Monday, November 5, 2007

Marshall University Recognizes Pagan Holidays

This is odd to me, actually. I mean it's good, but it's odd. Now, I'm a Pagan and I work at a University. (everyone here knows I'm Pagan) and I went to school at this same University. And I transferred from a two-year college before that. And I never went to class or worked on a Pagan holiday.
Well, maybe that's not exactly true.
Quite often I would, but we had observances planned for the weekend, so the day itself just went by and the weekend was the big deal. But I usually took that Friday off, or at least a half day.
This year I took Halloween off. Sometimes I take the whole week.
I just say, "Hey, it's a holiday in my faith, and I'm taking it off." and they say "Okay."
Nobody has ever argued.
I have never been penalized. But I also volunteer to work on those days that other people don't want to work due to their faith practices.

But now at Marshall University, it's official.

I wonder if other schools will follow suit.
I wonder if they should. Why should Pagans be singled out? Why not say "Hey, nobody can be penalized for missing a day for religious observances (Provided of course they make up the work)."

My school.. Now I love my school. Last year we had an irate parent write in about the fact that we're not closed for Good Friday or that Holy Monday or whatever it's called. Sometimes our Spring Break covers it, which I'm sure they're all very happy about, but not always. Our President wrote her back, and I loved him. He said that in order that the University should not show preferential treatment, "We do not close for ANY religious holiday." and it's true. Yes, Christmas happens to fall between semesters, but that's not closing for a holiday. That's a break between semesters. And Yule usually falls into it too, and Kwanzaa, and sometimes Hannukah, or at least a portion of Hannukah.

So yea. Whatever. I think it's great. But I also think it's silly to finger out a single religion and say "We're not going to discriminate against you." Great. Wonderful. You shouldn't discriminate against anyone. And now you've shown us preferential treatment, which is sort of discriminatory in and of itself. Isn't it?

Saving Sherwood Forest

I think it's sad that Sherwood forest of legend has shrunk to a mere fraction of its old size. Down from 100,000 acres to 450. Wow. But, I'm not surprised. It seems these things are inevitable. Lucky for Sherwood forest, 15 organizations in England are banding together to save it and its ancient oak trees.

It's good news for Sherwood Forest. It pays to be famous, I suppose. There are many forests shrinking to nothing all over the world. I won't step on my urban sprawl soapbox. I'll just baby the pathetic half acre of woods in suburbia I have been given sacred charge of. Every little bit helps.

So let's raise a glass to Sherwood forest and its caretakers. May the Gods keep them.
And maybe we should get Bunky over there to cast a little lottery spell for 'em.