All hell breaks out as pagans given go-ahead for university gathering in Scotland

Posted by Kendall Harmon

SOME would call it the Devil's work. Two ancient religions have locked horns in a bizarre "freedom of speech" row that is echoing around the corridors of one of Scotland's oldest academic institutions.

The University of Edinburgh has granted permission to the Pagan Society to hold its annual conference - involving talks on witchcraft, pagan weddings and tribal dancing - on campus next month. Druids, heathens, shamans and witches are expected to attend what is a major event in the pagan calendar.

But the move has enraged the Christian Union, which accuses the university of double standards after banning one of its events on the "dangers" of homosexuality.

Matthew Tindale, an Edinburgh-based Christian Union staff worker, claimed some faiths and beliefs appeared to be more equal than others on campus.

"This seems to be a clear case of discrimination," he said. "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 organisations."

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsWicca / paganismReligious Freedom / Persecution

Posted May 29, 2007 at 6:44 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Dootz wrote:

Truly an Acts 17 moment:  that Tindale, like Paul, is trying to get the true God and his “case” heard in a land where there is even an altar “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.”


May 29, 6:58 pm | [comment link]
2. Bryan wrote:

Is Druidism an “ancient” religion?  I thought it was a made up spiritualism based losely on research of Celtic practice?

May 29, 7:01 pm | [comment link]
3. Jon wrote:

Thanks to Bryan (#2).  There were druids in ancient times, but these people are not druids.  The real druids all died out.  This is, as you say, a totally made up “spirituality” (that’s a real new age word) created by people mooning over what they imagine it might have been like in pre-Christian Celtic times.  The sad thing is that the religion they make up is pretty lame.  I mean, it’s not even cool or fun.  As someone from T19 wryly pointed several weeks ago, if you are going to make up a religion, at least be like George Lucas and do something with cool Jedi powers and light sabers and so on.

May 29, 7:11 pm | [comment link]
4. Scotsreb wrote:

I love the Orwellian “New Speak” from the univestiy spokesman, who is quoted as saying:

“A University of Edinburgh spokesman said: “The University’s offer of accommodation - with certain conditions - stands.  (That is forcing the Christian Union folks to have to display homosexualist propaganda in their assembly). “We strongly defend the right to free speech and freedom of conscience.”

I don’t know if the spokesman’s statement, is A) mendacious, B) Stupid, C) Ignorant of irony, or D) simply so PC that he can in fact, place contradictory statements into one and walk away having made his pronouncement, thinking that it was wise.

In any case, the war on Christianity picks up speed, in the un-churched world of western Europe.

May 29, 8:47 pm | [comment link]
5. justme wrote:

As some one who was born in Glasgow, Scotland all I can say is ‘John Knox must be turning in his grave’

May 29, 8:51 pm | [comment link]
6. Wilfred wrote:

“Liberal Christianity”, and the secularism it seems inexorably to evolve into, is tolerant of any religion, no matter how bizarre, except orthodox Christianity. 

In the name of “tolerance”, they will not tolerate it.

May 29, 10:22 pm | [comment link]
7. Tom Roberts wrote:

Unless they do live animal sacrifices and conjugal fertility rites, they ain’t real pagans.  ;->

May 29, 11:08 pm | [comment link]
8. Jill C. wrote:

Most of the comments after the article are rather frightening.  Next time I visit Scotland it may be on a missionary trip!  :(

May 29, 11:23 pm | [comment link]
9. SouthCoast wrote:

#7, based on the Neopagans with whom I am acquainted, the live animal sacrifice would be a no-no, but the conjugal fertility rite is just business as usual…

May 30, 2:30 am | [comment link]
10. rugbyplayingpriest wrote:

not sure any of us should be that surprised. The West is deconstructing and Christianity is to be loathed for daring to have principles that go against the hedenistic and selfish attitude of the day.

‘Father forgive them they know not what they do’. springs to my mind.

Sad fact is that most people in liberal Britain have been so brain washed by the culture and media that they feel qualified to speak out on the Christian faith whilst actually having next to no experience of it. They just assume it is as conservative and restrictive as they have been told.

May 30, 4:20 am | [comment link]
11. azusa wrote:

#10 ; well, when you have puffed up idiots like “Rev” Giles Fraser spouting off all the time, slandering orthodox evangelicals and catholic Christians at every opportunity, the ‘cultured despisers’ are only confirmed in their prejudices and ignorance.
Not to mention (soon to be catholic?) Tony Blair - the New Constantine? - in his pro-gay campaign against the Roman Catholic Church. I hope B16 tells him to clear off (in several languages).

May 30, 4:50 am | [comment link]
12. Irenaeus wrote:

Tom: Why stop at animal sacrifices?

May 30, 10:19 pm | [comment link]
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