Florida Pagan Protests Christian School Board Prayer

May 30, 2001

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On May 30, 2001, the St. Petersburg Times reported that "community activist Charles Schrader, who was ejected from a School Board meeting last week for praying a pagan prayer over Chairwoman Patience Nave's invocation, asked...whether he can lead the prayer at the next regular board meeting June 12" in the spirit of religious diversity. Nave responded that "it was the board's meeting. So they should be the ones conducting the prayers."

In Spite of Christian Worries, Pagans Describe Themselves as Ordinary

May 27, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On May 27, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported on "the Spring Gathering of the Tribes here, on a remote wooded farm where hundreds of Pagans from Virginia and the East Coast have set up camp...Gathering attendees portrayed themselves as normal Americans who hold spiritual beliefs in the power of nature and in male and female sources of divinity...Some area ministers said earlier this week that they might organize a protest against the weekend gathering, but little has materialized."

City Planners Block Building of Interfaith Chapel

May 25, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On May 25, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "plans for a $4.5-million interfaith chapel at Chapman University...suffered another setback this week when Orange planning commissioners rejected the project on aesthetic grounds...Chapman officials said they plan to appeal the decision to the City Council...The design for the 250-seat Wallace All Faiths Chapel uses universal religious themes of light, water and nature."

Florida Pagan Protests Christian School Board Prayer

May 23, 2001

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On May 23, 2001, St. Petersburg Times reported that School Board Chairwoman Patience Nave "asked a deputy at Tuesday's meeting to remove Charles Schrader, a Wiccan who has protested the board's decision to open meetings with Christian prayers. On several occasions, Schrader has said his prayer aloud as board members have said their prayers."

"A Wish for Spring, a Dance for Rebirth"

May 6, 2001

Source: Hartford Courant

On May 6, 2001, the Hartford Courant ran two front-page photos entitled "A Wish for Spring, a Dance for Rebirth." The photos were from the celebration of Beltane the day before, "a Pagan rite of spring that celebrates fertility and rebirth...About 25 people attended the event, which included a May pole dance...and a cleansing ritual in which participants leaped over a bonfire."

Wiccans Raise Money for Hospital, Raise Consciousness about Paganism

May 2, 2001

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On May 2, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on "the Psychic-Pagan Fair in Monaca [Pennsylvania]...where about a dozen vendors sold all manner of New Age spiritual supplies...Wiccans...came to the fair to raise money for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh...Rose St. John, coordinator of the event and a [W]iccan...says that many who practice [W]icca or are pagans...are shunned by people who fear them...That's why she and a fellow [W]iccan formed P.U.R.E -- Pagans United for Religious Education."

Pagans Celebrate Start of Summer

April 28, 2001

Source: The Hartford Courant

On April 28, 2001, The Hartford Courant reported that "May 1, known as Beltaine, is one of paganism's most important holidays. It marks the beginning of summer, which means the celebration of new life, and the holy marriage of god and goddess...Pagans revere nature and see their lives as being attuned to the cycle of the seasons." Pagans are not well understood by the general public, said one follower of the religion.

Minister Bars Rabbi from Giving Baccalaureate Services

April 23, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On April 23, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported on the response to the Rev. Mickler's decision to bar a rabbi from giving baccalaureate services in his church. "The Rev. Randy Mickler's words earned a standing ovation from his Mount Bethel United Methodist Church congregation Sunday as he defended his refusal to permit a rabbi to speak from his pulpit...The same decision has prompted some Jewish families to cut ties to the Cobb County church's popular youth sports program."

Unitarian Group Seeks More Spirituality in Their Church

April 21, 2001

Source: The Chicago Tribune

On April 21, 2001, The Chicago Tribune reported that two dozen dissidents have charged the Unitarian Universalist Association of being "extremely intolerant" of people who want to talk about God. They "will meet in Virginia to discuss plans for a new church body for Unitarians who want more God and less politics in church...In time, the Unitarian tradition, which has no creed, [has] shed its exclusively Christian focus and embraced other forms of religious expression, including humanism and Buddhism." The group of dissidents is "...

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Professor Raises Concerns About Growth of Racist Strand of Asatru

April 19, 2001

Source: SPLC Intelligence Report Spring 2001

This spring, the Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report contains an interview with Professor Mattias Gardell of the University of Stockholm. His research on the U.S. raises concerns about growth of a racist form of Asatru.

New Miniseries About the Salem Witch Trials

April 16, 2001


On April 16, 2001, reported on "new CBS mini series titled 'Innocent Blood: The True Story of the Salem Witch Trials.'... Co-executive producer Ed Gernon emphasizes, 'This is not about witchcraft; this is about the suspicion of witchcraft and, on some deep, deep level, about men's inherent fear of women and women's instincts.'"

Origin of Easter Bunny Explored

April 14, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On April 14, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported on the origin of the Easter Bunny. "No one's quite sure just how the Easter Bunny became associated with the Christian holiday...He was a symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt, a reputation that eventually spread to Europe as the rabbit became one of the featured stars of springtime pagan rituals."

Many Modern Easter Traditions Have Roots in Ancient Earth Traditions

April 14, 2001

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

On April 14, 2001, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that many of the customs with which people celebrate Easter have their origins in "ancient earth traditions." Second-century Christian missionaries found that pagan springtime celebrations occurred at the same time of year as Christianity celebrated the resurrection of Christ. The missionaries "cleverly decided to spread their religious message slowly throughout the populations by allowing them to continue to celebrate ancient feasts, but in a Christian manner." The name "...

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National Pagan Summit Held to Bring Together Pagan Leaders

March 10, 2001

Source: The Pagan Educational Network

On March 10, 2001, Pagan Educational Network reported that "the first national Pagan Summit was held over the weekend of 2-4 March 2001 in Bloomington, Indiana. The goal of the Summit was to allow people who lead nationally-focused Pagan organizations to meet face-to-face and discuss issues facing the national Pagan movement... The results are posted on the updated Summit site at"