Newsletter #8 – The Church of Spiritual Humanism
March 12, 2003 – Philadelphia www.SpiritualHumanism.org
The Vernal Equinox falls around 7 PM EST March 20th (or 1 AM GST March 21st) The Equinox is when there are equal periods of light and dark at all points on the Earth. The quibblers among us might point out that atmospheric effects and the geometry of the sun’s radius cause the days of equal light/dark to fall a few days before and after the actual date of the equinox. But this event is still centered on one day – the equinox.
The Vernal Equinox is often used as a marker for the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It has long been associated with religious celebrations and rituals. The modern holiday of Easter, can be directly traced back to the worship of the fertility goddess Eostre. Eostre’s festival was celebrated on the first full moon after the equinox. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon after the equinox. Eostre is associated with the symbols of decorated eggs and hares. However “peeps” seem to be a wholly modern adaptation.
IN THE NEWS
U.S. gives Saudi persecution a pass
Kingdom conspicuously absent from State’s list of worst violators
By Art Moore © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com
Saudi Arabia will be conspicuously absent from a State Department list of the worst violators of religious freedom, confirmed a State Department official who spoke to WorldNetDaily on condition of anonymity. Nina Shea, one of nine USCIRF commissioners, told WND, nevertheless, she is surprised at the omission this year “because it’s incontrovertible that there is no religious freedom in Saudi Arabia.”
see full story at
All people have an inalienable right to free religious enquiry. If the administration is going to compile lists like this it should be done with enough integrity to include the worst offender. Otherwise the issue of religious freedom is reduced to a farce.
Pseudo patriotism vs. American values
By Cynthia Tucker
When President Bush visited Atlanta in mid-February, suburban housewife Sally Rountree decided to take the opportunity to show her opposition to the probable invasion of Iraq. So she scribbled a homemade sign – “No War for Oil” – and found a place along the route of the presidential motorcade, hoping Bush would see her protest.
As she tells it, she was never rude. She didn’t shout. She didn’t elbow other onlookers or jostle toward the front of the crowd. She merely stood holding her sign.
Nevertheless, for the offense of exercising her rights as a citizen of one of the world’s greatest democracies, she was spat on, threatened and yelled at. One man went so far as to denounce her for wearing a cross around her neck, “insinuating I was not a Christian,” she said.
see full story at
What makes America great is our freedom to hold unpopular opinions. This is what our soldiers have fought and died for, what draws people from around the world to our shores, and what is at the heart of our success. If we lose our freedoms we will not be the country of great ideas and ideals, but rather just another repressive regime.
READERS WRITE IN
If you have question feel free to email me at info ( at ) spiritual humanism.org
Can a practicing Wiccian be ordained? Wiccians believe their practices are natural and celebrate nature.
Yes Wiccans can be ordained. We accept people of all religious backgrounds as long as they agree with our fundamental statement that religion must be based on reason.
We are holding our regular religious service and congregation at the Collier Room of the Philadelphia Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia on March 21st at 7 PM. This event is open to the public and we look forward to seeing some of you there.
As always Clergy Packages are available in our online store http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/shop.php The Ordination Certificates are printed on acid free paper for extra long life, and Clergy Wallet ID Cards are nice to have. Our book, The Officiant’s Manual includes information on celebrating the Vernal Equinox as well as marriage laws for all 50 states, sample ceremonies, etc. The fees charged for these packs are our only income and help defer administrative costs.
President, The Church of Spiritual Humanism