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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in religious freedom

The Maetreum of Cybele is seeking donations to fund its continuing legal fight to have its tax-exempt status recognized by the Town of Catskill.  I was in court when a panel of appellate judges (New York's second-highest jurists) heard testimony which led to a ruling in the Maetreum's favor, one which was covered by the likes of Forbes and the New York Law Journal.

Like many small towns in this state, Catskill is apparently loathe to take a property off the tax rolls.  Both state and federal governments continue to heap unfunded mandates on local municipalities, which must also manage rising health-care costs and a tax cap which ensures that the revenue will never keep up with the costs without cutting what the law will allow, such as programs for senior citizens and other "discretionary" expenses.

Perhaps that is why Catskill is appealing -- despite the fact that their legal bill is likely to be significant either way.  The Maetreum of Cybele is looking to raise $15,000 for its defense, and I can't imagine the town will spend much less for their part.  Details on how to support the cause can be found on the group's Facebook page.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

If you're old enough, you may remember a television cartoon series from the 1950's called "Crusader Rabbit." He was, as I recall, sort of a Don Quixote-type character - tending to tilt at windmills which most folks would judge imaginary or not worth the effort. Whether that memory is correct or not, it's the way I often feel. Very few people ever seem to share my sense of injustice at the little subtleties in our culture.  

My wife and I receive healthcare in Arizona from the Banner Health organization. Banner is one of the largest healthcare conglomerates in the U.S., managing hospitals and medical practices all over the country. Yet, when we are admitted into the hospital for a procedure and are asked on the intake form to indicate whether we have a religion of choice, only certain ones are on their computer list and they do not include Pagan, Neopagan or Heathen. Most surprisingly, in light of recent acknowledgment by the Armed Forces and the Prison system, the Banner list doesn't even have Wiccan! (We are not Wiccan, strictly speaking, but it's close enough for Jazz. We'd take it.)

Nor can we override the system to have our religious beliefs typed-in. The closest they will allow are Other or Unknown! Kind of insulting. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    There are so many reasons to complain about the medical monopoly that this is hardly the biggest problem. I was first struck w
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    I appreciate your frustration with the medical monopoly, Greybeard, as well as your points about dietary restrictions (and yes, I

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

South Africa has come a long way in the last twenty years. In 1994 we had our first free elections, and from it we left Apartheid where it belonged- in the past. Then in 1996 we adopted a new Constitution; one which is heralded by many first world countries as being progressive. However, as liberal as our Constitution may be, South Africa is still a very conservative nation; especially when it comes to the topic of religion.

 

Our Constitution under Chapter 2, section 15, guarantees each citizen the right to freedom of religion:

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