Religious Rights Rally for Pagans/Wiccans

@pyewacket (43961)
United States
June 30, 2007 7:36pm CST
I just got this interesting e-mail about a scheduled religious rights rally to take place this July 4th and will be held where... (to quote) ...." hundreds of Pagans will gather peacefully at Lafayette Park, across from the White House, and advocate for a Pagan military chaplain, request the availability of more religious symbols from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and call for freedom of religious expression...." The e-mail also said that it's obvious that President Bush is not a fan of non-Christian groups and no doubt especially us Pagans/Wiccans....that if this country is to truly have full religious freedom, then all religions should be honored and recognized You can see the article link from the e-mail here: http://paganwiccan.about.com/b/a/000018.htm
14 people like this
17 responses
@pelo26 (1553)
• Philippines
1 Jul 07
Interesting. Are you joining? I personally believe that pagans and wiccans enjoy the same right to freedom of religion.
@pyewacket (43961)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I would have no means to get there unfortunately...am I'm still trying to overcome my "disability" problem..so makes it hard for me to travel--Are you?
1 person likes this
26 Jun 08
Hello Pyewacket Its good to know that at lest there a rally for us pagans here in England its not heard of. Smmerset there was a riot that started by the christain church because Glastonbury is a place for a lot of pagans Bess Be Tamarafireheart
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43961)
• United States
26 Jun 08
I'm really surprised to hear that there was a riot..somehow, for some reason I thought the UK was more tolerant of pagans..Glastonbury...isn't that where Stonehenge is, and they usually have gatherings there of many pagans.
26 Jun 08
Hello Pyewacket, Yes Stonehenge is very near Glastonbury,witches is goes about peacefuly and when that hapeened thay just stood outside their shops silently, there is newspaper cutting around somewhere. Bless Be Tamarafireheart.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jul 07
That is really good that you will get some representation. I hope it is a peaceful gathering. Is July 4th significant to Wiccans? Just curious since they are having the demonstration that day.
@pyewacket (43961)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I think the fourth of July seems very significant for some reason...I sure hope it's peaceful...my worry is maybe people who are opposed to our religious lifestyle
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I think it has more to do with the fact that the 4th of July is considered the birthday for the nation and since Religious Freedom is supposed to be one of our rights and one of the reasons so many came here that they feel it's the appropriate day to demonstrate on. That would be my guess and not so much having to do with anything Pagan related as to significance in dates.
@xParanoiax (7006)
• United States
26 Jun 08
Oh! I wish I could go! It'd be an awesome thing just to witness, really. But I hope they get alot of people at the rally. Maybe those who do go will write about it and post youtube videos? lol. I'll have to keep an eye on the news for more information too, But it sounds very monumental and fun. Gosh I could I go, lol.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43961)
• United States
27 Jun 08
Well I don't know if there is going to be another rally this year...don't know how this discussion got resurfaced as it's a year old...LOL
@magikrose (5425)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I would love to go. Like you I dont have the means to go either. I think it isgreat for those who can go and represent the rest of us.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43961)
• United States
1 Jul 07
Well we can be there in spirit..right?
• United States
2 Jul 07
That is really cool!! If I lived somewhere near by I would so be there!! And I agree with "that if this country is to truly have full religious freedom, then all religions should be honored and recognized" regardless of the fact that it's not an organized religion. I hope it all goes great!!
1 person likes this
@craftwave (1339)
• United States
1 Jul 07
My husband was a military chaplain I don't see why this is even happening. Pagans/Wiccans have never been denied the right to gather and worship. As a chaplain my husband was instructed that he had to help provide a place for those in this religious persuasion to worship and to assist in any way possible to help set up their religious service. As for why there are no pagan/wiccan chaplains it is more then likely that they don't meet the schooling requirement. Since chaplains come in as commisioned officers there is a required amount of schooling in the field you are coming in as. Since I am a Christian and not a wiccan or pagan I'm not sure how much schooling is required for a person to lead that type of service. My husband had not only a BA in undergrad but a masters of divinity as well. Then he was required to have so many years of ministry in and in full and good standing with the governing body of our church organization. All personel coming in as commissioned officers need to meet the schooling requirement as well as so many years doing the job. Not just religious personel. Where there were no chaplains available then lay leaders were permitted to conduct the services. This happened for all religious persuasions that came and asked for assistance. WE had Muslims Jews and wiccans aske for either assistance or help in finding local groups they could worship with. Does this sound like they are being denied their rights? Many protestant preachers are not allowed to become chaplains because they don't meet the requirements. Has nothing to do with religious persuasion. I wonder how many of those who will attend the rally even bothered to find out if there was any truth into what they were being told. Or to even investigate the reasons behind the fact that there are no wiccan chaplains. Did you know before I told you what the requirements were for all chaplains regardless of religious persuasion? Probably not. Not many people bother to find out facts.
@pyewacket (43961)
• United States
5 Jul 07
I do realize that wiccan/pagan beliefs are recognized by the US military and therefore a person following this path can't be persecuted per se for their beliefs....As far as a "chaplain" of this path there is no such thing as our religion doesn't have the real equivalents of priests, pastors, ministers, etc. What is meant by all this though is true religious freedom....many Wiccans/pagans do still live in fear of being found out about their religion due to the stereotypical misinformation most people have about witchcraft in general...many think all who follow and are witches are still devil worshipers, sacrifice animals, and cast evil spells against everyone..this is so far from the truth its laughable--so many will hide their beliefs...it has been a known fact that some people who follow this path of life are fired from their jobs, persecuted by co-workers and even have been evicted due to their beliefs---this has nothing to do with what is going on in the military world, but the everyday world of living
@Robyn28 (385)
• Canada
12 Jul 07
Hi pyewacket I know how u feel I'm just lucky where I live there's lot's of groups I can go to and accult shops or pagan stores if u will because of what I believe in, I have friends who are open to it or practice themselves so for me I attract them or people who are open to it. I think maybe the main stream frowns upon this reglion or doesn't believe it is one or they think we worship the devil because of stereo types of things they heard the truth is some people not all are scared of what they don't know. they the one's who are closed minded, but for the one's who are open and want to know about the relgion and learn about it I'll tell u of what I know. I'll check the site thanx
@worldwise1 (14890)
• United States
5 Jul 07
I agree, pyewacket, that in a country based on freedom people should be free to practice the religion of their choice. The only condition I would add to that is unless they are doing something that is subversive to the well-being of this country. I know that there are pagans enlisted in our military, so why shouldn't they be represented as well as the rest.
• Canada
5 Jul 07
How interesting to hear this. I wonder how the Bush adminstration will respond? Freedom of religious expression in a broader context would be good to see. It would be nice not to always be considered a fringe or other when filling out surveys. With wider understanding it would be great to think there would also be greater acceptance of differences. But we have a way to go yet...but this is a start.
@Katlady2 (9925)
• United States
5 Jul 07
I firmly believe that everyone should be free to practice whatever religion they want without the interference of the government or President. I think that if the government would worry about the world's predicament instead of what people's religious preferences are, they might actually be able to begin solving some of their long standing problems in this world.
@MsTickle (24756)
• Australia
4 Jul 07
It will be very interesting to see how many turned up and what the outcome is.
@devilsangel (1821)
• United States
3 Jul 07
I think its about damn time. It sucked when I was in the military because there wasn't anything available for me. They had 2 chaplains one Catholic and the other Christian/protasnt. They even had someone run a program for the Muslims but nothing for Pagans. Oh and don't even try to set something up cause everyone would freak out. I had an alter set up in my room for a while when I was staying in the barracks and my barracks Cheif almost had a damn heart attack when he did room inspections. He wanted me to take it down and I told him to pretty much screw off. If I still lived out in DC I'd so go to that rally.
• United States
2 Jul 07
Of course you are right about the religious freedom and expressoin; but did you really expect our current president to have views other than the ones he does? I'm not really certain exactly what he does believe in as his higher power. I know that the majority of honest and compassionate Christians in this country voted him into office because they believed that they were electing a man with the same beliefs, values, ethics, and morals as their own. I only hope that they can now see beyond the issues of 1. gay/lesbian 2. pro-choice/pro-life and in the next election vote on issues that really matter such as war, economy, health care, etc. ~Donna 2.
• United States
1 Jul 07
I feel that one should be aloud to show their regligion symboles in the millitary no matter what regligion they are. In the local prision there is a pegan group with a minister which is the Valley state Prision for Women in Chowchilla California so if prisioners get to practice their religion why not someone who is working for our country and my be asked to fight for our country.
• United States
1 Jul 07
I'm not sure what to make of this. Are pagan rights really being supressed to the extent of needing to rally? I guess I am lucky because I do not witness a lack of freedom of religious expression where I live. If I were in the area, I would not attend because in my mind it would be hypocritical for me to do so...mostly because I am one of those people who complains when I hear about a Christian group whining that "the Christian foundation of America is being stripped away", "bring prayer back to public schools", etc, etc. I would, however, like to see pagan halls of worship, more understanding from those who have false ideas about the pagan paths, the ability to hold public pagan ceremony, and even pagan-based schools for our children. It will be interesting to find out what the outcome is, if anything. Thank you for sharing.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
1 Jul 07
If I lived in the area I'd love to go but since I live down in Florida that won't be possible. I might only have stayed on the fridge since I don't like crowds but I think it would be great to attend. The thing is though the military recognizes both Wicca and Paganism, the Chaplains do have it in their training. The VA does now allow the symbols to be placed on tombstones, after a bit of a fight, but it is now allowed. So we are making some headway. Hopefully this will move us a bit closer to it.