Texas House passes religion-based child care services bill

AUSTIN, Texas —  The Texas House of Representatives passed HB3859 Wednesday, moving the state one step closer to enacting a law that, as it reads, aims to protect the “rights of conscience for child welfare services providers.” The bill was authored by Rep. James Frank (R) from Wichita Falls and, as he stated in a recent comment, “One of our biggest challenges is a lack of adequate, quality foster homes. […] A substantial part of any answer to this problem will be found in the faith-based community.” Rep. Frank’s comment was made after the bill was passed and directed at mainstream media, who generally began calling the bill discriminatory. Frank responded, “At a time when we need all hands on deck, we face the real risk of seeing a large number of [faith-based] providers leave the field, as they are forced to make the choice between devoting a substantial amount of resources in fighting litigation and other adverse action, or using those resources on other services to fulfill the tenets of their faith.”

Pagan Community Notes: Documentaries, Awards, Surveys, and Festivals!

Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So let’s get started! A documentary focusing on the Temple of Nine Wells, and the lives of Richard and Gypsy Ravish, entitled “With Love From Salem,” has announced that they’ve nearly completed the project.

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. Virginia’s Board of Social Services has approved a truly audacious list of new adoption rules that authorize agencies to discriminate on the basis of age, gender, political beliefs, family status, and religion. This is ostensibly to prevent same-sex couples from adopting, but could be used to discriminate against religious minorities, like Pagans, in the state. Lawsuits are already being geared up to challenge these new guidelines.