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Martori: One nation, under Paganism

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Martori: One nation, under Paganism

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Martori: One nation, under PaganismMichael Newdow almost has the right idea. Newdow, in case you didn't know, is the Sacramento, Calif., attorney who has been filing lawsuits since 2000 to eradicate the practice of saying the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools because it contains the phrase "under God.".Finally, he got what he wanted as a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that making kids say the Pledge in public schools is unconstitutional.In light of this, there has been talk that the Pledge should be revised so that the word "God" is omitted.But if the Pledge has to be reworded, it should be done to say "one nation, under gods." If we're going to make drastic changes in American culture in order to suit a small portion of the population, it should be Pagans that we favor.Pagans are out there in force. On Saturday, droves turned out to celebrate Pagan Pride Day at Steele Indian School Park. Perhaps it was Pagan Teeana O'Laighlin of Clann a' Choin Fhlor (a Pagan fellowship organization) that best summed up all the barking about religion in America."We believe that every person sees the divine differently," she said. "No two people are going to look at me and describe me the same way, so no two people are going to describe the divine the same way."Pagan Pride Day demonstrated the myriad of religious diversity that exists in the United States. While people like Michael Newdow whimper about the lack of consideration for their spirituality, stalwart Wiccans like Kelly (who would not disclose her surname) have to deal with far worse things due to their religious expression -- or lack thereof."They think it's something bad, something negative," she said of the public's perception of alternative religions. "They think that we're sacrificing animals or worshipping the devil."For the record, no animals were sacrificed that day, and it seemed that most Pagans don't believe in the devil.But maybe America could use a few pentagrams and bloody rituals. Our traditions are getting a bit musty. Americans need to update their beliefs and practices to get with the times.Paganism embodies the type of values that America could use these days. For example, O'Laighlin said that her clan would not accept George W. Bush as a member. He does not meet their requirements of being honest, just, trustworthy and loyal."I want him to go down on Air Force One with the rest of his party," she said.Adopting Paganism in the U.S. would be easy -- Pagan organizations that mirror the boring ones we grew up with already exist.Spiral Scouts attend the same meetings and campouts as traditional Boy and Girl Scouts, but gender segregation is absent and the kids are Pagans. Spiral Scouts formed in Index, Wash., in 1999 at the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. Membership has since ballooned, and as of August 2005 there were 50 active Circle and Hearths ("Troops" in non-Pagan culture) operating throughout the U.S. and Canada.Alas, the downfall of the Pagans will be their good manners. To date, there have been no lawsuits for the promotion of Pagan values. Pagans don't whine, and in America the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
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