Dear Patheos …

Jeremy McGee
President/COO Patheos, Inc.

Dear Patheos,

We the undersigned former and current Patheos Pagan contributors hereby request that you remove our names, likenesses, and our intellectual property, including our writing, art, and images, from your site. We previously gave Patheos license to publish our writing, but Patheos is no longer the company that we contracted with.

In September 2016, Patheos was purchased by Beliefnet, which is owned by an evangelical organization, BN Media. At that time, there were concerns among some of the Pagan writers at Patheos about the acquisition, because Beliefnet was known to have previously censored at least one Pagan blogger, Gus DiZerega.

Although Patheos contributors received assurances that Beliefnet’s acquisition of Patheos would not change anything, in January 2017, writers received new contracts and were pressured to sign within two days, an unreasonable amount of time to allow authors to review the contract. Furthermore, this was not a contract renewal; rather, BN Media unilaterally changed the terms of the existing contracts. The new contract included greatly expanded editorial control over Patheos writers.

In addition, the new contract explicitly forbade disparagement of Patheos or any related company. This prompted an investigation of what companies Beliefnet is related to, which revealed that Patheos is linked with a number of right-wing organizations, including the National Rifle Association, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Focus on the Family, Gun Owners of America, Promise Keepers, Concerned Women for America, the American Family Association, and the American Center of Law and Justice.

For many of the Pagan contributors at Patheos, these affiliations are morally problematic. The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) provides just one example. The connection between Patheos and the ACLJ is a matter of public record. Both Patheos and Affinity4 are BN Media brands. Affinity4 funnels charitable contributions to the ACLJ. In addition, Jeremy McGee, who is President and COO of Patheos, was also on the Board of Affinity4, together with Jay Sekulow, who is Chief Counsel for the ACLJ. The ACLJ promotes the criminalization of homosexuality in Africa. This conflicts with our deeply held religious values.

For many of the Pagan contributors at Patheos, the agendas advanced by these right-wing organizations, like the ACLJ, are morally repugnant. Though the terms of the contract were revised to prohibit disparagement only of Patheos and Beliefnet, many of us find the connection of Patheos, through Beliefnet, to these organizations to be unacceptable. For this reason, among others, many of us have left Patheos.

For those of us who have signed below, it is intolerable that our work continues to be associated with and, potentially, financially benefit those organizations. We should not be forced to affiliate with or be seen to support, through our work, organizations which are inimical to our values and which, in many cases, are hostile to our existence or the existence of our LGBT friends and family-members. For this reason, we ask that our names, likenesses, writing, art, images and other contributions be removed from the Patheos domain.

Sincerely,

Catharine Clarenbach, Nature’s Path
Christopher Scott Thompson, Polytheistic Monism
Dana Corby, The Rantin’ Raven
Drea Parker, Wild Garden
Elinor Predota, A Sense of Place
Erick DuPree, Alone in Her Presence
Holli S. Emore, Wild Garden
James Lindenschmidt, A Sense of Place
Jasmine LunaMadre, Dear Jasmine
John Halstead, The Allergic Pagan
Lupa Greenwolf, Paths Through the Forests
Macha NightMare, Wild Garden
Nimue Brown, Druid Thoughts & Pagan Leadership
Pat Mosley, Common Tansy
Rua Lupa, Paths Through the Forests
Rhyd Wildermuth, A Sense of Place
Sam Webster, Pagan Restoration
Shauna Aura Knight, Seeking the Grail
Taylor Ellwood, Socially Responsible Magic
Traci Laird, A Sense of Place
Yvonne Aburrow, Dowsing for Divinity

cc: Jason Mankey, Editor, Patheos Pagan Channel

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