This week, in the city of Atlanta, Auburn Theological Seminary is hosting its biennial “convening of faith and moral leaders.” The event is called “MountainTop” and is described as a summit that “advances a multifaith movement for justice.” In 2013, we reported on the last summit, held in Nashville. In that article, we featured a conversation with Aline (Macha) O’Brien, who was one of the four Pagan participants at that year’s event.For the 2015 conference, I was able to sit down live with a group of six women, during their lunch hour, to talk about the process of MountainTop. The event began Monday morning, June 8, and will continue through Wednesday.
“In my role as a Witch and a Pagan, I pay attention to the land where injustices and social action occur. I pay attention to the energies at work.“ – Jacki Richardson
It is an intense time in our society. Images and stories fill our news feeds and television screens, reminding us of communities in crisis all over the world. Many people have been called to spiritual activism during these times, and many Pagans have been more vocal and active about their commitment to justice. Among activists, there is a common understanding on how emotionally taxing this work can be.
[From the Editor’s Desk: The Wild Hunt will be leaving the Pantheon Foundation to make another big step forward in its continued evolution. In April, we will begin taking the preliminary steps needed toward becoming our own independent registered nonprofit. We thank the Pantheon Foundation for its time and dedication in helping us achieve this goal, and for supplying us with the needed strength to stand on our own. In addition, we say goodbye to columnist Sam Webster. For the last year, he has shared his writing and work with our readers. We thank him for his contributions and wish him luck in any future projects and pursuits.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I’m re-printing my tribute from 2012, which I think still resonates as one way we as Pagans can acknowledge this great activist and religious leader. I would also recommend John Beckett’s post on King’s paper regarding Mystery Religions. “I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Interfaith has been a path that Pagans have become accustomed to hearing in our community, and very comfortable with the role that Interfaith plays in connecting our community of practitioners to the greater religious society. Covenant of the Goddess and Circle Sanctuary are examples of some of the prominent Pagan organizations that have invested time, money, and effort into developing trained Interfaith representatives. While Pagans in the Interfaith community continue to work toward religious tolerance, integration, and networking, we are hearing more about the work of social justice in the community. Is social justice becoming the new interfaith? University of Berkeley’s Social Justice Symposium defined social justice as “a process, not an outcome, which (1) seeks fair (re)distribution of resources, opportunities, and responsibilities; (2) challenges the roots of oppression and injustice; (3) empowers all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential; (4) and builds social solidarity and community capacity for collaborative action.”
Increased attention, advocacy and education have been seen within the themes of festivals, workshop offerings, Pagan blogs, and first-hand involvement in social justice activities.