Wiccan inmate seeking religious accommodation gets viral attention

POLKTON, N.C. –A Wiccan inmate has sued for to a long list of religious accommodations including both a vegan diet and ice cream as a ritual food for one sabbat. Jennifer Ann Jasmaine is also seeking more time to practice her religion, including time outside with a fire. According to one prison minister, that’s not going to cut it in any facility. The fact that Jasmaine is a transgender woman figures prominently in the original story, although her gender identity is not mentioned in her initial filing in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. Rather, she focuses on remedies which would enhance her religious practice.

Pagan chaplains and others share views on the death penalty

TWH –On June 17, 2015, violence ripped through a South Carolina community in one of the worst ways imaginable: the perpetrator joined his victims for a Bible study session at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and then shot nine people dead, wounding a tenth. The shooter, a white man, hoped to bring about a race war through his execution of his black victims. He was sentenced to death in federal court for those actions, but is now seeking a new trial. The case has received a significant amount of press coverage, and the nature of the crimes themselves — targeting victims during a religious service in the hopes of igniting further racially-motivated violence — appears to typify one of the most serious cultural problems in the United States today. It is in the context of these recent stories that we decided to speak with a number of Pagans to examine views on the death penalty. Like members of the overarching society, those interviewed had varied and nuanced positions on this complex topic.

Pagan Community Notes: Robin Fletcher, Appalachian Pagan Ministry, Wigglian Way, and more!

VICTORIA, Aus. — Robin Fletcher, convicted sex offender, is once again seeking more relaxed supervision. In 1998, Fletcher was jailed for the rape and prostitution of two 15-year-old girls. He reportedly told the girls that the acts were part of their Witchcraft initiations, and he maintained that premise throughout his court hearings. Fletcher has been quoted as saying that his arrest was based on “a huge cultural misunderstanding” and that “his practices had a symbolic religious meaning and were not sexually motivated.”