Today I was able to attend one of the many wonderful events sponsored by Kay Soto at her store Truely Unique in Wilson NC. Today Blake Octavian Blair led a wonderful discussion on the value of Community in our Community. He mentioned the current happenings in Bumecombe County where Ginger Strivelli, co-founding priestess of The Appalachian Pagan Alliance, attempted to donate a box of pagan books to a school in Asheville that previously had given away Gideon Bibles just before the winter break in December. The story has caught a bit of media attention and was even covered by Fox News as well as local news.
When Blake first mentioned her name, I have to say I was slightly embarrassed as I didn't know who she was. Then as he began to tell her story the room lit up as many, including myself, immediately remembered her plight and knew exactly who he was referring to.
Just to give a little background to the story, basically a box of Gideon's Bibles were donated to a school, an announcement was made that anyone who was interested could come to the office and pick one up. This was brought to the attention of Ginger, whose son brought one home. When Ginger offered to bring other religious texts to the school she was told they would be treated the same, but when she made good on the promise and arrived with her materials she was told that the board was reviewing the process and her books would not be accepted.
The main complain here, is that the school should not be giving out religious materials from one group
and not another. Personally, to me, religion belongs in the church and in the home not in schools or government. That being said I felt that I would take some time to post about Ginger's situation on my blog tonight. I was surprised to hear that this has escalated to the point of death threats. I did some searching on the web and found that Selena Fox and the Lady Liberty League are calling out for a show of support for the Strivelli family. I'm so glad to see that our community is stepping up to defend Ginger. From the very first reporting I saw of the incident by Byron Ballard, Asheville's Village Witch on her Facebook page.
As Blake mentioned today, we are able in this day and age to support our community electronically. We can send emails, like a page and post a note of encouragement to this family to show our support for what they are going through. The Strivelli's have a Facebook Support page, where many are leaving comments, words of encouragement and well wishes for the family. As Selena mentioned on a recent status update, this family could use support in the form of visitors to their page or rituals. Even a short message would probably be very helpful.
Tonight I'm setting lighting a candle and sending out protective energies for Ginger and her family. I hope that all of you will be able to send them a note, post a blog, send a message, email a news group, do something to show support for our sister.
I would like to thank Blake for coming out and opening up a wonderful discussion as well as Kay at Truely Unique for the opportunity to attend.
Namaste & Blessed Be
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