Breaking News in Pagandom

  • Pagan Student Ordered to Cover Pentagram While At School, Wins Community Support
  • Pagans Win With Papal Apology
  • New Internet-Based Pagan TV Show
  • Pagan Activists Get O'Reilly Apology
  • Kansas Forms New CUUPS Group
  • Positive Beltane Stories in the Media
  • Detroit School District Bans Pentacles
  • Lithuanian Pagans Come Out, Fight for University
  • Neo-Pagan Leaders Denounce Racism
  • ACLU Asks Court to Let Wiccans Marry

    Pagan Student Ordered to Cover Pentagram While At School, Wins Community Support

    Read the full article in the Hammond, Indiana paper
    On April 4th, our own Elizabeth J. Buckner had a letter on the subject published:

    I would like to thank the School City of Hammond and Clark High School for their decision to restore Irma Patton's right to wear her pentagram at school. I was very glad to see this issue settled without litigation. All forms of religion should be able to wear the emblem of their faith without fear of persecution irrespective of age.
    I wonder about the effect that the current use of stereotypical "profiling" is having on today's youth. We are smothering their attempts at individuality due to our own fear and preconceptions of what those expressions might mean. As the old saying goes: "Today's youth are tomorrow's leaders." I have to commend the School City of Hammond and Clark High School in making the first step in showing our youth that adults do sometimes make mistakes but that when those mistakes are pointed out, we have the ability to correct them. I would also like to thank Jason Thomas of The Times for writing an accurate article on the situation and for presenting Wicca in a positive light. Clear and concise news reporting is an unexpected bonus in this case.
    Elizabeth J. Buckner
    Tampa, Fla.

    Pagans Win With Papal Apology

    With the historic Roman Catholic Papal apology this weekend, Pagans were asked to assist various news media with Pagan perspectives and a Pagan spokesperson for immediate interview following Pope John Paul II's Mass and apology.
    Wiccan Phyllis Curott, was thus interviewed by the Associated Press (AP), one of the largest and most important news organizations, for immediate Pagan commentary and perspective.
    NOTE: Her commentary appears on another post.

    Most everybody agrees that this is the very first time a Pagan leader has been asked for an instant quote, on one of the largest news sources, relative to a massive world wide news story - and immediatly following the leader of one billion Catholics.

    From a religious media perspective, this last weekend was a marathon for all religious media representing any group harmed by the Roman Catholic Church over the last 2,000 year.
    Jewish groups, in particular, set up phone banks in America, Berlin, Rome, Israel, etc. (we have been told), so that the top Jewish leaders would be instantly available t
    o the press. Not only leaders, but Holocaust survivors, theologians, interfaith experts, etc., also manned the telephones the world over to assist reporters, do important interviews, and identify their particular religious perspective.

    Many religious groups saw this as the most important chance, in a lifetime, to openly discuss the harm that the Roman Catholic Church had done to them in 2,000 years and to indicate an expected apology and ways of reconciliation.

    Interestingly, we have unconfirmed reports that more religious organiztions set up offices, telephones, spokespeople, sent press releases, then ever before in history - just to comment on the Papal apology.
    These were reported to be groups of small minority religions, modern day Arianists, Donatists, Gnostists, Waldenists, Albigenists, Pelegiasianists, "rehibilitate Bruno Giordano" -ists, and anti-clerics, ex-nuns, ex-priests, etc.
    Many groups were extremely supportive of the pope and it should not be assumed that only "anti" groups existed or sent press releases.

    By Friday, most religious groups and their media representatives had determined the scope of Sunday's apology and had issued preliminary press releases and background position papers (the history from their individual perspectives).

    Unfortunately, Pagan organizations, in our opinion, did not prepare for this historic event and opportunity, the way most other religious groups naturally did.
    More about this later.

    Tuan Today, among other experienced Pagan communicators, tries to keep in touch with the secular media on behalf of Pagans.
    Friday, we were contacted by the media.
    In particular, the Associated Press asked for Pagan commentary and a Sunday morning Pagan spokesperson to be interviewed, at or after Pope John Paul II's apology.

    Complicating for us as media coordinators, is the fact that the Vatican was sent several different letters from different important Pagan groups, on both sides of the Atlantic, regarding an apology and a request for a Pagan meeting with the Vatican.
    We know of three such letters - only one widely published.

    While it seems simple to provide a name for an important interview, it is not so.
    This was probably the most important Pagan responsibility we have ever been given - to find a Pagan spokesperson to immediately respond to the popes apology, and potentially be quoted in hundreds of thousands of newspapers, be seen by all religious leaders, and presidents and rulers, etc.
    The spokesperson should be a long standing Pagan, have media or spokesperson experience, have knowledge of one or two of the Pagan Papal Apology Letters, know religious history, know Catholic theology and concepts, and be available to sit by a telephone waiting at a precise time - easy!
    Simultaneously, we had to distill notebooks of work and documents into a short background paper to aid both the interviewer and interviewee.

    It took us 38 continuous hours and the advice, assistance, willingness to help, etc., of over fifty other Pagan leaders, theologians, historians, friends, etc., to do this seemingly simple task.
    We got five hours of sleep and then waited by the telephone in case we got a call from Rome, or one of the spokespeople had a question.

    Pagans WON!!

    The interview took place on a call from Rome Sunday morning New York time.
    The background material assisted, and we all made our deadline and showed that Pagans can and should be included in news commentary about crucial world events.

    Whether the interview ever appears or not, we expect more and better secular media contact with Pagans because of this success story and the work that Pagan communicators are doing to stay in touch with secular reporters and to provide Pagan perspective and background material.


    We, at Tuan Today, want to especially thank again the Pagan spokespeople who stood by their telephones willing to accept the difficult task of being interviewed by an unknown reporter, and the leaders who also volunteered, the leaders who offered round-the-clock assistance, those who talked to us about Catholic theological and historic elements (the background document was also crucial as the actual interview is always too short), and just plain friends and concerned Pagans who have a sense of the marathon we were involved in.


    Lowell McFarland, communicator
    Tuan Today

    Http:// Launches "Welcome to Wiccansburg"

    For Immediate Release

    "Witches and Pagans around the world now have an Internet TV show devoted to their community. Broadcast weekly from a houseboat in Vancouver's Coal Harbour, Welcome to Wiccansburg includes interviews with Pagans of all creeds, community events information and a good dose of Pagan philosophy and humour. Lisa Forryan, a prominent Wiccan and the proprietress of Aunt Agatha's Magickal Emporium in Vancouver, hosts the one-hour live show, carried on, on Fridays at midnight--the witching hour. (8:00 a.m GMT) International viewers can type in comments and ask questions on the live online Chat forum, provided by

    Forryan credits the world renowned futurist Dr Tomorrow (Frank Ogden) with this opportunity through his advocacy of new media. "It's the medium of the future allowing us to discuss religion and society in history and at the present," she says.

    Come join us for our next show Friday June 18th, as we highlight Midsummer festivals from all over the world.

    We hope to see you there!