Sunday, May 27, 2007

Is it true pagans have more fun?

Edinburgh University has invited the Pagan Society of Scotland to hold its annual festival on the University campus, but the decision irritates students of the University's Christian Union, who say they were denied equal treatment:

The University of Edinburgh has granted permission to the Pagan Society to hold its annual conference - involving talks on witchcraft, pagan weddings and tribal dancing - on campus next month. Druids, heathens, shamans and witches are expected to attend what is a major event in the pagan calendar.

But the move has enraged the Christian Union, which accuses the university of double standards after banning one of its events on the "dangers" of homosexuality.

Matthew Tindale, an Edinburgh-based Christian Union staff worker, claimed some faiths and beliefs appeared to be more equal than others on campus....

The row has its roots in last year's decision by university officials to ban the Christian Union from using campus premises to run a course which claimed that gay sex was morally wrong.

The course was deemed to be in breach of university anti-discrimination guidelines although a compromise measure was later offered to allow the course to take place if posters offering differing views were prominently displayed. Much to the displeasure of some campus Christians and the Catholic Church, no such conditions will be attached to the pagan gathering.

But the pagans point out that, unlike the Christian Union, their followers fully support the university's equality policies and condemn homophobic attitudes as "deplorable".

The Christian students at Edinburgh University can protest this until they're blue in the face (which might be a good idea, because then they might be taken for Picts and get the University to consider their views seriously). I wonder whether the Islamic Society of Edinburgh University will weigh in on this controversy -- and on which side?

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