Tuesday, September 07, 2010

People Keep Doing It. I'm Going to Keep Complaining About It.

Although it starts off a bit oddly, here's a generally well-written article about the continuing struggle of a Pagan group known as the Maetreum of Cyble, Magan Mater to achieve tax-free status. Sadly, the author of the article, Colin DeVries (phone: 518-943-2100 ext. 3325, e-mail:, can't quite make himself capitalize the word "Pagan." One doubts that he'd write about a Catholic convent and refuse to capitalize "Catholic" or about a Christian camp and refuse to capitalize "Christian." So why the refusal to capitalize "Pagan"?

The feminine faction of resolute pagans in Palenville have hit back with yet another lawsuit requesting religious exemption status for the 2010 tax year.

On Aug. 4, the Maetreum of Cyblele, Magna Mater filed for 2010 tax exempt status in Greene County Court, according to a court clerk, after an unsuccessful bid with the town’s board of assessment review in May.

. . .

The Maetreum, a matriarchal pagan spiritual group based at the 19th century Central House at 3312 Route 23A, has been fighting for their religious freedom from taxation since they were denied their exemption in 2007.

Initially, the group was awarded their exemption in 2006 as an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) religious organization, but denied it the following year without reason, according to Cathryn Platine, the group’s spiritual leader and its Reverend Mother.

. . .

Now, already in the midst of an Article 78 court battle on the denied exemptions dating back to the 2007 tax year, the Maetreum has taken the town to task once more — though not without some backlash.

. . .

Platine said she feels that town officials and their attorneys are discriminating against their group, which has been known to take in impoverished and transgendered women looking for support or belonging.

Though those acts are part of a charitable service the Maetreum provides to the community, they are often misunderstood, according to Platine.

In expanding its services to the community, the group plans to open a food pantry to provide non-perishable goods to Palenville and other Catskill communities.

Last week, on Sunday, Aug. 28, the Maetreum hosted their second annual Pagan Pride Day, featuring unique crafts and workshops to help educate visitors on the various pagan religious movements. The event served as a food drive for non-perishable food items.

More information on the Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater is available at

To reach reporter Colin DeVries please call 518-943-2100 ext. 3325, or e-mail

I don't think that any religious group should get tax-exempt status, but, if Greene County is going to award such status to Christian groups, Pagan groups are entitled to the same treatment. The fact that the county also may be discriminating against poor and transgendered women only makes this case more egregious.

Capital letters found here.

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