Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Christianity out: Paganism in

From World Net
Scotland's University of Edinburgh, after proposing a ban on Bibles and denying a Christian campus group the right to hold a conference on the immorality of homosexuality, has extended the welcome mat to the school's Pagan Society to hold its annual meeting on campus next month.
The pagan conference will feature presentations on a variety of topics, including Magic and Witchcraft in the 21st Century, Pagan Parenting, Pagan Marriage, Pagan Symbolism and Practice and Ancient Greek magic. A workshop in tribal dance will be held at the university Student's Association.
"It will be an opportunity for people to listen to talks on various aspects of modern paganism and socialize with like-minded people in a relaxed, tolerant atmosphere," said John Macintyre, presiding officer of Pagan Federation Scotland. "Most people now recognize that the old stereotypes about witches and witchcraft are way off the mark and there is nothing remotely sinister about it."
"Remotely sinister," it seems, is reserved for Christians at Edinburgh.
In 2005, WND reported plans to begin banning Bibles from Edinburgh student halls of residence due to concern they are the source of discrimination against students of other faiths.
The ban was a response to student association protests as well as an agenda to equally support all faiths, a university spokesman told the Times of London.
While a Gideon Bible had traditionally been placed in the room of all new students, officials decided they could be offensive to some. Removal, advocates said, was about "respecting diversity," not attacking Christianity.
The previous year, Edinburgh removed prayer from graduation ceremonies.
The decision to allow the Pagan Society to hold its meeting on campus comes a year after university officials denied the same privilege to the university's Christian Union.
Officials banned a course on the dangers of homosexuality the group wanted to teach, saying it was in violation of the university's guidelines. A compromise offered by the university allowed the course to be taught if posters offering differing views were prominently displayed
"This seems to be a clear case of discrimination," said Matthew Tindale, a Christian Union staff worker. "It's okay for other religions, such as the pagans, to have their say at the university, but there appears to be a reluctance to allow Christians to do the same. All we are asking for is the tolerance that is afforded to other faiths and organizations."
Simon Dames, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, called the university's action an example of "Christianphobia."
"This appears to be a clear case of double standards," he said. "The principles of a pluralistic democracy revolve around an acceptance of competing ideas and universities should be enshrining this principle. Anti-racism groups would never be asked to put up posters saying there are alternative views."
Pagan Macintyre has no sympathy for the Christians' appeal to fairness, stressing that followers of his faith are tolerant and support the university's equality policies .
"Pagans, as a rule, don't believe that sexist or homophobic views are acceptable and discrimination on that basis is deplorable," he said.


Andrew said...

With paganism making a comeback and Christian practice declining, it's a great time to re-evangelize.

When the first missionaries set out to Christianize the pagans, I think they faced much more difficulty than what we are facing. Think murderous kings and thugs and all forms of persecution. If they can do it, then so can we.

We need to get rid of the 'we're already Christian' mentality and think missionary. Declare the whole place as mission territory and send in the missionaries.

It's about time that we start the re-evangelization of the pagans and call them to be Christians once again. Let the new springtime begin.

Rita said...

I did my first degree at Edinburgh 18 years ago. You were awarded your degree on kissing John Knox's hat. This is a hard thing for a Catholic girl to do and is probably equally offensive to non-Calvinists, many non-Christians, and lovers of hygene alike.

I'd be interested to know if the hat is still used, even though prayers have been removed from the ceremony.

What would John Knox think about it all!

Anonymous said...

If the pagans think Christians are a bunch of intolerant bigots, then what do they think the Roman Emperors were who threw Christians to the lions - Quakers?

I say the CU should go ahead and sue the tree-worshippers!

Anonymous said...

Frightening developments...but not unexpected sadly...

Unknown said...

A Christian Union member is quoted as saying "This seems to be a clear case of discrimination". I don't think anyone would disagree with him, but he fails to discriminate between good discrimination and bad discrimination.

An example of good discrimination is discrimination between fantasy and reality.

An example of bad discrimination (at least according to the university's written guidelines) is discrimination based on religion or sexual preference.

Clearly, the reason that the Christian Union's anti-homosexuality talk was forbidden is that it would encourage discrimination based on sexual preference. For the CU to purport that this was a case of discrimination based on religion is at best facetious and at worst downright silly.

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