A unfortunate example of the reason why I have started this blog. Lake Okeechobee Resort and Marina officials are under-fire from church members and pastors over the hosting of a Pagan winter solstice festival. One objectioner, Daniel Mondragon stated “we are opening ourselves up to things we should not, like belly dancing and magic spells”. Another, Evangfelist Lillian Brown, stated “god cannot heal our land if we have witches and warlocks violating our community”.
How short-sided are these members of this city? Popular history tells us that America, my home country, was initially founded on the idea of religious freedom. As officials of the resort stated if the Christians wanted to hold an event at the venue they were free to apply. Let me interject some balance to this issue. Belly dancing is not exclusively Pagan, in fact its origins stem from a cultural background- not religious ceremony. Secondly, the winter solstice is simply a celebration of the tipping point of the season- traditionally important for planting. As most Pagan organizers are reasonable people I do not think seances will be done in the aisles and spells cast amongst the crowd.
I reiterate a previous point- fear comes from ignorance. Conversely wisdom breeds tolerance. I applaud the organizers who have pushed ahead despite objections.
- Summer Solstice Festival Has Pahokee Religious Residents Outraged (blogs.browardpalmbeach.com)