Vanderbilt Allows Students to Observe Wiccan Holidays
Reuters reports that Nashville's Vanderbilt University is now offering excused absences to students wishing to observe Wiccan and pagan holidays. Four Wiccan holidays were on the calendar Vanderbilt's Office of Religious Life sent to faculty as days on which they should work with students who asked for excused absences. "Vanderbilt's Office of Religious Life makes available to the campus community a calendar of holy days from a respected international source to raise awareness of the diverse religious practices that may exist on campus," reads the university statement. New Jersey public schools also recognize Wiccan holidays along with Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Confucian, Scientology and others. The practice is already followed by the U.S. military, where chaplains recognize these beliefs and any others practiced by members of the Armed Forces. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Todd Breasseale, in the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, said, "We make all reasonable accommodations."