The conservative-minded Anglican site VirtueOnline has got its knickers in a twist over a recent story concerning Spring Equinox celebrations held by the Mother Grove Goddess Temple in North Carolina. Why would the heretic-hunters at VirtueOnline care about what a bunch of Pagans are doing in North Carolina? Because of where they held the ritual.
“Members of Mother Grove Goddess Temple will celebrate at 7 p.m. Saturday with A Breath of Appalachian Spring: A Ritual in Celebration of the Spring Equinox, in the parish hall of the Episcopal Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village.“
“All Souls’ Cathedral is supposed to be God’s House, and it is disgusting that the Chapter should allow this pagan cult to meet anywhere on the premises! But of course, like all failing Episcopal congregations, they need the money, don’t they?”
It’s true that VirtueOnline is obsessed with heretics and pagans within the global Anglican communion, but this is hardly seems like a new case of “Episcopaganism”. I doubt the parish hall is consecrated ground, and I highly doubt the local clergy participated in anything “pagan”, so no real blasphemy (from a Christian perspective) was committed, and Mother Grove Goddess Temple describes itself as interfaith (united in honoring the divine feminine), so the real problem here is that these Episcopalians dared to tolerate other faiths meeting on/renting their grounds.
So the larger question is should Christian-owned halls and buildings refuse to rent out to non-Christian faiths and events? Should Pagan/Pagan-friendly organizations even approach a Christian hall, lest they cause problems for their hosts? In some towns is it even possible to rent a hall that isn’t owned by the local church? What do you think?