A Wiccan priestess and theologian was recently denied clergy status in the State of Virginia (no surprise to anyone familiar with VA’s backward, narrow-minded, uber-Christian attitudes). As she points out in her own post about this matter, this type of religious discrimination has a farther reach than simply determining who may perform weddings. This level of discrimination, the setting of arbitrary requirements that blatantly favor Christians, the exclusion of our clergy from the right to perform weddings, visit the sick, perform funerals, maintain confidentiality in client counseling, isn’t going to stop until we stop it.
A similar case as this occurred in NYC roughly twenty years ago and it took the ACLU and a court case to make the registry office see sense.
This is about more than one woman’s right to be recognized as clergy in her county – a recognition she already has through her congregation. This is about breaking the back of the Christian right in this country. Until that latter happens, none of us are really free. And the way to see that happen is to fight like rabid pit pulls every time small-minded people pull something like this.
I encourage everyone reading this to go to Literata’s page (the second link), where she gives several suggestions for how concerned readers can help.
The Winnemem Wintu tribe in Northern California is planning an extended act of Civil Disobedience. The reason: the state Forest Service refuses to issue mandatory closures of a stretch of land along the McCloud River used for their traditional initiation ceremonies. Young people undergoing initiations are customarily harassed by tourists. This tribe is fighting an uphill battle to preserve their cultural, spiritual, and tribal identity and customs. They're fighting maintain, not restore but maintain their indigenous ways. They've largely exhausted all other methods of recourse. For those of us working to reclaim and restore our own indigeny, we ought to be supporting this in whatever ways we can.
For more information, to learn more, and to find out how you can help, check out these links:
For all those who think that the depredations of monotheism and the culture it created are a thing of the past, think again. This shit has never stopped. It's going on as we speak and read.