Thursday, February 01, 2007


• A federal judge won't let the Veterans Administration wriggle out of the lawsuit over grave markers for Wiccan veterans.

The Guardian, a British newspaper, covers the Greek Pagan renaissance.

For years, Orthodox clerics believed that they had defeated Greeks wishing to embrace the customs and beliefs of the ancient past. But increasingly the church, a bastion of conservatism and traditionalism, has been confronted by the spectre of polytheists making a comeback in the land of the gods. Last year, Peppa's group, Ellinais, succeeded in gaining legal recognition as a cultural association in a country where all non-Christian religions, bar Islam and Judaism, are prohibited. As a result of the ruling, which devotees say paves the way for the Greek gods to be worshipped openly, the organisation hopes to win government approval for a temple in Athens where pagan baptisms, marriages and funerals could be performed. Taking the battle to archaeological sites deemed to be "sacred" is also part of an increasingly vociferous campaign.

The article mentions James O'Dell, who also appears in the documentary I Still Worship Zeus.

What happens in Greece first may happen next in the UK or elsewhere in Western Europe. A number of British Pagans have borrowed the rhetoric of American Indian activists about sacred sites and about ancestral remains stored in museums.

• After a couple of years, this blog seems to have been removed from BeliefNet's "Blog Heaven" site, where it used to appear in the "Other Faiths" category at the very bottom of the page.

No one from BeliefNet informed me that my blog was given the boot; I just happened to notice.

When I asked what was going on, someone named Tim Hayne, editorial project manager, said that it was unintentional and tried to make it look like it was my fault for changing something at this end. (Don't tech-support people always try to make problems look like the user's fault?)

Ten days have gone by, but nothing has changed. You won't find Letter From Hardscrabble Creek in Blog Heaven. (Maybe there is a Blog Limbo somewhere.)

But the URL of my site feed has not changed. So I have to wonder if someone at the supposedly interfaith BeliefNet site just cannot stomach an outspokenly Pagan blog.

It's their site and they can run it the way that they want. But why can't they be honest?

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Blogger gl. said...

not that i'm siding with the tech guy, but have you moved to the new blogger yet? if not, i'd do that before contacting him again just to give yourself as few variables as possible.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Dawnpiper said...

Don't tech-support people always try to make problems look like the user's fault?

Not all of us, no...

9:03 AM  
Blogger Dawnpiper said...

BTW, the link to the V.A. article didn't work for me, at least in Firefox; you might want to try this one:

9:23 AM  
Blogger Dawnpiper said...

Here's that link again:

9:24 AM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...

Dawnpiper, thanks for the new URL. I hate it when publications change theirs from day to day, but that is what often happens.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Sparrow said...

In all my time being a moderator for Beliefnet I've never got the impression they have anything against Pagans. However, they don't seem to know quite what to make of us, or what to do with us. We're too heterogeneous and decentralized and ill-defined to get a conceptual grasp on. Anything they post, besides generic Wheel of the Year articles, will only be interesting to a small subsection of us. So they wash their hands of it and relegate us to the back pages. Disappointing, but really I can't blame them.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...

Sparrow, I don't want to go into a paranoid space, but I do agree with you that blatant polytheists don't fit into what seems, for the most part, to be an Abrahamic monotheists-and-friends club.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Dawnpiper said...

I sent them a note (I've been a member since 2000) not only asking that you be reinstated, but also giving them several other good pagan blogs to review and suggesting they find some good Buddhist and Hindu blogs as well.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anne Hill said...

Sparrow sez: Disappointing, but really I can't blame them.

Well, I can blame them. For heaven's sake, look how many Mormon sites they list. Then only *one* site for "Other Faiths"? Give me a break. I would have to agree with Chas's assessment. I guess they do not need a "Pagan friend" now that they have at least one entry in their miscellany category.

10:55 PM  
Blogger nicci said...

hi chas,

i wrote beliefnet and asked them about your blog. they wrote me back and they were seemingly pretty friendly. they even gave me a link to your blog (which i already had.) i would like to share their response with you but it's a pretty long e-mail. any suggestions what i should do with it?


8:21 PM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...


I appreciate your writing to BeliefNet.

Trying to be helpful, I have tweaked my feed settings. The feed worked before the way that it was, but we'll see if this makes a difference. And I wrote to my BeliefNet contact to tell him.

If the blog is still not reinstated, then I will assume that the problem is not a technical one.

8:38 PM  

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