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By C. Barner-Barry

This publication explores the felony bias within the usa opposed to Paganism and different non-Christian religions. regardless of being the most religiously diversified nations on this planet, the U.S. criminal approach built while the inhabitants was once predominantly Christian. outfitted into the legislation is the tacit assumption that every one religions and spiritual practices resemble Christianity. utilizing the Pagans as a case learn, Barner-Barry exhibits how their reviews show that either the legislations affecting nondominant religions and the judiciary that translates this legislation are considerably biased in prefer of the dominant faith, Christianity. This creates criminal difficulties, in addition to difficulties of intolerance, for religions with considerably diversified practices. detailed recognition is given to a sequence of superb court docket judgements reading the liberty of faith Clause by way of neutrality and studying the institution Clause loosely and its effect on nondominant religions within the US.

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Extra resources for Contemporary Paganism Religions in a Majoritarian America

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From me all things proceed, and unto me all things must return. . ” (Farrar and Farrar, 1984, 43; also Starhawk, 1989, 90–91). Within this general framework, most Pagans focus on the earth as the most personally relevant locus of the divine. Many regard their beliefs as a revival, or reemergence of an ancient nature-religion. This is perceived as “the most ancient of religions, in which the earth was worshiped as a woman under different names and guises throughout the inhabited world” (Luhrmann, 1989, 45).

In addition, most acknowledge the need to terminate life “prematurely” when circumstances warrant, but hold that every such act needs to be considered on its own merits. Thus, Pagans can be found among the ranks of those who are both “pro choice” and “pro life” with regard to the abortion issue. The point is that all life is sacred and that no life, human or nonhuman, should be terminated lightly or without adequate justification. Even parts of the natural world, which would normally be regarded as nonliving—such as mountains, rivers, or rocks—are often considered to be alive on some level.

G. Circle of the Winter Moon, 1996, inside front cover; Avery, 1999, 37–38). Thus, the Goddess and God can be evoked either in specific forms (such as Astarte or Odin) or as a symbol representing all of nature on earth and, often, even the wider cosmos. An example of the latter can be found in Janet and Stewart Farrar’s version of the Wiccan opening ritual where the High Priestess, speaking as the Goddess, says: “For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. From me all things proceed, and unto me all things must return.

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