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New group provides community, dialogue for UCA pagans

Posted: March 22, 2014 - 2:30pm
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When Ph.D candidate Sheldon Slinkard arrived at the University of Central Arkansas at the beginning of the fall semester, there was no organization bringing people who were in the same religious mindset as him.

Slinkard is a Lythia pagan — a ritualistic form of paganism that Slinkard said is different from other forms of paganism that are more “spontaneously religious.”

Through talking with people around campus, Slinkard said he saw a need for pagans — and those who wanted to engage in discussions about paganism — to have a place to congregate and talk.

“Sometimes you kind of have to create your own environment,” he said. “People knew that this was something that needed to happen, to have a core community of people to come to.”

At the beginning of the spring semester, Ignite: Pagans United had its first meeting.

The group meets every Thursday evening to discuss various forms of paganism and discuss how they differ from each other and other religions.

“It’s really a theoretically-based and educational group,” Slinkard said.

Each week the group has a presenter who talks about what they believe. The group then engages in discussion about why and how their beliefs differ.

“It’s been really low key,” Slinkard said.

Some of the presenters have been from other faiths, and the group welcomes discussion from people outside of paganism.

“We actually have inter-faith dialogue with a lot of Christian groups and Muslim groups,” Slinkard said.

Ignite: Pagans United has started planning events on campus and in the community to show people who they are and what they believe.

UCA Pagan Pride Day will be April 24 and will be open to the public. Slinkard said several other groups have committed to the event, including belly dancers who will perform and then hold a clinic and PRISM, the campus group serving the LGBT community, will be discussing sexuality and paganism.

In the fall, Slinkard said Ignite: Pagans United will be teaming up with three nonprofits for Pagan Pride Day.

For more information on Ignight: Pagans United, contact Sheldon Slinkard at sheldonslinkard@gmail.com.

(Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached by email at angela.spencer@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1212. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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reader
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reader 03/24/14 - 10:12 am
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WOW

Talk about expanding people's minds and avenues of thought! What a great idea for educating and sharing information based on social interaction of those of different faiths.

Igor Rabinowitz
8681
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Igor Rabinowitz 03/24/14 - 12:07 pm
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2
Wait, whoa...

It said

"...The group meets every Thursday evening to discuss various forms of paganism and discuss how they differ from each other and other religions."

Are we Cabin posters pagans?

Elmer Fudd
3517
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Elmer Fudd 03/24/14 - 01:07 pm
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ONLY

if you post on Thursday.

mikeng1994
11049
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mikeng1994 03/24/14 - 01:19 pm
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People Against Goodness And Normalcy

We all need goat leggings and learn the P.A.G.A.N. dance. I will look for the virgin Miss Connie Swail.

InsGuru
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InsGuru 03/24/14 - 02:29 pm
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lol

"Let this serve as a warnign, next time I'll hurl a fireball at you."

lachowsj
5189
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lachowsj 03/24/14 - 02:38 pm
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Religious freedom

"I never will ... bow to the shrine of intolerance, or admit a right of enquiry into the religious opinions of others. On the contrary we are bound, you, I, and everyone, to make common cause, even with error itself, to maintain the common right of freedom of conscience."
— Thomas Jefferson, 1803

“Neither Pagan nor Mahamedan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion."
- Thomas Jefferson

"It does me not injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. Neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
- Thomas Jefferson

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."
- Thomas Jefferson

"Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindu and Infidel of every denomination."
- Thomas Jefferson

"The United States is in no sense founded upon Christian doctrine."
- George Washington

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."
- James Madison

"And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion & Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."
- James Madison

"As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussel men; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."
- Treaty of Tripoli, approved by Senate and signed by John Adams, 1797

"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. These found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here [England] and in New England."
- Benjamin Franklin

mikeng1994
11049
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mikeng1994 03/24/14 - 03:18 pm
2
2
Let's not forget

Look Muzz, we've got you on 87 violations of the motor vehicle code, it's only a matter of time before we tie you into one of those PAGAN jobs, not to mention that you stole your landlady's wedding dress which so far is the only endearing thing about you. So why don't you talk to us? - Pep Streebeck

Elmer Fudd
3517
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Elmer Fudd 03/24/14 - 05:26 pm
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Wonder

which "Pagan" group this dude belongs to? There a gazillion.

Igor Rabinowitz
8681
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Igor Rabinowitz 03/25/14 - 11:53 am
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If pagans

Are all about the man-nature connection, and we have public parks and greenspace, are they not already provided a space for dialogue and interaction?

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