or services, perks, connections, and so on.

Arguably, this strong tribal structure is a big reason why peaceful revolution failed in Libya. In neighboring Egypt, where tribal affiliations are weak, the army was loath to fire on peaceful protestors; they were more loyal to Egypt than to Hosni Mubarak. But in Libya, many people in the military are more loyal to their tribe than to Libya or Gaddafi. The soldiers may not like Gaddafi much, but it is not surprising that many chose tribal loyalty over nonviolence (especially since most of the civilian protestors weren’t part of their tribe anyway).

But interestingly, among the rebels based now in Benghazi, the tribal affiliations actually appear to be weakening. Instead of organizing themselves by tribes and creating a patchwork of rebellious regions, they have created a coalition of corporate, tribal, and international interests, adopted pan-Libyan language, and are apparently working towards a statist, non-tribal alternative to Gaddafi.

So if Gaddafi loses, the Libya that emerges will be more centralized, and less dependent on tribal authority and identity. But if Gaddafi wins, he will have solidified his power base without relying on the tribes; so, again, the tribes lose. In Libya, it is not a question of whether the people will be free, but whether they will be ruled by a yet-to-be-determined mix of corporate, oil, tribal, and international interests, or by Gaddafi. Either way, the tribes are weakened, and the state wins again.

If tribes become footballs in political games, if they become wedges that powerful interests can use to drive people apart, if they become cliques, then you begin to skirt dangerously close to separate-but-equal facilities, racial profiling, and sectarian violence. The human heart is pulled in several directions — toward universal brotherhood, towards family and kinship loyalty, towards peace, towards order, towards prosperity. These impulses are all noble in and of themselves, but when they come into conflict, what is the best path forward? It is not clear, to me at least, the best role for a tribe to play in the modern world, with so many strong corporate and state powers ready to use any excuse to divide and conquer the loyalties of the people.

Mar 182011
 

Back when Pagan + Politics got started, I was looking forward to articles that discussed the interplay between religious and political convictions from a Pagan perspective. There have been a few such articles, and I have enjoyed them greatly. There have also been articles that focus on news important to Pagans, such as Ryan Smith’s laudable series of exposés on the Religious Right.

I must admit, though, that religion is a primary topic of interest to me, while politics is, at best, secondary. Thus, when it comes to discussions of religion vs. discussions of politics, religion will have the lion’s share of my interest. I think the same must be true of some of the readership here, based on the frequency of the comments I read asking: “What does this article have to do with Pagans specifically?”

I think this is a pertinent question. As such, I would like to take this opportunity to step back from the discussion of specific newsworthy items for a moment, and to broaden the focus of our conversations a bit. What I would like to hear from the readership (including the other contributors to P+P) about are your thoughts on the relationship between your religious stances and your political views.

To use myself as an example: Religion is primary among my concerns, and my political views are, perforce, shaped by my religious views, and not vice versa. As a Reconstructionist of a certain stripe, I have had to spend time examining the worldview I started with when I joined my particular tradition, and examining the origins of the trends of thought that shaped that worldview. I did this with the intention of adopting the worldview, the “mental culture,” so to speak, of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples. To the extent that I have succeeded, I have also succeeded in changing quite a bit of my outlook on the world, on events, and on people in general. This has necessarily changed my political views from the moderate leftism of my late teens to something that seems to exist outside of the Left-Right dichotomy, or even the diamond-diagram preferred by Libertarians.

What about all of you? Is religion your primary focus, or is politics? Do your religious views affect your political views, or the other way around, or both, or neither? What are the sources of your religious and/or political views? I look forward to reading your comments.

 Posted by at 11:40 am
Feb 252011
 

…and probably none of yours.

Like many of you, I have been following the budget and union event in Wisconsin.  I’ve probably been following for longer than you because I live next door and this issue has been in the news for years here.  Yes, I have some opinions on the matter.  No, I don’t care to share most of them.  In fact, if it weren’t for my husband pushing me to write something about this you wouldn’t be reading this blog post.  So I’ll voice these two thoughts:  I find it unethical to try to affect the outcome of events in a state that I don’t pay taxes in, yet I see what is happening there as a serious threat to our form of government.  And both of these opinions have been formed by my religious beliefs.

Over my years as a Hellenic Polytheist I’ve become more and more libertarian in my political leanings.  I think that is a natural result of delving into both the ethical backbone of the religion and studying that in the context of the culture if was practiced in.  The Greek city-states were autonomous and were very different from one another.  When they weren’t waging war on one another they stayed out of each others business and let each city govern as it saw fit.  The city-states joined together to form defense leagues to repel foreign invaders and they cooperated for religious festivals.  This was a very early form of Federalism, which is a core concept in US libertarianism.  It had it’s weaknesses, but many of those weaknesses are minimized and the strengths of freedom and diversity are increased in modern Federalism.  Add to this the Delphic Maxim of ‘When you are a stranger, act like it’ – meaning that when you are outside of your home or city-state you should be act like a polite guest.  Don’t act like your way is the best and everyone should conform to you.

All of this leads me to be very uncomfortable with people traveling to Wisconsin to join in protests – on either side of this issue.   The citizens of Wisconsin are the ones who should be free to decide what their future should be as they are the ones who will live that future.  They are the ones who pay the taxes, union dues, and have children in the schools.  The protestors from outside the state will hop back on their buses and go home and that will be that for them.  I also wonder why people from outside the state, who don’t know or live with the complexities of the situation on a daily basis, feel compelled tell Wisconsinites what to do.  Are we smarter than the citizens of that state?  Do we not think that they are capable of deciding important issues like this?  When I enter another state or another person’s home I am very conscious of the fact that I am a guest and I try to act like one.  I have made a conscious decision in my life to live out the ethics of my religion in all aspects of my life and I honor the best ideals that my religion has brought forward into modern times.

There is one thing happening in Wisconsin that I will speak about – the Democrat Senators who have fled the state to stop the government from being able to function. On important issues like budget, a quorum of Senators must be in session to allow a vote to take place.  By fleeing the state, these Democrat Senators ensure that a quorum cannot be achieved.  Although I won’t join in the efforts to recall those Senators as I am not a voter in their districts, I see their actions as a threat to our form of government – representational democracy.  Another gift of ancient Athens and Rome which the USA has refined under the blessings of the Patron Goddess of our country, Columbia.

While many focus on elections as the heart of our republic, the true test of our form of government comes after the election. If the losing party recognize their loss and continues to participate, then representative democracy works. When the losing side refuses to participate and boycotts governance, as is happening in Wisconsin, then our form of government STOPS WORKING.  Our form of government rests on two things – free and open elections by an informed populace and the willingness of minority parties to continue to participate in governing.

It’s no fun to be in the minority, to be in the party that loses heavily in an election.  The GOP experienced that in our Federal government and had to stand by as laws were passed that they vehemently opposed.  The GOP didn’t leave the country, though. They complained, they grandstanded, but they participated in governance.  On Bills they opposed, they voted against the Bill and then they used that vote as part of their platform in the next election.

In Wisconsin, the budget crisis and public unions were a large part of the political discussion during the last election.  Republican ad Democrat candidates put forth their ideas on how to deal with the crisis and the voters cast their ballots.  In the last election they did something extremely unusual, especially for Wisconsin.  They voted in a Republican House, Senate, and Governor. Democrats became the minority.  But instead of doing their duty, upholding their sworn and sacred oath, they fled the state.  And that is a very dangerous thing for them to have done.  When elected officials do things like skip the state to shut down the government because you lost the last election, it puts our form of government in danger. It thwarts the will of the voters, it breaks the bonds of oaths, and it puts us out of balance with Columbia – which can bring Nemesis into the picture.  If it can’t be corrected, we could slip further into inbalance with the scales swinging wildly back and forth.  After all, don’t you think that when the Democrats are back in power, the other Republicans could use the same tactics?  What if this becomes more normal?

I’ll keep watching events in Wisconsin, but this is about as involved as I will get in the discussion.  And you certainly won’t see me crossing the border to join in the protests.

 Posted by at 10:13 am
Feb 082011
 

Back in August of last year, Jason Pitzl-Waters wrote an article titled Building a Pagan News Ecosphere (and why that’s important) on the Wild Hunt.  He wrote it to preface launching the local Pagan Newswire Collective bureaus, of which there are now eight and soon to be nine, in addition to the PNC editorial blogs like the one you are reading now. He said his reasons for wanting to create local news bureaus, as opposed to just editorial outlets, were two-fold , ” if modern Pagans want to be informed about important events within their communities and possibly influence the narrative of stories that do reach traditional media outlets, we have to do it ourselves.”

Who knew, back in August, that Jason’s ambitious (and crazy) idea may help save a life?  It’s amazing the ripples a cast stone can produce.

Ken Ra at the Gradfathering ceremony at Sacred Harvest Festival, 2010

In addition to writing for Pagan+politics I am also one of two editors for the PNC-Minnesota bureau, Nels Linde being the other.  We have a Webmistress, a photojournalist, and a few writers.  One of the first events we covered was the Sacred Harvest Festival.  There was so much to cover and we published a number of stories, one them an article by Nels about the Grandfathering of an Elder in our community, Ken Ra.

.

.

Over a hundred people gathered on Saturday Aug 14th at Sacred Harvest Festival to honor Ken Ra and his years of passing knowledge.

The ceremony continued with a procession of the scores of Ken’s symbolic children, Grand children, and Great Grand children.   Nearly each person spoke words of thanks, praise, and recognition; some loudly and some with intimacy. Among groups represented were: The Coven of the Standing Stones, Iris Glenn, Iris Dawn, Lodge Yggdrasil,Circle of Phoenix, Shades of Gray, Elemental Synergy, Circle of Dragons, and Temple of Eros.

Besides his rich teaching legacy, Ken was recognized for his strong support of Pagan civil rights and the environment, with his hands, words, and dollars.

The Grandfathering was bittersweet as the community was aware that Ken was very ill and fighting for his life.  He was in desperate need of a kidney transplant and the average wait for a kidney appeared to be longer than Ken could wait.  Last October, JRob Zetelumen, a writer for PNC-Minnesota and admin for the Twin City Pagans Yahoo! list, wrote an article for PNC-Minnesota detailing Ken’s need for a donor to come forward.

After 42 years of practicing, Ken Ra has trained about 80 Wiccans, and there are about 300 of his lineage. He has continued to be a pillar of the community through personal adversity. Ken Ra has been a major player in making this one of the greatest Pagan communities in the world. To this day, despite his health problems, he continues to teach four classes a week; three in Wicca and one in Magesmithing, all are free.

Now, Ken Ra needs a new kidney, and you can help. Ken has signed on with the Paired Kidney Program through Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Kidney Transplant Unit. If he can get someone to donate a kidney, (whether it’s a match for him or not) then someone else in the program can get him a kidney. This will drastically reduce the wait, which is usually between 3 to 5 years. Ken needs a kidney sooner than that.

The article explained how the program worked and also talked about the risks involved in donating a kidney.  After that, Ken waited and hoped.  Hoped the article would be read or passed on to just the right person.  And it was.

On Monday, JRob Zetelumen of PNC-Minnesota was able to print a fantastic update to the story:  Ken Ra is receiving a kidney transplant on February 14th.  The new kidney is being donated by a local Pagan who wishes to remain anonymous. Ken wrote the following letter and asked that it be printed on our PNC bureau site and I’ve included it here:

“Two years ago, I had kidney failure and the government did not get me on disability in any reasonable amount of time. The Minneapolis Pagan community came together and we raised nearly five thousand dollars. At Sacred Harvest Fest, I was honored with a Grandfathering. Mostly from people who hardly knew of me but had been taught by people who had been taught by me. The event has taken me a long time to accept. It was a great deal more than I had ever expected.

“We had put out that I needed a kidney donor through JRob and PNC- Minnesota. To our great, surprise one came forward, and she is willing to risk ending up on dialysis like me, to get me out of it. There are coincidences galore like we share the same blood type and live in walking distance of each other. She is also three blocks from one of our Elders Bret.F. My Acupuncturist at Sacred Paths Center offered her free treatment to help with her pre operative procedures. One of the team at Abbot Hospital is a close friend with an old friend of ours Gary L.

“Many, Many people have shown an interest in what is happening with me. For me the first law of Wicca is that we take care of our own. I have been forcibly made aware that I am not just a giver, but must accept being one who has been given a gift as great as life itself from a community that is truly coming into its own.”

Yes, this is great news for Ken Ra.  And yes, this is a story that illuminates the basic good nature of people and their willingness to help those in need.  But it also illustrates why it is important to build a Pagan News Ecosphere, one which focuses on covering local news within our religious community.  What happens within our communities is important and newsworthy and needs to be treated that way.  Without our own journalism, we miss newsworthy events that usually aren’t covered by mainstream media, and we miss opportunities to positively impact and interact within the community in which we live.

Local news stories won’t always (possibly) save a life, but they have affected our community in many other ways.  They let others know about events and rituals to attend.  They have drawn people together.  Sometimes they bring controversy to light so the facts can be known and the issue can be resolved openly.  They have also changed how non-Pagans view Pagans.  How dangerous can people be who host a potluck?  They present a story from a Pagan point of view and that is very needed.

Earlier I noted there are eight (and soon to be nine) local bureaus of the Pagan Newswire Collective up and running.  Is there one in your community?  Would you like to help out?  Then contact your bureau, because I can tell you from experience, we need more help!  If there isn’t one in your area, can you get two other people together and form a bureau? You’ll get help in getting started, don’t worry.  If you have questions, they will be answered.

Also – Jason will be giving a talk at PantheaCon about PNC and how to get involved. I’ll be there, Nels Linde will be there, and whole bunch of other PNC folks will be attending – so come up and talk to us.  Find out more.  Help build a Pagan News Ecosphere.  We need it and it IS important.

Nov 032010
 

I have been with the project since the beginning, one of the few of the original bloggers who is still regularly contributing. I believe wholeheartedly in the mission of P+p – to provide a place for Pagans to talk about how our ethics and beliefs have shaped our political journey and to engage in civil discussions.

Even though I support that idea 100% I’ve had a time or two where I should have worded a comment differently and in those cases I have apologized. I’m passionate about politics so I realize how easy it can be to allow passion to give way to thoughtlessness for your fellow. I empathize.

This brings me to a not-so-gentle reminder. Over the past few weeks the comments have been getting out of control. This makes Pagan+politics a much less enjoyable place to have a conversation. We don’t enjoy editing or deleting comments and We certainly don’t enjoy doing so repeatedly for the exact same Comment Policy violations. If you feel a blogger has violated the Comment Policy, please contact Jason and let him address it.

So perhaps a fresh look at the Comment Policy will help?

Pagan+Politics welcomes your feedback, insight, and commentary. Because this site wants to foster an atmosphere that is welcoming to everyone, please take note of our comment policy.

1. Please keep discussions civil. A civil discussion is free of personal attacks, rudeness, and aggressive behaviors that lead to conflict. We realize that you are human, so minor and isolated incidents of incivility will generally be tolerated so long as a pattern of incivility does not emerge.

2. Debate the idea(s), not the person. As noted above, personal attacks aren’t welcome. Avoid insulting “cute” nicknames for political parties and famous personages that get thrown around the rest of the political blogosphere.

3. Comments that are libelous, defamatory, pornographic, harassing, threatening, or hateful (racially, ethnically, or religiously) will be deleted without debate.

4. A pattern of incivility, hostility and harassment towards other readers, or unwillingness to respect the rules laid out here, will result in a permanent ban from this site.

5. Unless specifically called for, do not post advertisements for your business/school/site/etsy shop in the comments.

This site is our “hall”, and we expect guests to Pagan+Politics to abide by the concept of hospitality. A sacred concept found throughout the ancient pagan world. Spirited discourse, debate, and even vehement disagreement, is fine, but as guests enjoying your stay here, we ask you to remember that hospitality is reciprocal. In return for us assuming your good intentions, and providing a sounding-board on important issues, we ask for to you abide by our guidelines.

 Posted by at 4:50 am
Sep 162010
 

This is a quick note to let people know about a new personal policy of mine that is effective from today forward: Any threatening emails sent to me will now be given to the police and I will file a report.

Previous to this, I was simply deleting emails and not mentioning them. I didn’t want to give the people doing this the attention they seem to be seeking. I also didn’t want to alarm the (still closeted) Right-leaning Pagans who read this blog project and who are starting to consider letting their fellow Pagans know that they exist. Because we do exist and we should be able to voice politically conservative views without fearing ostracism and threats from our own community. So for those readers who are on the Right, speak up. Make your voice heard. You are not as much of a minority within Paganism as you may think.

I believe that most of the threats I had received are from people who have no intention of actually harming me or my family. But the level and scope have risen this past week to where I feel I can’t continue to ignore them anymore. The election is drawing near, the Tea Party isn’t going away and is making its impact felt, and passions are running a bit high. I understand that. Elections are serious. But so is emailing threats towards someone to intimidate them into silence. It’s not funny and it’s not a prank.

Hopefully this new personal policy of mine will cut down on the email “pranksters.”

 Posted by at 7:40 am
May 312010
 

Hey folks, busy weekend. I am the newly elected commander for my American Legion Post. Here is the 20 + year old reading that we do at each county cemetery where a veteran is buried. I would appreciate any constructive commentary. Such as, in the first line, maybe “It’s faith in it’s Gods”???  I will hold this post for several years and am interested in making the “blessing” more encompassing.

“I believe in America. I believe it became great because of it’s faith in God, it’s hope for independence, and it’s love of freedom. I am grateful for America’s glorious past; I am awed by it’s unbelievable present; I am confident of it’s limitless future. I am not ashamed to take my hat off to stand at attention when Old Glory passes by. I do not apologize for the lump in my throat when I repeat the Pledge of Allegience. I am not embarrassed by the tears in my eyes when I hear the Star Spangled Banner. Like millions of Americans, I want a free choice, not a free handout. I prefer an opportunity to prove my abilities on the job rather than a license to demonstrate my frustrations on the street. I am an old-fashioned American with a new-found determination to do my part to make democracy work. Comrades, this day is sacred with the almost visible presence of those who have gone before us. We honor the memory of those who gave their lives in the service of our country, and of those others who have dropped their burdens by the wayside of life, and have gone to their eternal rest. May the ceremonies of today deepen your reverence for our dead. Let us renew our pledge of loyalty to our country and it’s flag. Let us resolve by word and deed to emphasize the privilege and duty of patriotism. Again our nation has assembled to honor it’s heroic dead. A thousand battles of land and sea and air echo the glory of their deeds. Under the quiet sod or beneath the murmering waves, their bodies sleep in peace, but in the destinies of men, their souls go marching on. Because of them, our lives are free. Because of them, our nation lives. All who stand with us today, will you not consecrate yourselves with us to emulate their sacred service, that those who rest in heroes’ graves may not have died in vain.”

Thanks to all the veterans out there, looking forward to your input.

May 202010
 

If you haven’t already done so, please take a look at Jason’s Wild Hunt blog entry Tarot Problems from 17 May.

Summary:

  • women hired to read Tarot for entertainment for a corporate function
  • at the function, somebody complains on religious grounds
  • she was, essentially, bounced

Before you start howling about freedom of religion, let me throw in a different way to look and approach the problem, and then see what you’all have to say.

Why do we allow Tarot to be labeled for ‘entertainment purposes only’? I know many of the fundie statutes try to outlaw it, and it’s gotten around by labeling it ‘for entertainment purposes only’, but why would a real practitioner agree to come in for ‘entertainment purposes only’?

Would you hire a priest to come in and perform a Mass for ‘entertainment purposes’? A rabbi? You might have a church choir come in and sing for entertainment, but would you allow a ritual that touches the divine to be profaned by lowering it to be pandered for ‘entertainment purposes’?

Perhaps if, instead, she had pushed back and pointed out (in advance) that divination is a part of her religion, and is something she is willing to share with others as part of sharing her religion, there might have been a different outcome (or the company might have run screaming in the first place, but that’s a different discussion). At that point it’s ‘my religion versus your religion’, which would have possibly generated a much different response from the corporation based on the complaint.

And if she did agree to come in as hired, for pay for ‘entertainment purposes only’, then on what grounds can we claim any sort of religious discrimination? If, as Jason’s blog states “One of the assistant managers has promised that she’ll be paid, as initially agreed”, then there is no contractual default (IANAL).

So what’s your opinion? Do we loose moral (not to mention legal) high ground if we allow Tarot to be labeled as merely ‘for entertainment purposes only’? Does the use of divination as a parlor trick lessen its impact as a real divination tool as viewed by the general public? And, if so, then what to do with the legitimate readers who aren’t Pagan?