Year 2002
Calendar
By Tradition...
Jewish - Kabbalah
Holidays - 2002
Christian -
Ecumenical Mysticism /
Wisdom Tradition

Holidays - 2002
Unitarian Universalist
Holidays - 2002
Muslim - Sufi
Holidays - 2002
Baha'i Holidays - 2002
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Hindu Holidays - 2002
Jain & Sikh
Holidays - 2002
Buddhist Holidays - 2002
Taoist & Shinto
Holidays - 2002
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African &
Middle-Eastern
Holidays:
Ancient Egyptian,
Santeria, Zoroastrian - 2002
Native American
(Iroquois, Navajo
& Pueblo)
& Meso American
(Inca, Mayan & Aztec)
Holidays - 2002
Pagan Holidays:
Old Religions of Europe
(Greek, Roman, Slavic,
Celtic, Anglo-Teutonic
& Norse) - 2002
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Deep Ecology /
Environmentalist
Dates - 2002
Social Justice /
Human Rights /
Feminist
Dates - 2002
Peace /
Disarmament
Dates - 2002
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Solar & Lunar Cycles,
Eclipse & Helions - 2002
Meteor Showers - 2002
Visible Planets - 2002
Astrological Periods - 2002
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Experiential Meditations
(for lunar cycles

throughout the year)
Empowering Meditations
Action Offerings
(to help the environment 
& further social justice)
Art as Meditation
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2002 Social Justice /
Human Rights / Feminist Dates

* 1/1: Ethics Day--Day to commit to cultivating personal honor. [Using reason and compassion to determine what is right and what is wrong, choose to do right: do what is right despite pressure/orders to do otherwise; do what is right even when no authority would require it; do what is right even when no one would know of it; do what is right even when it would cost money, take time, require effort, or exact sacrifice; do what is right even when wrongdoing will not be punished; and make atonement for harm done even when it is not required. Take responsibility for your words and actions (and silence and inaction). And demand the same from your government and religious leaders.] [Neither temptation, perceived need, past wrongs, the compulsion of addiction, nor the impaired judgment of intoxication excuse wrongdoing.]

* 1/1: Day the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect freeing the Confederate slaves (1863); day to mourn African victims of slavery and racism (past and present), make peace, and celebrate empowerment of African Americans. [President Abraham Lincoln made the Emancipation Proclamation on 9/22/1862.] [Text of Emancipation Proclamation] [While some Europeans (with the help of Africans) enslaved Africans in the past, not all Europeans at the time approved of slavery or the slave trade. Some actively opposed it. And no ethnic European alive today participated in slavery or the slave trade. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the governments of the countries that participated, it is immoral to blame all ethnic Europeans today for the evil committed by some Europeans in the past.]

* 1/1: Day the first woman was ordained an Episcopalian priest in the U.S. (1977). [Rev. Jacqueline Means]

* 1/1: Day the World Trade Organization (W.T.O.) was created (1995). Day to peacefully demonstrate to ensure that international trade complies with international and domestic standards concerning human rights, environmental protection, consumer protection, and labor practices. [See W.T.O. website. See also analysis of the W.T.O. and human rights generally: by Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, by Gabrielle Marceau, and by Steve Charnovitz. See also analysis of the W.T.O. and the environment: the W.T.O.'s perspective; Public Citizen's perspective; and Greenpeace's perspective. See also analysis of the W.T.O. and consumer protection: by Public Citizen. See also analysis of the W.T.O. and labor rights: by the W.T.O.]

* 1/4: Day ethnic discrimination was outlawed world-wide (1969); day to mourn all manifestations of racism. [Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: signed/adopted 3/7/1966; entered into force 1/4/1969.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 2 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also prohibit discrimination on account of race.] [The U.N. has designated 3/21 to 3/27 Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination.]

* 1/5: Birthday of Guru Gobind Rai Singh Sahib, tenth Sikh guru (1666). He believed that only those who love find Deity, and exhorted Sikhs to show compassion for humanity. [Guru Gobind Singh lived 1666-1708; guru 1675- 1708.] [a/k/a Guru Gobind Singh Parkash] [Nanakshahi calendar]

* 1/8: Death day of Galileo (1642), astronomer; day to mourn the persecution of scientists by religious authorities. [Birthday 2/15/1564]

* 1/12: Day genocide was outlawed world-wide (1951); day to mourn all victims of genocide. [Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: signed/adopted 12/9/1948; entered into force 1/12/1951.] [Text of Convention] [For more information, see Prevent Genocide International website.]

* 1/13: Death day of George Fox (1691), founder of the Quakers. Quakers experience Deity within and practice egalitarianism, social activism, and peacefulness. [Born 7/1624: exact date unknown]

* 1/13 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine). [For discussion of the Shekhinah as the feminine Divine Presence honored at Rosh Chodesh, see Wikipedia article on Shekhinah and "Women and Rosh Chodesh" from My Jewish Learning.] ["Elohim" is a masculine plural of a feminine Hebrew word that refers to a singular Deity whose unity incorporates both masculine and feminine elements. See Wikipedia article on Elohim. Kabbalists believe that estrangement between the Divine masculine and feminine elements has resulted in violence, injustice, and environmental destruction, but human action can bring about reparation and reunification. See "The History of 'Tikkun Olam'" by Jill Jacobs. While Kabbalists, Jewish feminists, the Jewish Renewal Movement, and many Reconstructionist and Reform Jews perceive Elohim as gender-inclusive, other Jews do not. Some Jews of all denominations perceive Elohim as genderless, but most Orthodox and Conservative Jews perceive Elohim as exclusively male. See "The Divine Feminine in Kabbalah: An Example of Jewish Renewal" from My Jewish Learning.] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Sh'vat, Rosh Chodesh Shivat, Rosh Chodesh Shivath, Rosh Chodesh Shevat, beginning of the Jewish month of Shevat]

* 1/15 (Obs.1/21): Birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929), Baptist preacher and non-violent advocate for the rights of African Americans. [Death day 4/4/1968]

* 1/16: Day El Salvador's 12-year civil war ended (1992); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Central America. [The 12-year civil war between leftist rebels and the military government of El Salvador ended 1/16/1992.] [See Wikipedia article on the Salvadoran Civil War. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: El Salvador.]

* 1/17 eve to 1/18 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Aphrodite--Day to honor peace and compassion. [Gamelion 4]

* 1/22: Day the Supreme Court recognized women's right to reproductive autonomy (1973). [Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)] [Text of case]

* 1/29: Birthday of Thomas Paine (1737), Deist who recognized the inherent rights of all men and women, and opposed non-democratic government. Deists believe Deity to be consistent with Nature and reason. [a/k/a Common Sense Day] [Death day 6/8/1809] [Text of amendment]

* 2/1: Day President Abraham Lincoln approved the U.S. Constitution's 13th Amendment, outlawing all slavery (1865). [The 13th Amendment was approved by Congress on 1/31/1865 and, after ratification by the states, was proclaimed in effect on 12/18/1865.] [Text of amendment] [a/k/a National Freedom Day]

* 2/1 to 2/28: Ethnic Equality Month--Time to honor all peoples and their positive traditions; time to meditate on the equality of all peoples, on the respect due to them, and on God-Goddess manifesting as African, Asian, Oceanic, Middle Eastern, European, Hispanic, and Native American. [Expands idea of African-American History Month a/k/a Black History Month.]

* 2/3: Day B'Tselem was founded to raise consciousness about the plight of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories (1989). [B'Tselem (the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) is an organization that seeks to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories by confronting the Israeli government and people with accurate information about human rights abuses and injustices perpetrated by Israelis on residents in the Occupied Territories.] [See B'Tselem website.]

* 2/4: Vigil for peace, religious tolerance, and equal rights for all in Sri Lanka - now in the throes of civil war. [Sri Lanka's civil war arose out of the legal preference given to the Sinhala people, the Sinhalese language, and the Buddhist religion over the Tamil people, the Tamil language, and the Hindu religion. The Sri Lankan civil war has been ongoing since 1983. On 2/22/2002, the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers guerrilla organization signed a cease fire and, on 12/5/2002, an agreement was reached to develop a federal structure of government with regional autonomy.] [Sri Lanka gained its independence on 2/4/1948.] [See Wikipedia article on the Sri Lankan Civil War. For a timeline on the conflict, see BBC News website. For information on the peace process, see Sri Lankan government peace process website; National Peace Council of Sri Lanka website. For information on the human rights situation, see Human Rights Watch report: Sri Lanka.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion, language, and ethnicity.]

* 2/7: Birthday of Frederick Douglass (1817), non-violent advocate for the rights of African Americans. [Death day 2/20/1895]

* 2/10: Day the Supreme Court concluded that the First Amendment Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, in conjunction with the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause, prohibits the government from favoring one religion over another and prohibits the government from favoring or disfavoring religion (1947). [Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)] [Text of case] [Text of First Amendment and Text of 14th Amendment] [Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 2 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) similarly prohibit discrimination on account of religion.]

* 2/11: Day the first woman was consecrated an Episcopalian bishop in the U.S. (1989). [Bishop Barbara Harris]

* 2/15: Birthday of Susan B. Anthony (1820), non-violent advocate for the rights of women and African Americans. [a/k/a Susan B. Anthony Day] [Death day 3/13/1906]

* 2/18: Nazi Resistance Day--Day to honor those who resisted Adolph Hitler's Nazi government during World War II. Members of the resistance attempted coups, rescued Jews, committed sabotage, encouraged work slow-downs, published anti-Nazi leaflets and newspapers, and conveyed information to the Allies. [The Nazis (aided by European collaborators) committed genocide, and invaded and occupied most of Europe and North Africa. Despite brainwashing of the population and execution of political dissidents, there were resistance movements (both organized and unorganized) in Germany and in all of the occupied countries. They were particularly active in Yugoslavia, Poland, France, Norway, Greece, and the Netherlands. See Wikipedia articles on the German Resistance and Resistance During World War II.] [2/18/1943 was the day leaders of the White Rose, Hans and Sophie Scholl, were arrested for distributing leaflets at the University of Munich that advocated active opposition to the Nazi regime. Both were executed four days later. See Wikipedia article on the White Rose.] [Though many Germans supported the  Nazis, some Germans gave their lives in resistance. As did other Europeans. And virtually all Germans (and Europeans) alive today disapprove of the Nazis' actions. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the German government, it is immoral to blame all Germans (or Europeans) today for the evil committed by the Nazis in the past.]

* 2/18 eve to 2/19 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Artemis (Roman Diana/Slavic Diwitsa) - as creatrix, midwife of birthing creatures, protector of the young, and punisher of child abusers. [Anthesterion 6]

* 2/19: Day President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the internment of loyal Japanese Americans during World War II (1942); day to mourn Asian victims of internment and exclusion (past and present), make peace, and celebrate empowerment of Asian Americans. [The internment was authorized by Executive Order 9066.] [While Emperor Hirohito's Japanese government attacked the U.S., Japanese Americans did not authorize or approve of the attack. While it was appropriate to blame the Japanese government for the war against the U.S., it was immoral to blame all ethnic Japanese for the acts of the Japanese government.]

* 2/22 (Obs. 2/18): Birthday of George Washington (1732), first president of the U.S. [Though he was a revolutionary war general, he ensured that the military was subordinate to the civilian government and that the transition of power from one administration to the next was peaceful and orderly.] [Death day 12/14/1799] [a/k/a President's Day] [As Presidents' Day, Abraham Lincoln's birthday (2/12/1809) is also celebrated.]

* 3/1 to 3/31: Gender Equality Month--Time to honor both genders; time to meditate on the equality of women and men, on the respect due to both women and men, and on Goddess-God manifesting as woman and man. [Expands idea of Women's History Month.]

* 3/4: Civics Education Day. Democracy can exist only with an educated electorate. [Only an educated electorate will demand free and fair elections and participate in the process. Only an educated electorate will demand a transparent, non-corrupt, responsive government. Only an educated electorate will demand checks on government powers. Only an educated electorate will demand rule of law and uniform enforcement of law. Only an educated electorate will know their rights, freedoms, and protections under domestic and international law. Only an educated electorate will demand equality and justice for all.] [The U.S. government first became operational on 3/4/1789, following ratification of the U.S. Constitution.]

* 3/5: Day commemorating the birth of Taoist Lao-Tzu (570? BCE). Taoists live simply and tranquilly, respect life, and recognize the equality of all. [570?-490? BCE; alternate dates 604-531 BCE]

* 3/8: International Women's Day--Day to mourn victims of gender-based oppression and misogyny (past and present), make peace, and celebrate women's empowerment. [See U.N. website on International Women's Day; A history of International Women's Day.]

* 3/9: Day slavery was outlawed world-wide (1927); day to mourn its continued existence. [Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery: signed/adopted 9/25/1926; entered into force 3/9/1927.] [Text of Convention] See also the Protocol Amending the Slavery Convention. [Text of Protocol] [Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 8 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also guarantee freedom from slavery.] [The U.N. has designated 8/23 International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. The U.N. has designated 12/2 International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.]

* 3/10: Death day of Harriet Tubman (1913), who risked her life to guide slaves to freedom. [Birthday unknown]

* 3/12: Day Pope John Paul II, in the name of the Catholic Church, asked Deity's forgiveness and apologized: to Christians of other denominations for intolerance to them, to Jews for anti-Semitism, to peoples of all non-Christian religions for intolerance and contempt for their religious traditions, to women for their humiliation and marginalization, and to the poor and the powerless for indifference to them (2000). [On the first Sunday in Lent in the Jubilee Year, as a part of the liturgy of the Mass inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II made this public confession with the aid of seven cardinals and bishops. See Transcript of Confession and Request for Forgiveness.] [While the Catholic Church instigated the Crusades, forcibly converted non-Christians, and killed Christian dissidents, ordinary Catholics at the time had no say in it. Nor did any Christian alive today. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the Catholic Church, it is immoral to blame all Catholics/Christians for the past abuses committed by the Church.]

* 3/14 eve to 3/24 eve: Muharram/Muslim New Year (Year 1423) & A'ashurah. The Five Pillars of Islam are confession, prayer, alms-giving, fasting, and pilgrimage. [The Qur'an says: "O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct." See Qur'an Surah 49 Vs. 13. And see the Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights and the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. For scholarly discussions of human rights in Islam, see "Religious Human Rights in the Qur'an" by Riffat Hassan, "Human Rights in Islam" by 'Allamah Abu al-'A'la Mawdudi, and "Universal Human Rights and 'Human Rights in Islam'" by David Littman. See also the Islamic Human Rights Commission, an organization that advocates for justice for all. But see Human Rights Watch report: Saudi Arabia  (Saudi Arabia is the center of Sunni Islam) and Human Rights Watch report: Iran  (Iran is the center of Shi'a Islam).] [a/k/a Islamic New Year] [Muharram 1-10]

* 3/16: Day Pope John Paul II expressed remorse for the failure of Christians to prevent the murder of six million Jews during World War II (1998). [This was expressed in "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah".] [Pope Pius XII, who became Pope in 1939, was silent about the Nazi persecution of Jews, other than a 1942 Christmas message that acknowledged that "hundreds of thousands of persons...because of nationality or race, have been consigned to death".] [However, Pope John Paul II planned to beatify Pope Pius XII, until protests dissuaded him. And, in spite of protests, on 9/3/2000, he beatified anti-Semitic Pope Pius IX (who, on 7/14/1555, revoked Jews' previously-recognized rights and required Jews to live in a walled ghetto).]

* 3/16 eve to 3/17 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Athena - as protector and defender. [Elaphebolion 3]

* 3/16 to 3/20: Zoroastrian celebration of Divine Spirit Spenta Mainyu (Holy Spirit), creator and protector of humans. [a/k/a Hamaspathmaedaya, All Souls, Parsi Muktad, Irani Farvadigan] [Fasli calendar]

* 3/18: Day the first bat mitzvah occurred - in Reconstructionist Judaism (1922). [In order to mark her religious coming-of-age, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan had his daughter, Judith Kaplan, read the Torah and recite the blessings before the congregation. He wanted to recognize the equality of Jewish girls to boys, to recognize girls' obligation to fulfill the commandments, and to encourage girls to study the Torah. Bat mitzvahs are now universally done in Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform Judaism, and Conservative Judaism. Some congregations of Orthodox Judaism also conduct them.]

* 3/27 eve to 4/4 eve: Passover/Pesach--Jewish festival recalling their deliverance from slavery in Egypt and celebrating freedom from oppression. [Observed with dietary restrictions, the seder meal (representing their hardships), and recitation of the Haggadah (relating the Exodus).] [See "Judaism and Human Rights" by Rabbi David Rosen and Declaration on Judaism and Human Rights. See also Rabbis for Human Rights website. Rabbis for Human Rights (Shomrei Mishpat) is the rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel, giving voice to the Jewish tradition of human rights. It advocates for justice, equality, and recognition of the human rights of all in Israel and in the Occupied Territories. But see Human Rights Watch report: Israel.] [Reform Jews and Reconstructionist Jews celebrate 7 days instead of 8 days; the first and last days are holy.] [Passover Truce: Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and share a seder for peace.] [a/k/a Pesah, Feast of Unleavened Bread] [Nisan 15-22]

* 3/28: Death day of Scott Cunningham (1993), who taught a reverent, ethical, egalitarian, and ecological form of Wicca. Wiccans create sacred space by calling on the powers of the four directions, invoke the Lord and Lady in their various guises, and raise power (through drumming, dance, and chant) to realize a positive purpose. [Birthday 6/27/1956]

* 3/29: Birthday of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise (1819), who founded Reform Judaism in 1873. He advocated reforms in the service, including family pews, a mixed choir, and counting women in forming a minyan (religious quorum). [Death day 3/26/1900] [Reform Judaism affirms personal autonomy and the fundamental right of the individual to determine beliefs and practices. It is committed to social justice and inclusion of women equally with men.] [See Union for Reform Judaism website.]

* 3/30: Day the U.S. Constitution's 15th Amendment went into effect, recognizing the right of all ethnic peoples to vote (1870). [The 15th Amendment was approved by Congress on 2/26/1869 and, after ratification by the states, was proclaimed in effect on 3/30/1870.] [Text of amendment]

* 3/31: Birthday of Cesar Chavez (1927), who won recognition of migrant workers' rights through organization and non-violent protest. [Death day 4/23/1993]

* 3/31: Vigil to mourn China's annexation of Tibet (1959) and the killings, torture, and religious persecution of Tibetan Buddhists. [Day the Dalai Lama fled into exile following the Chinese invasion of Tibet.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.] [For more information, see International Campaign for Tibet website; Human Rights Watch report: China and Tibet.]

* 4/1: Chinese Buddhist festival of Bodhisattva Kuan Yin (Tibetan Tara/Japanese Kannon); celebrates Her "birth." She declared women the spiritual equals of men. [2nd Chinese month, 19th day]

* 4/1: Vigil for freedom of religion in Iran. [Shi'a Islam is the official religion. While some other Muslim sects and non-Muslim religions are officially recognized, some are not. Those that are not recognized (particularly Baha'is) and even some that are recognized (particularly Sunni Muslims, Sufi Muslims, Zoroastrians, and evangelical Christians) are discriminated against, harassed, or persecuted. Jews are vilified.] [Islamic Republic Day is the day the Iranian people voted in 1979 to become an Islamic Republic. It occurs on 4/1 (3/31 in leap years).] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.]

* 4/1: Day that same-sex marriage was first legally recognized (2001). [Same-sex marriage has been legalized in the Netherlands (2001). Many countries recognize same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships (e.g., Denmark (1989), Norway (1993), Sweden (1995), Hungary (1996), Iceland (1996), France (1999), Germany (2001), Portugal (2001), and Finland (2002)). In the U.S., Hawaii (1997), California (1999), Vermont (2000), and D.C. (2002), have legalized same-sex civil unions or adopted same-sex domestic partnership laws. However, some U.S. states have constitutional amendments, statutes, or judicial decisions banning same-sex marriage. A federal statute (Defense of Marriage Act -- 1996) bans same-sex marriage under federal law and allows states to not recognize same-sex marriages contracted elsewhere.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on same-sex marriage.] [Christian denominations that perform same-sex marriage ceremonies include the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Metropolitan Community Church, and the Ecumenical Catholic Church. Congregations of Reconstructionist Judaism and Reform Judaism also perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. Some Episcopal churches, Presbyterian churches, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) meetings, and congregations of Conservative Judaism also perform same-sex marriage or blessing ceremonies.]

* 4/6: Day the Hutus began genocidal massacres of Tutsis in Rwanda (1994); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Africa. [Over 800,000 were killed.] [See U.N. website on  remembrance of the Rwanda genocide.] [For more information, see BBC report; Peace Pledge Union article on the Rwanda Genocide. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: Rwanda.]

* 4/7: World Health Day--Day to pray for healing of all those chronically and seriously ill; day to advocate for adequate health care for all. [Day the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) was founded in 1948.] [For information on World Health Day, see World Health Organization website.] [For information on the World Health Organization, see World Health Organization website.]

* 4/7: Birthday of William Ellery Channing (1780), Unitarian who believed all concepts of Deity to be aspects of the one Deity, and preached religious tolerance. [Death day 10/2/1842]

* 4/9: Holocaust Remembrance Day--Day to mourn Jewish victims of genocide and anti-Semitism, make peace, and celebrate empowerment of Jewish Americans. [Six million Jews were killed by the Nazis.] [See BBC Analysis: "Genocide Under the Nazis".] [a/k/a Yom Hashoa, Yom Hashoah, Yom HaShoah] [Nisan 27]

* 4/11: Day Pope John XXIII called for world peace, recognition of human rights, and justice under law (1963). He recognized that peace will only be realized when social justice is realized. [The Pope believed that it is the function of government to create a juridical order, in harmony with the moral order. He recognized that each person is vested with rights and duties that are universal, inviolable, and inalienable. The Pope said that each person has: the right to live, the right to the means necessary for life, the right to freedom of speech, the right to pursue the profession of choice, the right to an education and to receive information about public events, the right to religious freedom, the right to found a family, the right to work, the right to a just and living wage and work conditions conducive to family life, the right to own property, the right of meeting and association, the right to emigrate and immigrate, the right to participate in public life, and to legal protection of these rights. He indicated that government, with due regard for the equality of all, has a duty to accommodate the rights and duties of all, preventing the rights of some to impede the rights of others. Government must be particularly concerned with the welfare of the weak, minority groups, and refugees. The Pope believed that governments should, in their international relations, also act with truth, justice, and respect. He also believed that wealthier countries should aid the poorer ones. He encouraged countries to work together through the United Nations and other international entities. The Pope condemned the arms race and the development of nuclear weapons, and said that disarmament is necessary for world peace. He disapproved of war, recognizing that weapons of mass destruction could not serve justice.] [This is expressed in Pope John XXIIIs Encyclical on Peace on Earth.] 

* 4/14: Day the Sikh Khalsa was created (1699). Men and women initiated into the Khalsa seek harmony with the Divine through introspection and service to the dispossessed. Both men and women are initiated equally. [Nanakshahi calendar]

* 4/15: Tax Day--Day to give back to the community for the benefits of community. [Give from your own abundance for the betterment of all: to pay for schools, libraries, hospitals, community centers, and parks; roads, bridges, and transit; fire, police, and military protection; health and safety requirements; food and drug inspections; regulation of financial institutions; equal rights enforcement; and environmental protection.] [To whom much is given, much is expected.]

* 4/16 eve to 4/17 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Aphrodite--Day to honor peace and compassion. [Mounikhion 4]

* 4/17: Day Cambodia fell to the Khmer Rouge, who caused the deaths of more than a million civilians (1975); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in East Asia. [For more information, see Yale Cambodian Genocide Study; Peace Pledge Union article on the Cambodian Genocide. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: Cambodia.]

* 4/18: Death day of Elhanan Winchester (1797), Universalist who exhorted people to lives of personal ethics and social reform. [Birthday 9/30/1751]

* 4/19: Day Nicaragua's 9-year civil war ended (1990); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Central America. [The 9-year civil war between rebels and the government of Nicaragua ended 4/19/1990.] [See Wikipedia article on History of Nicaragua (1979-1990). For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: Nicaragua.]

* 4/20: Day for meditation on Tantric Bodhisattva Deities Avalokitesvara and Green Tara, consciousness and empowerment of Compassion. Buddhists recognize the equality of all sentient beings. [See Avalokitesvara Mantra and Green Tara Mantra.] [a/k/a Tara Puja] [8th Tibetan day]

* 4/22: Day the world's nations guaranteed asylum to those persecuted in their homelands on account of their ethnicity, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (1954). [Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees: signed 7/28/1951; entered into force 4/22/1954.] [Text of Convention] [For more information, see United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (U.N.H.C.R.) website; Human Rights Watch website.]

* 4/25: Day to take your children to work to teach them the value of self-sufficiency. [a/k/a Take Our Daughters to Work Day]

* 4/27: Death day of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1882), Transcendentalist Unitarian who believed in equality, self reliance, and the immanence of Deity in humans and in all Nature. [Birthday 5/25/1803]

* 4/28: Birthday of Oskar Schindler (1908), who protected 1200 Jews during the Nazi occupation of Poland by employing them in his factory and convincing the Nazis that they were necessary for the war effort. [Death day 10/9/1974] [Many Germans and other Europeans in Nazi-occupied countries risked their lives to protect Jews by hiding them or transporting them out of Nazi-occupied territory.]

* 5/1: Law Day--Day to celebrate rule of law (and freedom from rule by force - rule of men). Where there is rule of law, the military, the police, civilian government officials, and the people are all subject to the law, and enforcement of the law is uniform. [It is through rule of law that we have justice and equality: law enacted by the legislative branch of government, interpreted by the judicial branch of government, administered/enforced by the executive branch of government, and always subject to the rights, freedoms, and protections of the U.S. Constitution.] [President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed 5/1 to be Law Day in 1958. Its observance was codified into law in 1961 by P.L. 87-20, 75 Stat. 43, 36 U.S.C. 113.]

* 5/1: Day Pope John Paul II affirmed that capitalism must be tempered by social justice and restrained by human rights and environmental laws (1991). [Pope John Paul II rejected communism and totalitarianism, as well as consumerism and unbridled capitalism. He reaffirmed the fundamental rights of workers to their own labor, to dignity in work, to reasonable working conditions, to humane working hours, to a just and living wage, to a family life, to associate with other workers for their collective good, and to participate in a democratic process of governance under the rule of law. He indicated that the government has an obligation to seek full employment of workers through its economic policies, to provide social security for those unable to work, and to provide unemployment insurance and retraining for the unemployed. He also reaffirmed the right to private ownership of property, including technology, but cautioned that the government should not favor the wealthy over the poor. Rather, it is the responsibility of the government to protect all people, but especially the poor and the vulnerable, from exploitation by rich and the powerful companies, particularly in times of economic and industrial change. He also indicated that governments should not allow companies, in the name of capitalism, to exploit natural resources of the Earth irresponsibly and destroy the environment.] [Expressed in Pope John Paul II's Social Encyclical, issued on the 100th Anniversary of Rerum Novarum, the Social Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, which it strives to reinterpret.]

* 5/2: National Day of Prayer--Day to pray for freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state throughout the world. [Freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and separation of religion and government is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. For text and information on the First Amendment, see Cornell University's Legal Information Institute website. For domestic organizations that advocate for freedom of religion, see Americans United for Separation of Church and State website; American Civil Liberty Union website. For information on religious freedom in countries around the world, see U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report; Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief website.]

* 5/3: World Press Freedom Day--Day to recognize the importance of a free, independent, pluralistic media world-wide, as a fundamental human right and essential to democracy. [Democracies are dependent on the media: to ensure that government processes are transparent, fair, and non-corrupt; to educate the electorate concerning the facts of important issues and to reveal misstatements of fact; and to ensure that the people are conscious of their rights, freedoms, and protections under domestic and international law. It is important that the media monitor government, industry, and other media. Media includes both news and entertainment: print media, internet-based media, radio, television, and film.] [See U.N. website on Press Freedom Day.] [Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 19 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of the press.] [For information about freedom of the press, see Freedom House website and World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC) website. For media monitoring U.S. politicians, see FactCheck website. For media monitoring the U.S. media, see Media Watch website (challenging racism, sexism, and violence in the media) and Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) website (challenging media bias and censorship of minority and dissenting viewpoints).]

* 5/5: Cinco de Mayo--Day celebrating Mexico's victory over occupying French forces; day to mourn Hispanic victims of exploitation (past and present), make peace, and celebrate empowerment of Hispanic Americans. [On 5/5/1862, 4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated 8,000 better-equipped French soldiers at the Battle of Puebla.]

* 5/6: Dakinis' Day--Day Tantric Buddhists make offerings to the Dakinis (female embodiments of enlightened energy) and Mother Tantra; day to unite will and power to manifest positive social change and environmental healing. [Observed primarily by Tantric initiates.] [a/k/a Dakini Puja, Mother Tantra Puja, Tsog, Tsok] [25th Tibetan day]

* 5/7: Day the mandate of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions was established to investigate, report on, and dialogue with governments to prevent, extrajudicial killings (1982). [Any killing carried out, or acquiesced, by any government official without due legal process is illegal and immoral, and should be investigated, prosecuted, and punished. Neither war nor civil strife nor emergency justifies extrajudicial killing of a noncombatant.] [See Fact Sheet on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions; website for the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions; and website for Project on Extrajudicial Executions.]

* 5/10: Death day of Theodore Parker (1860), Unitarian slavery abolitionist and social justice activist. [Birthday 8/24/1810]

* 5/12: Day the first woman was ordained a rabbi in Conservative Judaism (1985). [Rabbi Amy Eilberg] [Conservative Judaism now fully embraces the ordination of women and has abolished most gender distinctions that limit women from full participation in Jewish ritual. See Wikipedia article on Women in Judaism. See also United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism website and Women's League for Conservative Judaism website.]

* 5/15: Peace Officers Memorial Day--Day to honor all police officers who served honorably and died in the line of duty, enforcing the law and protecting the people from criminals.

* 5/17: Day the Supreme Court concluded that ethnic-based segregation of schools violates the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution (1954). [Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)] [Text of case] [Text of Fourteenth Amendment] [Articles 1, 2, and 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2, 3, and 26 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also recognize the equal rights and freedoms of all and prohibit discrimination.]

* 5/18: Armed Forces Day--Day to honor all soldiers who serve our country honorably (consistent with the Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the U.S. Constitution) in war and in peace.

* 5/19: Day the first woman was ordained a rabbi in Reconstructionist Judaism (1974). [Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso] [Reconstructionist Judaism fully embraces the ordination of women and rejects gender distinctions that limit women from full participation in Jewish ritual. It also has developed gender-inclusive prayer books. See Wikipedia article on Women in Judaism and "American Jewish Feminism: The Movement Matures" from My Jewish Learning. See also Kolot: Center for Jewish Women's and Gender Studies.]

* 5/20: Day the Supreme Court concluded that, under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, freedom of religious belief is absolute, but the freedom to act on that belief is subject to nondiscriminatory laws intended to promote public safety, health, or general welfare of the community (1940). [The religious character of a regulated entity is not a legitimate basis for non-compliance with those laws.] [Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940)] [Text of case] [Text of First Amendment] [Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) similarly guarantee freedom of religion.]

* 5/20: Day the Supreme Court recognized that discrimination against lesbians and gays violates the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution (1996). [Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996)] [Text of case] [Text of Fourteenth Amendment] [Articles 1, 2, and 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2, 3, and 26 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also recognize the equal rights and freedoms of all and prohibit discrimination.]

* 5/21: Cultural Diversity Day--Day to celebrate cultural differences (including positive traditions, language, art, song, dance, food, and clothing) of African, Asian, Oceanic, Middle Eastern, European, Hispanic, and Native American peoples. [See U.N. website on Cultural Diversity Day.]

* 5/21: Death day of Jane Addams (1935), social worker, feminist, and peace advocate. [Birthday 9/6/1860]

* 5/23: Birthday of Margaret Fuller (1810), Transcendentalist and feminist who argued that women, as well as men, have immortal souls. [Death day 7/19/1850]

* 5/24 eve to 5/25 eve: Mawlid al-Nabi--Day commemorating the birth of Prophet Muhammad (570). He conceived Deity to be a compassionate, genderless unity. [While many Sufis consider Allah to be gender-inclusive, and some Muslims of all denominations consider Allah to be gender-neutral, most Muslims consider Allah to be exclusively male.] [a/k/a Mawlid an-Nabi, Milad-un-Nabi, Miladun-Nabi] [Rabi' al-Awwal 12]

* 5/27: Memorial Day--Day to honor all soldiers who fought honorably and died in war, to mourn all of war's victims, and to contemplate all the horrors of war.

* 6/1 to 6/30: June dedicated to Old Roman Goddess Juno - partner of Jove (God of Happiness), protector of marriage and family, and punisher of abusive and adulterous spouses.

* 6/1 to 6/30: Gay and Lesbian Coming Out Month--Time to celebrate all forms of love and family. [a/k/a Gay and Lesbian Pride Month]

* 6/3: Day the first woman was ordained a rabbi in Reform Judaism (1972). [Rabbi Sally Priesand] [Reform Judaism now fully embraces the ordination of women and has abolished all gender distinctions that limit women from full participation in Jewish ritual. It also has developed gender-inclusive prayer books. See Wikipedia article on Women in Judaism and "American Jewish Feminism: The Movement Matures" from My Jewish Learning. See also Women of Reform Judaism website.]

* 6/4: Day to mourn the massacre of the peaceful, pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China (1989); vigil for democracy and respect for the human rights of all in China. [For more information, see Human Rights Watch report: China.]

* 6/5: Baha'i feast honoring the one Deity as Nur - Light. Baha'is recognize ethnic equality.

* 6/11: Birthday of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1881), founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. He perceived Deity to be a genderless Cosmic Force of Nature, and promoted a Judaism that recognizes gender equality and rejects violence and social injustice. [Death day 11/8/1983] [See article on Mordecai Kaplan.] [Rabbi Kaplan wrote "The Meaning of God in Modern Jewish Religion" and "Judaism as a Civilization".] [Reconstructionist Judaism values personal autonomy and democratic decision-making as well as religious law and tradition. It embraces science and diverse views of Deity. It exhorts Jews to work for progressive ethical and social evolution in Judaism and society. See "Who is a Reconstructionist Jew?" by the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. See also Jewish Reconstructionist Federation website.]

* 6/13: Christian feast of St. Anthony (d. 1231), guardian of the poor and the powerless, and guide of social justice activists.

* 6/13 eve to 6/14 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Athena - as protector and defender. [Skirophorion 3]

* 6/14 (A 7/25): Beginning of Old Egyptian Shomu/Harvest month of Mesut-Ra/Mesori, dedicated to Neteru Ra and Rait. Priests and priestesses made offerings to the Neteru (Gods and Goddesses) to ensure that there would be security and protection for all. [Kemetic calendar] [Alexandrian calendar 7/25] [Ancient Egyptian calendar: Mesut-Ra day 1]

* 6/16: Birthday of Fr. Sergei Bulgakov (1871), Orthodox Christian mystic who believed the one universal Deity to be Father and Mother, Spirit and Matter. [Death day 7/12/1944]

* 6/17: Day to celebrate Starhawk's work in reclaiming the Goddess and raising Goddess-consciousness. She teaches an eco-egalitarian form of Wicca. Wiccans advocate for environmental protection and gender equality out of reverence for Goddess, who controls, and is manifested in, Nature. [The Wiccan rede is: Do what you will, but harm none.]

* 6/17: Day a fatwa condemned "honor killings" as un-Islamic and banned the practice (2002). [An "honor killing" is the killing of a woman by her relatives because she has been raped, is suspected of sexual activity outside of marriage, is pursuing unauthorized courtship, has refused an arranged marriage, or is seeking a divorce.] [Sheikh Atiyyah Saqr, former head of the al-Azhar University Fatwa Committee said "Islam strictly prohibits murder and killing without legal justification. Allah, Most High, says, 'Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is Hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.' (An-Nisa': 93) The so-called 'honor killing' is based on ignorance and disregard of morals and laws, which cannot be abolished except by disciplinary punishments...[P]eople are not entitled to take the law in their own hands, for it's the responsibility of the Muslim State and its concerned bodies to maintain peace, security, etc., and to prevent chaos and disorder from creeping into the Muslim society."] [Islamic fatwa condemning "honor killings"] [See also "Honor Killings in the Name of Religion" by Mohamad K. Yusuff (Islamic Research Foundation International); United Nations Report on Honor Killings.]

* 6/17: Day Pakistan disenfranchised Ahmadi Muslims by requiring them to declare themselves to be non-Muslim in order to vote (2002). Vigil for the end of persecution of Ahmadis by other Muslims and for religious tolerance of all Muslims by all Muslims. [Some Muslims consider Ahmadis to be heretics. Ahmadis are persecuted in Pakistan, Egypt, and Indonesia; they are harassed in Bangladesh and Malaysia. See Ahmadi website documenting their mistreatment.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion (and freedom from coercion that would impair freedom of religion) and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.]

* 6/20: World Refugee Day--Day to recognize the plight of the millions of people who, because of persecution, war, or environmental disaster, have become refugees: forced to leave their homes, their jobs, and their countries. [See U.N. website on World Refugee Day.]

* 6/21: Taoist festival honoring Shang-Ti/Heavenly Emperor, Father of Justice and Law, and manifestation of the Te (Virtuous Inner Power). Also celebrates the peak of the masculine Yang half of the year and the Shen of Fire, South, and Summer; prayers are made for strength and maturity, and offerings are made to the ancestors.

* 6/21: Yoruba/Santeria feast of Orisha Babalu Aye, Guardian of the Disabled.

* 6/21: Day Unitarian Universalists adopted seven unifying Principles (1985). U.U.s affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. [See Unitarian Universalist Principles.] [adopted 6/17-6/21/1985]

* 6/25: Day the first woman was ordained a Universalist minister in the U.S. (1863). [Rev. Olympia Brown]

* 6/25: Day the Supreme Court recognized that government-sponsored prayer in public schools imposes religion on students and violates the First Amendment Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution (1962). [Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962)] [Text of case] [Text of First Amendment] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also guarantee freedom from coercion that would impair freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.]

* 6/26: Day torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment were outlawed world-wide (1987); day to mourn their continued existence. [Torture is an illegal, immoral, and ineffective means of interrogation and punishment. All officials have a legal duty and moral obligation to refuse an order to commit torture and to prevent it from occurring. Anyone who attempts, conspires, or commits torture is legally culpable. All acts of torture should be investigated, prosecuted, and punished. Neither war nor civil strife nor emergency justifies torture.] [Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: adopted 12/10/1984; signed 2/4/1985; entered into force 6/26/1987.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee Against Torture monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights website; Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 7 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also guarantee freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.] [See U.N. website on Torture Victims' Day.] [a/k/a International Day in Support of Victims of Torture]

* 6/27: Death day of Joseph Smith (1844), founder of the Mormon Church. He promoted a religion that was egalitarian and communitarian, and worshipped Deity as a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. [Birthday 12/23/1805]

* 6/28: First day of the Stonewall riot (1969); day to mourn victims of homophobia (past and present), make peace, and celebrate lesbian and gay empowerment. [Rioting occurred June 28-29, 1969.]

* 6/28: Day the Supreme Court concluded that, to avoid violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the law (1) must have a legitimate secular purpose, (2) its primary effect must neither advance nor inhibit religion, and (3) it must not result in excessive entanglement with religion (1971). [The Establishment Clause was intended to prevent any religion from using governmental powers to impose its beliefs or practices on nonadherents.] [Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971)] [Text of case] [Text of First Amendment] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also guarantee freedom from coercion that would impair freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.]

* 6/30: Vigil for peace, democracy, religious freedom, ethnic equality, and the end of slavery and genocide in Sudan. [About the Darfur crisis] [For more information on the Darfur conflict, see Global Security website and Wikipedia article on War in Darfur. And for information on the conflict between north and south Sudan, see Wikipedia article on the Second Sudanese Civil War. For information on the human rights situation, see Human Rights Watch report: Sudan.]

* 7/1: Canada Day--Day to celebrate the union of diverse peoples, languages, cultures, and religions into one nation. [On 7/1/1867, the British Parliament united the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada (Ontario and Quebec) into a federation.] [Canada includes 50 distinct indigenous peoples, in addition to those of English and French descent and more recent immigrants, each with its own language, culture, and religion.] [a/k/a Fete du Canada, Dominion Day, Le Jour de Confederation]

* 7/1: Day the International Criminal Court came into being to prosecute those who commit acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, international terrorism, and war crimes (2002). [Anyone who plans, orders, or carries out such an act (even if ordered to) is legally culpable. The I.C.C. is a politically neutral tribunal, governed by international (and U.S.) standards of due process.] [The I.C.C. Statute was adopted on 7/17/1998; it entered into force on 7/1/2002.] [The U.S. has refused to ratify the statute creating this Court. Day to lobby for U.S. ratification.] [After threatening to stop providing U.S. troops for U.N. peacekeeping missions, on 7/12/2002, the U.S. was granted immunity from I.C.C. jurisdiction for U.S. troops serving as U.N. peacekeepers. The U.S. is also negotiating bilateral agreements with countries to gain immunity from I.C.C. jurisdiction for U.S. troops. The E.U. has objected to this practice.] [For more information, see Website of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; Coalition for the International Criminal Court website; USA for the International Criminal Court website; Human Rights Watch website; Amnesty International website.]

* 7/2: Day discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender, and religion was prohibited in public accommodations, employment, and education (1964). [The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.] [Pub. L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, 42 U.S.C. 2000a et seq.] [Text of statute] [Title II prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, Title III and Title VI prohibit discrimination by local governments, Title IV and Title IX prohibit discrimination in education, and Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment.] [For information on fighting discrimination based on "race" and "color", see U.S. E.E.O.C. website, and for information on fighting discrimination based on national origin, see U.S. E.E.O.C. website. For information on fighting discrimination based on gender (including sexual harassment), see U.S. E.E.O.C. website. For information on fighting discrimination based on religion, see U.S. E.E.O.C. website.]

* 7/4: U.S. Independence Day--Day to celebrate the right of all peoples to exercise peaceful, democratic self-determination. [Day the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress in 1776.] [Text of Declaration of Independence] [Day to celebrate the union of diverse peoples, languages, cultures, and religions into one nation. The U.S. includes 561 distinct indigenous tribes, in addition to people of European, African, Asian, Oceanic, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern descent, each with its own language, culture, and religion.]

* 7/4: Death day of Thomas Jefferson (1826), who ensured that the U.S. Constitution would protect basic rights and liberties. A Deist, he practiced a religion that was based on Nature, reason, and ethics. [Birthday 4/13/1743]

* 7/8 eve to 7/9 eve: Celebration day for Muhyi ad-Din Ibn El-Arabi (d. 1240), Sufi saint who honored Deity as a unity manifested in all Nature, both genders, and countless forms. He theorized about divine immanence ("Allah is Nature, and Nature Allah"), divine transcendence ("Allah is above Nature, which Allah created"), and the unity of being. [El-Arabi lived in Spain and wrote "Bezels of Wisdom" and "Meccan Revelations".] [See article on Muhyi ad-Din Ibn El-Arabi.] [a/k/a Muhyi ad-Din Ibn El-Arabi Wissal] [Rabi' al-thani 28] [Birthday & death day unknown]

* 7/10: Day the World Union for Progressive Judaism was founded (1926). It was formed to promote progressive values within Judaism, including modernism, pluralism, equality, and social justice, and to serve Reform, Reconstructionist, and Liberal Jews around the world. [Its headquarters was moved from the U.K. to Israel in 1973, enabling it to found Progressive Jewish congregations, kibbutzim, and settlements there.] [See World Union for Progressive Judaism website and Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism website.]

* 7/10: Day Pope John Paul II acknowledged the evil of sexism and apologized for the Catholic Church's past oppression of women (1995); day to mourn the continued subordination of women by the Church. [See Letter to Women.] [See also Catholic Perspective on: Women in Society and in the Church. And see the Catholic feminist response: "Feminist Christology" by Elizabeth Johnson; "Heart of Flesh: A Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men" by Joan Chittister O.S.B.; "Equality: A Radical Democratic Ekklesial Vision" by Elisabeth Schssler Fiorenza; "Feminist Theologians Speak Encouragement to Women"; and the Catholic Network on Women's Equality website.]

* 7/11: Day Srebrenica, Bosnia, fell to attacking Serbs (1995), beginning a massacre of thousands of civilians because of their ethnicity and religion; vigil for true peace, justice, religious tolerance, and respect for the human rights of all in the Balkans. [Though it was declared a U.N. "safe haven," Srebrenica, Bosnia, was attacked and fell to Orthodox Christian Serb aggressors on 7/11/1995. 8,000-15,000 civilian Muslim Slavs were killed there from 7/12-7/17/1995 because of their ethnicity and religion. On 8/2/2001, Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic was convicted of genocide for his part in the massacre. Former Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic is now being tried for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity for his part in the massacre at Srebenica and the "ethnic cleansing" elsewhere in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo.] [For more information, see Report of the Secretary General Pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 53/35 (1998). See also Peace Pledge Union article on the Bosnian Genocide. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: Serbia; Human Rights Watch report: Bosnia-Herzegovina; Human Rights Watch report: Croatia.] [While some Orthodox Christians participated in this massacre, most Christians then and now were horrified by it. It is immoral to hold all Christians responsible for the acts of a few.]

* 7/12: Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne (1690); vigil for true peace, justice, religious tolerance, and equal rights for all in Northern Ireland. [The Battle of the Boyne, which marked the defeat of Catholic James II by Protestant William III, occurred on 7/12/1690. Following this defeat, the law discriminated against Catholics.] [Protestants annually celebrate their victory over Catholics on this date, providing an impetus to civil strife. Day to demand the end of hostility between Protestants and Catholics and for religious tolerance of all Christians by all Christians.] [While some Protestants oppressed Catholics, others actively opposed it. While some Catholics participated in terrorism against Protestants, others actively opposed it. It is immoral to hold all Protestants/Catholics responsible for acts committed by some Protestants/Catholics.] [Protestants and Catholics committed to peaceful coexistence, power-sharing, and disarmament by signing the Good Friday Peace Agreement on 4/10/1998.] [For a history of the conflict, see CAIN Web Service: The Northern Ireland Conflict 1968 to the Present; BBC News website: The Troubles.]

* 714 to 7/25 (Icelandic 7/25, Old Icelandic 7/11): Old Norse/Icelandic Mid-Summer Althingi--Community gathering for democratic decision making. Forseti and Tyr, Gods of Justice and Self-Sacrifice, were honored. Toasts of mead and ale were made in honor of the Deities. [See Norse Nine Noble Virtues] [a/k/a Mid-Summer Blot, Midsumar, Midsumardag, Midsommerdag, Forsetiblot, Tyrblot, Almannathing, Althing] 

* 7/14 eve to 7/15 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Aphrodite--Day to honor peace and compassion. [a/k/a Aphrodesia] [Hekatombaion 4]

* 7/18: Day South Africa's apartheid was internationally outlawed (1976); birthday of Nelson Mandela, non-violent anti-apartheid activist (1918). [Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid: signed/adopted 11/30/1973; entered into force 7/18/1976.] [Text of Convention] [See Wikipedia article on Apartheid in South Africa. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: South Africa.]

* 7/19: Day women demanded recognition of their equality to men in the legal, political, economic, religious, and domestic spheres (Seneca Falls, New York 1848). [Declaration of Sentiments drafted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and other Founding Mothers at the Women's Rights Convention 7/19-7/20/1848.] [Text of Declaration]

* 7/20: Vigil for peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Colombia - now in the throes of civil war. [Colombia is embroiled in a long-lasting civil war fueled by drug-trafficking. Civilians are being caught between the military, paramilitaries, and guerrillas. Colombia's Independence Day was on 7/20/1810.] [See Wikipedia article on the Colombian Armed Conflict (1964-present). For information on the human rights situation, see Human Rights Watch report: Colombia.]

* 7/26: Day discrimination against the disabled was prohibited in public accommodations and employment (1990); day to celebrate empowerment of the disabled. [The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George H. Bush.] [Pub. L. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.] [Text of statute] [For more information on fighting discrimination in employment based on disability, see U.S. E.E.O.C. website.]

* 7/28: Day the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment went into effect, guaranteeing due process and equal protection of the law to all (1868). [The 14th Amendment was approved by Congress on 6/13/1866 and, after ratification by the states, was proclaimed in effect on 7/28/1868.] [Text of amendment]

* 8/2: Death day of Horace Mann (1859), advocate for universal nonsectarian education. [Birthday 5/4/1796]

* 8/5: Death day of Rabbi Isaac Luria (1572), Kabbalistic mystic. He taught of the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Ein Soph, the unknowable infinite being that created the Universe. Because the Shekhinah has become separated from Ein Soph, there is chaos and injustice in the world. But the Shekhinah will restore cosmic order with reunification of the Godhead. [See Kabbalistic Reunification Blessing/Beracha Tikkun.] [See articles on Isaac Luria and Lurianic Kabbalah. See also "Window of the Soul: The Kabbalah of Rabbi Isaac Luria," Translated by James David Dunn.] [Born 1534: exact date unknown]

* 8/5: Day that six women were excommunicated for failing to renounce their claims to the priesthood (2002). They had been ordained Catholic priests without Vatican authority on 6/29/2002. [See Declarations issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.]

* 8/6: Day to mourn those harmed by the atomic bomb attacks on Japan (1945); day to advocate for world-wide prohibition of all weapons of mass destruction. [Hiroshima was bombed on 8/6/1945; Nagasaki was bombed on 8/9/1945: over 270,000 civilians died from the bombs and radiation.] [Use of weapons of mass destruction is now recognized to constitute a crime against humanity and cannot be justified under any circumstances.] [While the U.S. government bombed Japanese cities, few Americans authorized it. Virtually all Americans alive today disapprove of the disproportionate use of force, and many Americans at the time disapproved as well. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the U.S. government, it is immoral to blame all Americans today for the acts of the U.S. government in 1945.]

* 8/6: Day the Voting Rights Act became law (1965) - register to vote! [The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.] [Pub. L. 89-110, 79 Stat. 437, 42 U.S.C. 1973 et seq.] [Text of statute] [The purpose of the Voting Rights Act is to prevent state and local governments from using voting requirements, voting district boundaries, voting locations, and other election laws to disenfranchise African-Americans.]

* 8/8: Vigil for democracy and respect for the human rights of all in Burma. [On 8/8/1988, a pro-democracy demonstration opposing the authoritarian military government was attacked by government troops.] [Burma (a/k/a Myanmar) became independent in 1948. However, a military ruler dominated Burma from 1962 to 1988, and a military junta took control in 1988. Despite her National League for Democracy Party being elected in 1990, Aung San Suu Kyi was never allowed to serve in office. Instead, she has been held under house arrest for years. And for years, the military junta suppressed democratic efforts and violated human rights.] [For more information, see Human Rights Watch report: Burma.]

* 8/9: World's Indigenous Peoples' Day--Day to celebrate the empowerment of indigenous peoples world-wide; vigil for justice and respect for the social, cultural, and political rights of all indigenous peoples. [See U.N. website on International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.] [a/k/a International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, International Indigenous Peoples' Day]

* 8/13: Birthday of Lucy Stone (1818), social worker and non-violent advocate for women's rights. [Death day 10/18/1893]

* 8/14 eve to 8/15 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Artemis (Roman Diana/Slavic Diwitsa) - as defender of rights and liberties, and punisher of rapists and oppressors. [Metageitnion 6]

* 8/15: Day India was partitioned into India and Pakistan, and Kashmir joined India over Pakistan's objection (1947); vigil for true peace, justice, and religious tolerance for all in South Asia. [About the Indo-Pakistani conflict] [For information on the nuclear problem, see Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) website: Indo-Pakistani Conflict; India's nukes; Pakistan's nukes. For information on the history of the conflict, see Jammu & Kashmir : The Complete Knowledge Base. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: India; Human Rights Watch report: Pakistan;.]

* 8/17: Dakas' Day--Day Tantric Buddhists make offerings to the Dakas (male embodiments of enlightened energy) and Father Tantra; day to unite will and power to manifest positive social change and environmental healing. [Observed primarily by Tantric initiates.] [a/k/a Daka Puja, Father Tantra Puja, Tsog, Tsok] [10th Tibetan day]

* 8/17: Birthday of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (1924), founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement. [Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi broke with the Lubavitcher Hasidic sect of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism to found the Jewish Renewal Movement in 1969. The Jewish Renewal Movement seeks to fully embrace modernism, egalitarianism, environmentalism, pacifism, and deep ecumenism. It incorporates Kabbalistic and Hasidic theology and practices, traditional prayer, meditation, joyous chant, and ecstatic dance. Both personal spiritual practice and social action are emphasized. See Wikipedia article on Jewish Renewal and ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal website.]

* 8/17: Vigil for peace, justice, religious tolerance, and respect for the human rights of all in Indonesia.[Since 1/1/1999, due to forced conversions to Islam and destruction of Christian churches, there has been interreligious violence between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia.] [Indonesia Independence Day is 8/17.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.] [For more information, see Human Rights Watch report: Indonesia.]

* 8/18 (A 9/28): Beginning of Old Egyptian Akhet/Inundation month of Menkhet/Paopi, dedicated to Neteru Amen-Ra-Atem and Amenet-Rait-Mut. Priests and priestesses made offerings to the Neteru (Gods and Goddesses) to ensure that there would be strength and freedom for all. [Kemetic calendar] [Alexandrian calendar 9/28] [Ancient Egyptian calendar: Menkhet day 1]

* 8/19: Birthday of Gene Roddenberry (1921). He created the thought-provoking utopian universe of "Star Trek". [In the United Federation of Planets, all life forms were respected; rule of law, human rights, and democracy were primary; social equality was expected; and honor was the norm.] [Death day 10/21/1991]

* 8/20 eve to 8/21 eve: Old Greek festival honoring Athena Polias and Zeus Polios as protectors of city and state. [Metageitnion 12]

* 8/23: Feast of the Furies--honoring Nemesis and the Erinyes, the Old Greek Goddesses who punish murderers, abusers, and exploiters of others. [Roman calendar]

* 8/25: Day to mourn the Iraqi attacks on civilian Kurds because of their ethnicity (1988); vigil for justice and respect for the human rights of the Kurdish people. [On 8/25/1988, Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government began the fourth Anfal campaign against the Kurds in Northern Iraq using chemical weapons. The first attack occurred on 3/16/1988. 60,000-100,000 Kurds were killed during these campaigns.] [See Human Rights Watch report: Genocide in Iraq.]

* 8/26: Day the U.S. Constitution's 19th Amendment went into effect, recognizing women's right to vote (1920). [The 19th Amendment was approved by Congress on 6/4/1919 and, after ratification by the states, was proclaimed in effect on 8/26/1920.] [Text of amendment] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on the 19th Amendment.] [a/k/a Women's Equality Day]

* 8/27: Birthday of Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) (1910), Catholic nun who served the poorest of the poor and saw Deity in each person. [Death day 9/5/1997]

* 8/28: Day of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s peaceful march on Washington, D.C., for recognition of the rights of African Americans (1963). [Rev. King made his inspiring "I have a dream" speech at this rally.]

* 8/28: Opening of the Second World Parliament of Religions (1993), attended by members of all the world's religions. A Global Ethic was adopted that condemns hatred, aggression, oppression, and environmental abuses committed in the name of religion. [Text of Global Ethic] [See also website for the Parliament of the World's Religions.]

* 8/31: Remembrance day for Tahirih (d. 1852), feminist, poet, scholar, and preacher of the nascent Baha'i Faith. Baha'is recognize gender equality. [Born in 1817; died in 1852 between 8/16 & 8/31.]

* 9/2: Labor Day--Day to reflect on the sacredness of all work and the value of ethical, meaningful employment. [Day to organize and advocate for a living wage, health insurance coverage, retirement benefits, and family-friendly benefits for all.] [Articles 23 to 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 22 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee just and favorable pay and working conditions and guarantee the right to form/join trade unions to advocate for them.]

* 9/3: Day gender discrimination was outlawed world-wide (1981); day to mourn all manifestations of sexism. [Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: adopted by U.N. General Assembly 12/18/1979; signed 3/1/1980; entered into force 9/3/1981.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see WomenWatch: United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women website; Feminist Majority Foundation website; Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 2 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also prohibit discrimination on account of gender.]

* 9/3: Day Pope John Paul II beatified symbols of progressive religious authority (Pope John XXIII) and autocratic religious authority (Pope Pius IX) (2000). [Pope John XXIII instigated the reforms of the Vatican II Council in 1962, and advocated freedom of religion, peace, and social justice. Pope Pius IX adopted the doctrine of papal infallibility at the Vatican I Council in 1870, and rejected the doctrines of separation of church and state, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech in his Syllabus of Errors in 1864.] [See articles by American Catholic (about Pope John XXIII) and National Catholic Reporter (about Pope Pius IX).]

* 9/6: Day Latin American Catholic Bishops espoused Liberation Theology (1968). They believed that the Gospel requires Christians to aid the poor and oppressed in the struggle for economic and social justice. [The Second Latin American Bishops Conference was held in Medellin, Colombia on 9/6/1968.] [See "A Concise History of Liberation Theology" by Leonardo and Clodovis Boff, "Liberation Theology: Religious Response to Social Problems. A Survey" by Marian Hillar, and Liberation Theology website.]

* 9/7 eve to 9/8 eve: Remembrance day for Sufi saint Haji Bektash (d. 1337). He initiated women into his order equally with men and advocated gender equality in Islamic society. [The Bektashi order is also open to all ethnicities, nationalities, and classes. See Bektashi Sufi Order website. The Qur'an says: "All are equal, regardless of gender or ethnicity; nobility is shown by conduct alone." See Qur'an Surah 49 Vs. 13.] [Rajab 1] [Birthday & death day unknown]

* 9/8: Yoruba/Santeria feast of Oshun, Orisha of Love and Compassion.

* 9/9 eve to 9/10 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Athena - as protector and defender. [Boedromion 3]

* 9/11: Day terrorists killed over 3,000 innocent civilians of many ethnicities and religions from 86 nations (2001); day to mourn all victims of terrorism. [Al-Qaeda terrorists, using passenger planes, struck the World Trade Center (in New York, N.Y.) and the Pentagon (outside Washington, D.C.). Because passengers on a fourth plane resisted, to prevent it from being used as a weapon, it was crashed near Shanksville, P.A.] [For statements by Muslims around the world condemning the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 as horrific and un-Islamic, see Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism; Islamic Statements Against Terrorism; Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks.] [Al-Qaeda terrorists have struck other targets. See list of Al-Qaeda's terrorist attacks.] [For international efforts against terrorism (which constitutes a crime against humanity), see U.N. Action to Counter Terrorism.] [For incidents in which governments have used the fight against terrorism as an excuse to suppress civil liberties, see Human Rights Watch website.] [While some Muslims commit terrorist acts, most Muslims do not; and most Muslims do not authorize or approve of the terrorist acts committed. While it is appropriate to hold accountable the individuals, organizations, and governments that commit or fund the terrorists acts, it is immoral to blame all Muslims for the acts of a few.]

* 9/12: Day presidential candidate John Kennedy said to religious leaders: absolute separation of church and state is a necessity; no religious leader should be allowed to dictate to a President, to other public officials, or to voters concerning public policy; no religious institution should be given political power; no religious school should be given public funds; and no one should be subject to religious intolerance or discrimination (1960). [President Kennedy was the first non-Protestant President of the U.S.] [Transcript of speech]

* 9/13: Day Israelis and Palestinians committed to peaceful coexistence (1993); vigil for true peace, justice, religious tolerance, and equal rights for all in the Middle East. [Declaration of Principles (a/k/a Oslo Accords) was signed by Israel & the P.L.O. on 9/13/1993.] [See Wikipedia article on the Oslo Accords. See also The History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.]

* 9/13: Day to mourn the subjection of women and girls in the U.S. to rape, domestic violence, and other gender-based violence. [The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on 9/13/1994.] [Pub. L. 103-322, 108 Stat. 1902, 42 U.S.C. 13701 et seq.] [Text of statute ] [For more information on violence against women in the U.S., see Feminist.com website. For help surviving violence, see WomensHealth.gov website.]

* 9/14: Birthday of Margaret Sanger (1883), non-violent advocate for education, autonomy, and responsibility concerning sexuality, reproduction, and birth control. [Death day 9/6/1966]

* 9/15: Day the first woman was ordained a Congregational/Unitarian minister in the U.S. (1853). [Rev. Antoinette Blackwell]

* 9/16: Mexican Independence Day--Day to celebrate the union of diverse peoples, languages, and cultures into one nation. [Grito de la Independencia (Cry of Independence) a/k/a Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores) a/k/a El Grito (the Cry) marked the beginning of Mexico's War of Independence from Spain, which was ultimately won on 9/27/1821. This pronouncement, asserting freedom from corrupt government and freedom of religion, was made on 9/16/1810 by Fr. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in the town of Dolores.] [Mexico includes 62 distinct indigenous peoples, in addition to those of Spanish descent and more recent immigrants, each with its own language, culture, and religion.]

* 9/17: Constitution Day--Day the U.S. Constitution was signed at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1787), ensuring that the U.S. would be a democracy governed by the rule of law. [Under the U.S. Constitution, each branch of government serves as a check on the powers of the other branches to prevent any one branch from abusing its power and undermining the rule of law.] [See Constitution Center website on Constitution Day.]

* 9/18 eve to 9/19 eve: Demokratia--Old Greek festival celebrating democracy, constitutional government, and justice under law. Zeus Agoraios, Athena Agoraias, and Themis were honored. [Boedromion 12]

* 9/21: International Day of Peace--Day to demonstrate for peace with justice throughout the world. [Peace can be realized where there is recognition of sovereignty/autonomy, compliance with just law, respectful behavior, responsible sharing of resources, cooperation to attain common goals, and reasonable compromise to enable all to meet lawful goals.] [See International Day of Peace website; International Day of Peace Vigil website.]

* 9/22: Death of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib, first Sikh guru, commemorated. Guru Nanak rejected caste and believed in the equality of all people. [a/k/a Guru Nanak Dev Jyoti Jot] [Guru Nanak Dev 1469-1539] [Nanakshahi calendar]

* 9/22: Day Congress affirmed freedom of religion by prohibiting discrimination against religious institutions in the context of zoning laws and guaranteeing free exercise of religion in prisons (2000). [The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.] [Pub. L. 106-274, 114 Stat. 803, 42 U.S.C. 2000cc, et seq.] [Text of statute] [For more information on RLUIPA, see U.S. D.O.J. website; Wikipedia article on RLUIPA.]

* 9/23: Vigil for freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia. [Sunni Islam is the official religion. Members of other Muslim sects (Shi'a, Sufi, and Ahmadi Muslims) and non-Muslim religions cannot publicly practice their religions; private worship is also subject to punishment. Most non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia are guest workers. They include Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs. While many countries have official religions, most allow minority religions some rights and freedoms.] [9/23 is Saudi Arabia's National Day.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.]

* 9/24: Yoruba/Santeria feast of Obatala, Orisha of Peace and Justice.

* 9/27: Vigil for the women and girls in Afghanistan [previously] banned from working and attending school - on the pretext of religion. [The Taliban took control of Kabul, Afghanistan on 9/27/1996, and imposed these bans. Following bombing by the Anti-Terrorist Alliance and ground-fighting between the Taliban and the Muslim Northern Alliance, the Taliban abandoned Kabul on 11/12/2001. On 12/7/2001, the Taliban surrendered Kandahar, their last stronghold. But Mullah Mohammed Omar and other Taliban leaders still remain at large. The Northern Alliance and the Anti-Terrorist Alliance have routed the al-Qaeda terrorist forces at the Tora Bora caves, but continue to search for Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders. Since liberation, some Afghani women have reportedly abandoned their burqas (the head-to-toe coverings mandated for women by the Taliban); others continue to wear them out of fear. Some women are returning to work and some girls are returning to school; others have no jobs or schools to return to. Women are demanding legal recognition of their rights and a part in the future government of Afghanistan. On 12/5/2001, under U.N. auspices, an agreement was reached, creating an interim Afghani government inclusive of, and representative of, all Afghani ethnic groups and women, effective 12/22/2001. A constitution will be drafted and democratic elections will follow. An international peace-keeping force helps keep the peace. Food, medicine, and shelters are immediately needed in Afghanistan. Rebuilding of infrastructure and de-mining of landmines is also desperately needed.]

* 9/28: Birthday of Confucius (K'ung Fu-Tzu) (551 BCE). He taught that societal harmony could be realized when individuals acted with loving care for family, concern for friends and neighbors, benevolence to strangers, and respect for all. [Founder of Confucianism.] [Death day 11/29/479 BCE]

* 9/29: Feast of Michael, Angel of Protection, and Uriel, Angel of Justice.

* 10/1: Day Russia enacted the Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations (1997); vigil for the end of persecution of Protestants and Catholics by Orthodox Christians and for religious tolerance of all Christians by all Christians. [Though the law endorses freedom of religion and separation of religion and government, it also requires religious groups to register with the government and allows government officials to decline to register disfavored groups.] [The Russian Orthodox Church was persecuted under Communism, but it has been made the de facto official religion of post-communist Russia, and has been instrumental in the persecution of non-Orthodox Christians. Russia has forced some non-Orthodox churches to close and given their property to the Russian Orthodox Church. Adherents of religions deemed "non-traditional" (e.g., Jehovah's Witnesses and Scientology) are also persecuted. Though Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism are identified as "traditional" religions, adherents of these faiths are also targeted for discrimination and harassment.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.]

* 10/2: Birthday of Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi (1869), Hindu advocate for human rights and self-reliance, who practiced active non-violent resistance to injustice. [Gandhi envisioned a world where women and untouchables would be empowered and respected. Gandhi envisioned a world where members of all faiths (including Hindus, Muslims, and Christians) would live harmoniously together. ] [Death day 1/30/1948] [a/k/a Gandhi Jayanti]

* 10/4: Yoruba/Santeria feast of Orunmila, Orisha of Wise Counsel and Protection.

* 10/4 to 10/7: Tewa Deer Dance--celebrating the cosmic duality of feminine and masculine. The Tewa recognize gender equality and honor both male and female ancestors.

* 10/6 to 10/15: Navaratri/Durga Puja--Hindu festival of Great Goddess Maha Devi as Durga, Protector of the Powerless; celebrates Her destruction of evil and restoration of cosmic order. Tantric Hindus recognize gender equality and reject caste. [See Mantra to Durga.] [a/k/a Sharad Navaratri, Sharad Navratri, Ashwin Navaratri, Ashwin Navratri, Maha Navaratri, Navratras, Navaratra, Vijaya Dashami, Dussehra, Dasara, Dasehra, Devi Puja, Devi Vrat] [Ashwin Shukla 1-10]

* 10/7: World Habitat Day--Day to recognize the necessity of sanitary, non-toxic, and environmentally-sustainable shelter; day to advocate for adequate shelter for all. [See U.N. website on World Habitat Day; U.N. Habitat website.] [a/k/a Human Habitat Day]

* 10/7: Vigil for peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Afghanistan. [The Afghan War began on 10/7/2001.] [See Wikipedia article on War in Afghanistan. [For information on the human rights situation in Afghanistan, see Human Rights Watch report: Afghanistan; Amnesty International report: Afghanistan.]

* 10/10 eve to 10/11 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Aphrodite--Day to honor peace and compassion. [Pyanepsion 4]

* 10/11: Birthday of Eleanor Roosevelt (1884), advocate for world-wide recognition of the rights of all. [Death day 11/7/1962]

* 10/11: Opening of Vatican II Council, during which the Catholic Church committed to ecumenism, freedom of religion, and social justice (1962). [The Council met from 10/11/1962 to 12/8/1965.] [For information about the Vatican II Council and its aftermath, see Wikipedia article and National Catholic Reporter articles. See also Documents of the Vatican II Council.]

* 10/12 (Obs. 10/14): Columbus Day--Commemorates Europeans' arrival in America (1492); day to mourn Native American victims of conquest and oppression (past and present), make peace, and celebrate empowerment of Native Americans. [While some Europeans brutally subjugated the indigenous peoples of the Americas (North and South) in the past, not all Europeans at the time approved of that subjugation. And no ethnic European alive today participated in that subjugation. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the governments of the countries that participated, it is immoral to blame all ethnic Europeans today for the evil committed by some Europeans in the past.] [a/k/a Native Americans' Day, Dia de la Raza (Mexico/Latin America), Thanksgiving Day (Canada)]

* 10/12: Day the first woman was ordained a Methodist minister in the U.S. (1880). [Rev. Anna Howard Shaw]

* 10/16: World Food Day--Day to recognize the necessity of affordable, healthy, and environmentally-sustainable food; day to advocate for adequate food for all. [Day the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization was founded in 1945.] [See U.N. website on World Food Day; U.N. World Food Programme website.]

* 10/21: Day military attacks on civilians were outlawed world-wide (1950); day to mourn all civilian victims of war. [All soldiers have a legal duty and a moral obligation to refuse an order to attack a noncombatant. Anyone who plans, orders, or carries out such an act is legally culpable. All attacks on noncombatants should be investigated, prosecuted, and punished.] [Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War a/k/a Fourth Geneva Convention: signed 8/12/1949; entered into force 10/21/1950.] [Text of Convention] [See Wikipedia article on Fourth Geneva Convention.]

* 10/24: Day the first woman was ordained a Presbyterian minister in the U.S. (1956). [Rev. Margaret Ellen Towner]

* 10/25 eve to 10/28 eve: Apaturia--Old Greek festival in which newcomers and children were welcomed into the community. [Pyanepsion 19-21]

* 10/26: Death day of Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1902), non-violent advocate for women's rights. [Birthday 11/12/1815]

* 10/31: Day to mourn the women tortured and killed as "witches" because of their independence, wealth, wisdom, or religion.

* 11/1: World Community Day--Day for celebrating the unity behind diversity and remembering we are all one people - all children of the one universal Deity of many names and aspects.

* 11/3: Christian feast of St. Martin of Porres (d. 1639), healer and advocate of social equality and inter-ethnic harmony; guide of healers and human rights activists.

* 11/5: Election Day--remember to vote! The only way to ensure a healthy democracy is to have full participation by the electorate in choosing government decision makers. [A democratic government can be lawful only where there is a free and fair election and all adult citizens can vote and run for office.]

* 11/7: Anniversary of the first Re-Imagining Conference, where worship of Holy Spirit Wisdom was introduced to mainstream Christianity (1993). [This conference was organized by the Women's Ministry Unit of the Presbyterian Church USA. 24 other Christian churches and organizations also participated. 2200 Christian leaders, scholars, clergy, and laity attended the conference between 11/4/1993 and 11/7/1993 to address the problem of patriarchy in the church and in society. Following the conference, there was backlash against its organizers, who were accused of heresy.] [See Wikipedia article on the Re-Imagining Conference.]

* 11/8: Birthday of Dorothy Day (1897), activist for peace, economic justice, and workers' rights. [Founder of the Catholic Worker Movement.] [Death day 11/22/1980] 

* 11/9 eve: Krystallnacht--Night of the Nazi attacks on Jewish homes, synagogues, and shops in Germany, beginning the persecution that would end with the deaths of 6 million Jews (1938); night for meditating on the evil of all religion-based hatred.

* 11/11: Veterans Day--Day to honor all warriors who have defended us against evil of all kinds.

* 11/11: Death day of Lucretia Mott (1880), Quaker preacher and non-violent advocate for the rights of women and African Americans. [Birthday 1/3/1793]

* 11/12: Birthday of Sr. Juana Ines de la Cruz (1651), Catholic nun and feminist poet. [Death day 4/17/1695]

* 11/14 eve to 11/15 eve: Remembrance day for Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (d. 619 or 623), Mother of Islam - first convert to Islam, partner of Prophet Muhammad in monogamous marriage, mother of Fatimah, and liberated businesswoman. [The Prophet Muhammad did not take a second wife during Khadijah's lifetime. Khadijah was intelligent and compassionate. She was known for her financial support of Islam, for her generosity to the poor, for her protection of orphans, and for freeing slaves.] [See Wikipedia article on Khadijah bint Khuwaylid.] [For scholarly discussions of gender equality in Islam, see "Members, One of Another: Gender Equality & Justice in Islam" by Riffat Hassan and "Gender Equity in Islam" by Jamal Badawi Ph.D. For an examination of the feminist movement in Islam, see "Inside the Gender Jihad: Women's Reform in Islam" by Amina Wadud.] [a/k/a Khadijah al-Kubra (the Great)] [Ramadan 10] [Born in 555, 564, or 565. Some sources say she died on the 10th or 11th day of Ramadan.]

* 11/16: Tolerance Day--Day to promote harmony in diversity through mutual respect and understanding of all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, nationality, or economic status. [Despite international and domestic laws providing for equal rights, freedoms, and protections, members of minority groups are still harassed and discriminated against because of societal intolerance arising from fear and ignorance.] [Intolerance often results from projection of "collective guilt": it is immoral to blame an entire group for the acts of a member unless the entire group empowered the member who acted or endorsed the acts.] [See U.N. website on International Day for Tolerance; Wikipedia article on Declaration of Principles on Tolerance.] [a/k/a International Day for Tolerance]

* 11/25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women--Day to raise awareness of the immorality (and illegality) of violence against women and girls world-wide; day to encourage all the women and girls in your life to get training in self-defense. [Women and girls are subject to physical and sexual violence by loved ones, acquaintances, and strangers: at home, at school, at work, at places of worship, and in the street.] [See U.N. website on Elimination of Violence Against Women Day.]

* 11/26: Death day of Sojourner Truth (1883), Christian preacher and non-violent advocate for the rights of women and African Americans. [Born 1797: exact date unknown]

* 11/28: Day the Women's Ordination Conference opened, advocating the ordination of women priests in the Catholic Church (1975). [See Women's Ordination Conference website.]

* 11/29: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People--Vigil for recognition of the state of Palestine, for recognition of all human rights of all its citizens (whether Muslim, Jewish, or Christian), and for peaceful coexistence with the state of Israel. [See U.N. website on Solidarity with the Palestinian People Day. See also The History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.]

* 11/29 eve to 12/7 eve: Hanukkah/Festival of Lights--Jewish festival commemorating a victory in their struggle for religious freedom and rededication of the second Temple in Jerusalem to Elohim. Menorah candles are lit. [See Hanukkah Prayers.] [Though there was only enough oil for one day at the rededication, it miraculously burned for eight days.] [For articles on freedom of religion and Judaism, see "Religious Freedom as a Basic Human Right: The Jewish Perspective" by Asher Maoz and "Freedom of Religion in Israel" by Prof. Shimon Shetreet.] [a/k/a Chanukah, Channukah] [Kislev 25-Tevet 2]

* 12/1: World AIDS Day--Day to pray for healing of all those suffering with AIDS and HIV. [For information on World AIDS Day, see World AIDS Day website. For information about the global fight against AIDS, see UNAIDS website.]

* 12/1 eve: Laylat al-Qadr/Night of Power--Commemorates the first revelation of the Qur'an to Muslim Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel in 610 CE. The Qur'an says: "Let there be no compulsion in religion." [See Qur'an Surah 2 Vs. 256. For scholarly discussions of freedom of religion in Islam, see "Freedom of Religion in Islam" by Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Egypt; "Freedom of Religion" by Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Professor of Islamic law; "Freedom of Religion and Belief in Islam" by Mohsen Kadivar; "Religious Liberty: A Muslim Perspective" by Mohamed Talbi; and "Freedom of Religion in Islam" by Brig. Gen. (Retd.) Syed Ashrafuzzaman. [a/k/a Lailatul-Qadr] [night following Ramadan 26]

* 12/4: Yoruba/Santeria feast of Orisha Shango, Defender Against Evil.

* 12/6: Day the Babri Mosque was destroyed by a Hindu mob in Ayodhya, India (1992); day to mourn willful destruction of any place of worship. Places of worship of all religions should be respected by all. [Prior to its construction in 1528, the mosque had been a Hindu temple that marked the birthplace of the God Rama. That temple had been destroyed by Babur as part of his effort to conquer and Islamize the area. 2000 Hindu temples were allegedly destroyed by him.]

* 12/7: Mindfulness Day--Zen Buddhist day for mindfully seeing and acting with compassion for the poor and oppressed.

* 12/7 eve to 12/8 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Athena - as protector and defender. [Poseideon 3]

* 12/10: Day the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, and fundamental rights were recognized world-wide (1948). [The U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (U.D.H.R.) in Resolution 217 A(III).] [Text of Declaration] [For information on the history of the U.D.H.R., see Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute website. The U.D.H.R. is generally recognized as binding customary international law: all countries are required to respect the rights within it. In 1966, the concepts of the U.D.H.R. were expanded and drafted into two binding international treaties with enforcement mechanisms. The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) is enforced by the Human Rights Committee. The Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (Text of Covenant) is enforced by the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. For more information, see U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights website; Human Rights Watch website; Amnesty International website.] [a/k/a International Human Rights Day]

* 12/12: Day for meditation on Tantric Bodhisattva Goddess Red Tara, protector against evil and harm. [See Red Tara Mantra.] [a/k/a Tara Puja] [8th Tibetan day]

* 12/12: First appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of God and Mother of the Oppressed, at the former shrine of Aztec Moon Goddess Tonantzin Coatlicue (Mexico 1531).

* 12/15: Day the Bill of Rights became part of the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing fundamental rights to all (1791). [Text of Bill of Rights] [For more information about the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, see U.S. National Archives & Records Administration website and the Bill of Rights Institute website. For information on organizations that advocate for enforcement of rights and liberties in the Bill of Rights, see Center for Constitutional Rights website; American Civil Liberties Union website.] [a/k/a Bill of Rights Day]

* 12/17: Death day of Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1273), Sufi saint who believed all people to be part of Deity and, consequently, believed all should be respected. [Members of his Mevlevi order whirl in his remembrance on this night annually.] [See article on Jalal ad-Din Rumi. And see Mevlevi Order website, Mevlevi Order of America website, and Threshold Society website.] [Birthday 9/30/1207] [Wissal on Jumada al-thani 5.]

* 12/18: Day the U.S. Constitution's 13th Amendment went into effect, outlawing all slavery (1865). [The 13th Amendment was approved by Congress on 1/31/1865 and, after ratification by the states, was proclaimed in effect on 12/18/1865.] [Text of amendment]

* 12/22: Birthday of Lily Montagu (1873), who co-founded Liberal Judaism in the U.K. in 1902. She was the first Jewish woman to serve as lay minister, both officiating and preaching. [Death day 1/22/1963] [She advocated reforms in the service, including use of English as well as Hebrew, use of musical instruments, and allowing men and women to sit together. Liberal Judaism stresses ethical conduct above ritual observance, affirms each individual's freedom to act in accordance with conscience, and recognizes the full equality and participation of men and women.] [See Jewish Women's Archive article on Lily Montagu.]

* 12/28: Day the first woman was ordained a Catholic priest - without Vatican authority (1970). [Mthr. Ludmila Javorova was ordained by Catholic Bishop Felix Maria Davidek in Czechoslovakia. Her ordination is not recognized by the Vatican.] [See Wikipedia article on Ludmila Javorova. See also "Out of the Depths: The Story of Ludmila Javorova, Ordained Roman Catholic Priest" by Miriam Therese Winter.]

* 12/28: Day an Islamic court ruled FGM to be un-Islamic and banned the practice (1997). [The State Council, Egypt's highest administrative court, also ruled that FGM was illegal unless medically necessary. See BBC News article.]

* 12/29: Day Guatemala's 36-year civil war ended (1996); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Central America. [The 36-year civil war between leftist rebels and the government of Guatemala ended 12/29/1996. During the war, the military killed or "disappeared" 200,000 people, targeting Mayan communities and civilians. The U.S. government was complicit in these atrocities.] [See Wikipedia article on the Guatemalan Civil War. And see Peace Pledge Union article on the Guatemalan Genocide. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: Guatemala.]

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Permission to use and distribute these excerpts is granted for non-commercial purposes, provided the following information is included:

Excerpted from
THE MYSTIC'S WHEEL OF THE YEAR 2002
A Multifaith Calendar Reflecting Eco-Egalitarian Spirituality
© 2001 Marija Miovski
www.WheeloftheYear.com