Saturday, October 02, 2010

Druidic religion and politics

In other news, Druidry has just been officially recognized as a religion by Britain's Charity Commission. This status, which brings some tax privileges, seems like a judgment of what we sometimes lampoon as "nice religion," the liberal idea that true religion simply makes more law-abiding citizens: "The commission says the network's work in promoting druidry as a religion is in the public interest." I suppose I should find out more... In the meantime, the BBC website reported:

Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon, told the BBC News website the organisation had had to "jump through hoops" to meet the commission's requirements.

Although he runs his own druid order, he said the Druid Network's achievement was a celebration for all members of the faith.

He said: "We are looking at the indigenous religion of these isles - it's not a new religion but one of the oldest."

The 56-year-old added that people were becoming more interested in finding spirituality and the decision reflected this.

"I think people are looking to their roots and looking back at the secular world certain that things don't work.

"This decision shows how important our faith is. We are getting credence from a secular government about our belief structure - which not only shows it is valuable but also valued by us and others."

Mr Pendragon, of Stonehenge, said he would not be seeking charitable status for his own order - the Loyal Arthurian Warband - as it was a political wing and therefore had no need to be recognised as a charity.

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