The University should show respect for pagan holidays
This letter is addressed to UNM President David Schmidly.
name is Joseph Bell, and I'm a psychology student at UNM. As I
understand it, "establishment of goals and policies to guide the
University and oversight of the functioning of the University" is a
role carried out by your offices. If this is correct, then I have made
the proper choice in
I have been
watching the developments at Marshall University in West Virginia, and
I feel that the policies being enforced there are beneficial to people
such as me and would make for a better UNM.
Injustice has been
done to my religion - paganism - throughout the past. People have been
taught this peaceful religious path is evil in order to sway them away
to follow another religion. Then, lies become gospel, and people think
without a second thought that this
such lies surround paganism, and they incite shock, panic and hatred,
leading to murders. I'm simply trying to correct these mistakes
anywhere I can. And I think you could help me.
University recognizes pagan holidays as excused absences. I have been
an open pagan for 18 years. I fought for the inclusion of the pentacle
with the Veterans Administration for deceased pagan soldiers, and we
won. I have been attending this university for 4 1/2 years, and I have
been forced to miss out on events, festivities and time with my family
on sacred holidays. But when it comes to Christian holidays, we are all
Therefore, I am petitioning for the rights of pagan
holidays, as there are many more pagans at this University than most
are aware of. For the record, an actual pagan watches for and
celebrates the changing of the seasons, and we protect the environment
and all of mother nature's creatures, including animals. We honor both
male and female as equals. We are wise in healing remedies as we use
plants and natural substances instead of chemicals with side effects.
are eight pagan holidays - Samhain (Oct. 31), Imbolc (Feb. 2), Beltaine
(May 1), Lughnasadh (Aug. 1), Yule (circa Dec. 21), Ostara (circa March
21), Midsummer (circa June 21) and Mabon (circa Sept. 21). During the
mass conversion from paganism to Christianity starting around the year
325, Christians took most of our sacred holidays and altered their
meanings. Then they were made a mockery of by staining them with greed,
such as getting candies and gifts and other commercial aspects that
have destroyed their original sacred meanings.
It would mean
the world to me and other students if our holidays are finally returned
to their former glory after almost 1,800 years. With paganism becoming
the fastest-growing religion, the U.S. military acknowledging pagans
and their practices, prisons being forced to allow pagan inmates to
have religious supplies, I feel it would be a noble move on the part of
the University if it follows suit.