Llewellyn Gets Political
In yet another local struggle over Church and State, the Brunswick County Board of Education in North Carolina is on track to approve a new policy that would allow the disbursement of religious tracts in schools. The problem is that the language is vague enough that it could allow the board to pick and choose which religions are allowed to disburse material. Both the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation are warning that legal challenges would most likely follow if they proceed as planned. The unusual twist in this drama is the involvement of Llewellyn, the largest publisher of New Age, Wiccan, and Pagan titles in America.
“Steven Pomije, a publicist for Llewellyn, recently sent a letter to Milligan requesting the school board consider allowing free distribution of the company??s books to students. Pomije also offered to arrange for pagan organizations in the state to visit county high schools.”
This seems a bold move for the company which hasn’t seemed too interested in politics in the past. The publisher has already contacted local groups Sacred Spiral Coven, Church of the Earth of North Carolina, the Universal Trinity Church and the Sacred Circle of Wiccan Fellowship to distribute free Llewellyn titles at the school once the policy is in place. The concept of Pagans handing out literature to school kids seems to be worrying at least one member of the school board.
“My whole issue with this policy is not the Bibles, it is about all the other things parents aren’t going to appreciate their kids bringing home. These are the kinds of topics I was concerned about. These requests coming in just validate my statement that when you open the door to one, you open it to all. We are going to have some difficulty saying, ‘No,’ but it’s too late. We’ve already taken the fence down.” – Mr. Scott Milligan, School Board Chairman
Is this the start of a new activist bent by the (in)famous publisher? Will they continue this trend of calling Christian activist’s bluff by demanding inclusion? It remains to be seen if this is a new engagement in our culture or a canny marketing ploy (or both).