Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Culture shaping religion

A recent Washington Post story surveys Pagan response to H. James Towey, director of the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, whose recent remarks implied that Pagan charities did not exist.

I wonder, of course, if Towey really was thinking of capital-P Pagans when he responded to the original question. But that's irrelevant now.

Two thoughts:

1. Congratulations to someone out there for effective public relations work in rounding up sources for the reporter, Alan Cooperman. Based on my own newspaper and p.r. experience, I suspect that he had help in shaping the story. (But why was he unable to get even a "no comment" from Towey's office? Or was that cut from the story?)

2. Although many Pagans contribute to secular charities and nonprofits, this incident once again shows that in the American religious marketplace, you have to tie your religion's name to what you do and "show the flag" as part of acquiring legitimacy.


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