In an article appearing on FoxNews.com on Feb. 15, Joshua Rhett Miller writes that the University of Missouri is listing pagan and Wiccan sabbats in its academic guide on major holidays. The school has produced the “Guide to Religions: Major Holidays and Suggested Accommodations” used by the school’s faculty to determine the appropriate times of the year for planning student activities and to schedule class exams. The guide includes dates for the eight sabbats in the Wheel of the Year as well as information on some of the common pagan and Wiccan practices for each celebration.
In the same article on FoxNews.com, the officials from the university suggest that they have not received any complaints about the new holiday listings. However, some people disapprove of the additional holidays in the guide. The radio show host Tammy Edwards from the “Tammy Bruce Show” said that the holiday guide is “indicative of an unbecoming societal shift.” Edwards also asserts, “It almost seems as though we’re looking for excuses … it’s like societal nihilism, where nothing matters.” However, the holiday guide clearly indicates the university’s hope that faculty members will use the guide “for planning classroom activities and other academic and co-curricular events.”
According to Mail Online, the University of Missouri has about 33,000 enrolled students who come from every state in the nation as well as 115 other countries. The University’s Office of Diversity created the online guide. The listing of pagan and Wiccan celebrations accounts for about one-fifth of the university’s holiday listings.
For many celebrations, the guide includes general recommendations for faculty members on what to do for specific holidays. For example, for the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, the university recommends that faculty members avoid planning activities, events or “scheduling important academic deadlines.” Other holidays with “significant work restrictions” include the holidays like the Islamic Eid al-Adha, Christmas, the Shinto Gantan-sai, and the Chinese New Year. In contrast, while the guide includes a description of the holiday and general practices for each of the sabbats, no “significant work restrictions” or recommendations are listed for Mabon, Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha or Lammas.
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