On Nov. 8, the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Inc. (CUUPS) has announced its new structure and officers. Long time member, David Pollard, was hired as executive director, and the organization welcomed Jessica Gray, Maggie Beaumont and Martha Kirby Capo to the new board. Nominations are being sought for the position left open by Pollard. The organization says, “If you are a currently paid member of CUUPS for a year and would like to serve on the board please contact President, Amy Beltaine.” CUUPS is also in the middle of their revisioning process, which was put into place in order “to identify our common principles and values, create a shared sense of identity and purpose among Pagan-friendly UUs and UU-friendly Pagans, and develop a mission and vision for CUUPS for the next ten years.”
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On Nov. 11, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, suffered a severe brain hemorrhage and was in intensive care. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, poet, author and peace activist. When the news was announced, Asa West, writer of the new Patheos Pagan Channel blog Shekinah Calling: Reclaiming Witchcraft with a Jewish Twist, offered a healing blessing in her second blog post. She discusses the energy of mindfulness and healing work in the Buddhist tradition, as requested in the announcement concerning the Zen Master’s condition. West adds, “I hope Thich Nhat Hanh makes a full recovery. May all beings be happy, well, and safe from harm.” The worldwide call for meditative energy healing may have worked. Reports are now indicating that Thich Nhat Hanh condition is stable and he is on his way to recovery.
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The Fairy Investigation Society has published a new survey asking people to record any encounters they’ve had with fairies, as well as opinions and experiences on the subject. F.I.S. explains, “The Fairy Census is an attempt to gather, scientifically, the details of as many fairy sightings from the last century as possible and to measure, in an associated survey, contemporary attitudes to fairies. The census was inspired by an earlier fairy census carried out by Marjorie Johnson and Alasdair Alpin MacGregor in 1955/1956, a census that was published in 2014.” The survey and more about the organization can be found on their website.
In other news:
- The Heathens United Against Racism (HUAR) has published a statement “denouncing Irminfolk as racist” based on the Irminfolk bylaws. The HUAR statement reads, “We denounce them for their blatantly obvious support for such ideas, and we move that all members of Heathens United Against Racism disassociate with the organization, its officers, representatives, events, functions, and all affiliates.” The statement in its entirety can be read online as well as the Irminfolk bylaws.
- A video taken at Margot Adler’s memorial service has been posted on You Tube. The video includes speakers, tributes and songs. The memorial was held on All Souls Unitarian Church in NYC, on All Hallows’ Eve 2014.
- Circle Sanctuary’s Pagan Spirit Gathering has launched is registration for its summer festival 2015. This will mark PSG’s 35th year. Rev. Selena Fox said, “I am thankful to all who have contributed to PSG and its community over the years. This is the earliest we have opened PSG registration — we hope that this will give us more time to share ideas and plan for PSG 2015.” The event will be held at Stonehouse Farm in Northern Illinois from June 14-21.
- Courtney Weber, organizer of the Pagan Environmental Coalition – NYC, has announced the upcoming publication of her book Brigid: History, Mystery and Magick of the Celtic Goddess. Due out May 2015, the book is already listed on Amazon for pre-sale. Weber is also planning a book tour.
- The Universal Society of Ancient Ministry is celebrating the acceptance of its trademark, including the phrase Pagans in Need and PIN. Gerrybrete Leonard, CEO and HPS, wrote, “One year ago Universal Society of Ancient Ministry absorbed Pagans In Need to run under the Churches 501(c)3 … This now means that we can now publish and print our name with legal support.” The organization has also recently launched its Toys for Yule holiday giving program. Information can be found on its website.
That is all for now. Have a nice day.
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While I generally tend to see anti-fascist “witch-hunt” with a somewhat suspicious eye, the bylaws of this Irminfolk group are quite clearly bigoted. While I think it should be up to each group to set up their own rules of admission (and declare who’s the other), using such limited language (Aryan: Are they looking to increase their 5000 y.o. Indo-European membership?) and stupid use of pseudo-genetics is quite embarrassing.
Not surprising, seeing as you seem to think that a debatable single “good point” somehow nullifies several demonstrably “bad points” in the appropriation of African American music by white people, and you seem to believe that a genocide of Indigenous American tribes never actually happened….
Irmfolk and ‘7/8ths ethnic European’, in their bylaws. Did they get this number from Hitler’s Nurnburg laws as ‘1/8th Jew’ was those laws definition of a non-aryan. Mighty blatent.
“Octoroon” was also used by both American and Australian racists to define people who were one eighth African/Aboriginal (respectively). If you were 1/8th, you were consider to be fully African/Aboriginal and not due the rights pertaining to the 7/8ths of you that was european. It seems, oddly, to be a common division.
What purpose does it have in denouncing them? Does it actually do anything in the real world? Nope. Zero. All it really is doing is serving as a banner for them to wave and say, “Look how NOT racist we are.” Who gives a crap what racist people do! Don’t join their groups and don’t draw attention to them. All religions, yes all, have a right to define who can be a member and what the criteria is. If you don’t believe that you’re trodding on the very notion of religious freedom and undermining your own groundwork to practice your way openly without discrimination. No one, NO ONE has a right to join whatever group or religion they want when that religion has specific laws, beliefs, dogmas or what have you. It’s their right to decide who is in and who is out. No one has a right to be part of a religion. You can call yourself whatever you want, but at the end of the day, if you don’t support the official credo(s) you’re not a member.
Agreed, but let’s face it, those guys made it look pretty bad on their own. Had they not used racist terms but kept this policy, they would not have been either denounced nor ridiculed.
The saddest thing about your comment is that you’re apparently serious. Unfortunately, the “ignore it and hope it goes away” policy tends to work about as well for racism, etc…, as it does for an unplanned pregnancy.
Racism hurts people; THAT is why people should give a crap about racists in their midst.
I completely agree, Ruadhan.
Shoot, I’m a heathen, and I think we need to be doing MORE denouncing! I’m sick of my religion being associated with racists, and the only way we can move away from that is for more of us to, well, I guess “wave a banner and say look how NOT racist we are.”
Because most people associate silence with condoning something.
Yeah, they have a right to only let “Ethnically European” people in their group, and other groups also have a right to denounce them for it. Criticizing a religious group is not “trodding on religious freedom.”
Unfortunately, a lot of Americans get complacent in this shit under the mistaken assumption that “criticisms from private individuals = taking away rights”, when that really couldn’t be further from the truth.
First off, only the government can take away rights, and only public services, public employment, and a handful of other *very specific* instances can deny one their rights. The ACLU won’t get involved in cases where a small business in a so-called “right to work” state (a bullshit law which does the opposite of its name) refuses to hire someone, for example, because the way those laws are arranged make it practically impossible to prove discriminatory practises.
That said, private citizens and groups thereof are perfectly allowed to criticise each-other, and free speech reigns. Catholics can denounce Episcopalians as Heretics, and within Catholic doctrine, Episcopals and Anglicans *technically* are, and freedom of religion reigns.
This is not about “freedom of religion”; that’s a distraction used by racists themselves and their apologists. It is perfectly valid for two groups under the same religious banner (in this case, Heathenry) to denounce each-other for whatever reasons, or for one to denounce the other and vice-versa; the US government makes a point to stay out of *most* matters of religion, even if, in practise, this is imperfect with regards to minority religions, especially of the non-Abrahamic variety (just search TWH archives for “child custody” or “employment” matters concerning pagans and witches). No one with even the tiniest modicum of authority is saying “Heathens can’t practise Heathenry”. What IS being said is “We’re Heathens and for this reason, that group of Heathens over there does not live by what we understand to be a Heathen code of ethics, and we denounce them as co-religionists.” To anyone with a brain in their head, this is SO NOT about “freedom of religion”. At best, this is a sectarian dispute.
And the notion that giving racists this kind of attention gives them power is so painfully naïve, but also dangerous. Just as a quick example, you know who else was brushed off as a wacky fringe group that didn’t deserve any attention? The Nazis. It really is the easiest example of what was just a “wacky fringe” for several decades and then became ultra-powerful due to public complacency.
If those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it, that repetition will be driven by those willfully ignorant, which begins with statements like “just ignore it”.
Exactly. I’m a huge fan of HUAR because they stand up for the fact that not all heathens are racists. I’m very glad that they found this and pointed it out.
If your definition of the word “hurt” means, “Anyone who holds a belief that I don’t like.” then I agree, racism hurts people. But of course that’s nonsense. What hurts people are *actions* and *policies* in the public area. A private religion having it’s own bylaws, charter and mission statement is not hurting anyone. The moment they take those beliefs and try to diminish the rights and freedoms of others (remember you don’t have a right to join any religion you want) then we can chat about them hurting others. I’m not surprised at the lack of critical thinking on these posts, it’s pretty standard fair for the modern Pagan community. And if you read my first post, which it sounds like you didn’t, I said, “have a right to define who can be a member and what the criteria is. If
you don’t believe that you’re trodding on the very notion of religious
freedom.” Note, I said if you don’t believe the above you’re trodding on religious freedom. I did not say, as someone else implied, that simply criticizing them was doing so. I never called to ignore actions. Stop reading what you want into my words. But again, having read your comments loads of times, pretty standard fair for you so I expect you won’t.