Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 6, (addendum) at the 2009 Parliament -- We’re on TV! (sort of)

I forgot to include that between the Lost & Endangered Religions Project program on Sunday and the URI Wisdom & Vision Council meeting that evening, many of us were on webcast TV!

The Interfaith Center at the Presidio has live webcasting capability on it’s website .  We originally thought of this as a great additional service to provide for couples getting married in the Chapel.  Family back home who couldn’t attend could see the marriage ceremony live.  Just a few months ago, when we broadcast a series of live presentations with the Joseph Campbell Foundation, we suddenly realized that we had our own interfaith TV station.

We made arrangements with the Parliament to get broadband wireless access and to webcast many of their sessions, but shortly before we left for Australia, something happened and it all fell apart.  We arrived here scrambling to find places near the Parliament where we could do interviews and trying to arrange internet access, which is VERY expensive here.

We had designated Sunday as “Pagan / Indigenous Day”, so after the LERP program, several folks hustled over to the attached Hilton to squeeze into a room and do interviews going out live.  Raul went first, with Rachael translating for him.  Then I interviewed Linda Ward, Belinda David, and Helen Gilmour – all members of the Pagan Awareness Network (which is here in force), Interfaith Australia, and Pagan Hearth.  They reported that when they had first tried to do national interfaith work, just a few years ago, they were told that it was ”international convention that Pagans not be included in interfaith events”.  Well, of course, they were able to prove this wrong, and through diligent local effort were now involved in national interfaith work in Australia.

After the Australians, I interviewed Anna and Michelle for an American Pagan view of Pagans at the Parliament.  Michelle added comments about the youth programming.  She also mentioned that there were a lot of folks in the Q & A sessions of programs asking questions about LGBT participation in religion.  In fact, LGBT representation at the Parliament has been an ongoing issue for over 15 years.  Out of almost 700 programs at this Parliament, there are only two that explicitly address LGBT issues.  Letters about this have gone to the Parliament before, and probably will again.  We’ll see if it makes any difference.

More to come…

Blessed Be,
Don Frew
National Interfaith Representative

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