|On these pages the Witches' Voice presents up to the minute news, updates and contact information related to our Pagan brothers and sisters that serve in the Military. We wish them protection and project that they return safely to their families. |
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The Bob Barr Collection 6/17/99|
Wren puts a slew of the latest info together.
As Fritz said in his TWV front-page commentary,
THE MODERN PAGAN MOVEMENT CAN NOT BE DENIED:
"...I can't help but think how weak recent attacks against the Modern Pagan movement really are. We ARE unifying and we ARE getting organized. It seems that no matter where a fundamentalist attack comes from, our community has a strong local group willing to quickly help clarify who we are and what we do. It's all about momentum and our momentum is not about to wane very soon."
Well that has become quite evident in the past few weeks! Bob Barr not only rattled a hornets' nest of controversy when he came out and blasted the military over the inclusion of Witchcraft rituals on the bases, he unleashed a veritable whirlwind of pagan activism.
Listed below are just some of the campaigns, organized responses and articles from pagans and groups all across that cyberscape known as the internet. As you browse through some of these sites, DO take a moment to thank the authors and webmasters for all of their hard work and for their tireless devotion to the principle of religious freedom for all.
We would like to thank them all here-and to thank YOU- for keeping us informed, becoming involved yourselves and- most of all-for renewing our hope that the day is fast approaching when- as Witches, Wiccans and pagans- we and our children will no longer have to endure such attacks of bigoted discrimination, irrational hatred or unwarranted fear simply because of our religious beliefs.
Check out The Witches' Voice coverage of this "Hot Issue of the Day" at Barr Wants Witches Out of the Military and keep popping into WREN'S NEST for the latest updates and alerts on this issue as well as other news items of interest to the pagan community.
(Note: The following web sites are listed here for your information. TWV may or may not agree with all of the viewpoints expressed on these external sites. Per the tax laws of the United States, TWV as a non-profit, religious and educational organization can neither endorse nor call for the removal of any political figure; nor may we participate in any extensive political lobbying. We can however-and do- point you to pending legislation and other political issues that may affect our religious freedoms and rights under the Constitution of the United States.)
What Other Groups Are Doing:
Join the MILITARY PAGAN NETWORK on Monday, June 28, 1999, 7p.m. on the West Lawn of the Jefferson Memorial (to the left of the memorial as you face the Tidal Basin) in a circle of support for the continued exercise of religious freedom in the military. What Other Pagans Are Writing:
"Because of Rep. Barr's harassment, MPN will be holding an eclectic full moon circle. All are welcome to join us in circle or in prayer. Business attire, ritual robes, or festive garb are encouraged. The media will be invited to attend."
Visit the MPN web site for the latest press releases and their extensive resources section on the various guidelines for the expression of religious faith-including Wicca- in the military.
The WITCHES ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LEAGUE (WADL) has written letters to all of the members of the US Congressional Armed Forces Subcommittee requesting that they resist the efforts of Bob Barr to ban Witchcraft from military bases.
In a letter to President Bill Clinton, WADL writes: "We ask you continue the wise course you have established during your Administration, and not allow the personal beliefs or rhetoric of one man or that of one group sway this Country from steadfastly following those precepts laid forth by the Deists that founded our Country and who wisely wrote The First Amendment."
"Should Representative Barr be successful it will mean no Freedom treasured by Americans is safe from partisan prejudice or pressure."
WADL encourages you to use these letters as a guideline should you also wish to write to your representatives, the Subcommittee members or to the White House.
And speaking of writing letters, the PAGAN EDUCATIONAL NETWORK (PEN) has the most extensive set of links to contact information and recent news articles concerning the Barr issue that we have seen. Who to contact? The info is there. Why should you write those letters? The reasons are there. The PEN Press Release tells it all in detail: "This issue deserves the strongest possible response. We must make a strong statement in defense of First Amendment freedoms and be steadfast in our opposition to any move which would deny these hard-won rights to our brothers and sisters. Barr will only have success if he is allowed to define the issue. We must stand up and clearly state what Witchcraft is about. It is up to us to educate the public so they cannot be misled by Barr's characterizations. If there were ever a time to stand up and be heard, it is NOW."
The LADY LIBERTY LEAGUE has sent out regular updates on the Barr issue through their e-newsletter alerts as well as posting all of the information on their website. If you would like to receive the latest information about this and other pagan related issues, you may subscribe to the Lady Liberty League News (LLL News) list. Just send an email to (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name and postal address in the text, plus the name of the religious freedom group or project you represent. Put LLL NEWS in the subject line, followed by Subscribe.
THE MAGICKAL CAULDRON has a full write up and pictures from the Barr Town Meeting which took place on May 29th in Marietta Georgia. "Wiccans started to group and converse on the sidewalk as we awaited the press."
Our good friend, CATHER STEINCAMP has written a wonderful editorial called, When Opportunity Knocks-Sometimes With Flaming Torches which turns this issue around to look at the beneficial side to all the controversy about the Witches in the military.Stuff You May Have Missed:
The TEXAS PAGAN AWARENESS web site posts regular updates on the Bob Barr campaign against Witches and paganism. Of special interest is an essay by Charlayne Elizabeth Denney: When Dreams Walk as Nightmares. (This article will appear in the new issue of ACCORD, the news magazine of the COUNCIL FOR THE MAGICKAL ARTS, but you can get a sneak preview!
Charlayne begins: "The Pagan community dreams of having openly Pagan shops, community centers, educational facilities and churches/groves/circles where those who believe in Gods and Goddesses can meet and participate in functions without fears of retribution from those who only see religious freedoms for the "majority."
"Dreams, however, have a way of walking, even for a short time, as nightmares as the majority puts pressure to try to make the minority sink back into the closet, out of sight and out of open practice."
The GEORGIA PAGAN PAGE has posted an article written by Rhuddlwm Gawr, who lives in Bob Barr's district, entitled Bob Barr Attacks American Religious Freedom and the site also includes links to other related items.
RAVENWHIT features a nice essay on religious freedom on the front page and also bit of a RavenRant about Bob Barr's intolerance with links to the past news articles surrounding this controversy.
THE AMERICAN WITCH takes out the satirical pen and points the finger of irony in Mr. Barr's direction.
LARK writes an interesting perspective piece available on the TripleMoon forum entitled, "The Warrior's Path-Pagans In The Military." Agree or not-and you can respond on the forum-it is a thought-provoking article on the reasons that pagans may decide to serve in the armed forces. Visit the other TripleMoon Message Boards while you are in the neighborhood.
On the National Public Radio (NPR)-"All Things Considered" program for June 9, 1999: Military - Wicca -- On US military bases around the country and overseas, practitioners of Wicca (and other "neo-pagan" religions) are accorded the same rights as Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Republican Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia is planning to investigate the matter. He fears that allowing witches to practice their beliefs in the military will hurt morale and combat readiness. Laura Sydell reports. (Need RealAudio)Other Campaigns:
The ART BELL SHOW featured an interview with Lady AmberMaeve Szymanski, CoG National Public Information Officer and High Priestess of the Grove of the Winged Scarab (Need Real Audio-Click on Archive for 6/14/99)
On the TELEPATHIC RADIO program of 6/14/99, Selena Fox, Abby Willowroot- originator and visionary of the Goddess 2000 Project - and Wren Walker discussed the latest developments in the "Rep. Bob Barr Witch Hunt." The program is not on-line as yet, but do check in at the web site for the announcement. (need RealAudio)
There are two petitions out there with Bob Barr's name on them at the E The People web site-http://www.e-thepeople.com-a free, nonpartisan Web service promoting better communication between citizens and their government. Walk in Love and Light.
Bob Barr's removing a religion from the Militia : "We urgently and respectfully ask that you do not overturn the First Amendment right for Wiccans to freely practice their religion on Military bases."
Expel Representative Bob Barr: "Mr. Barr has demonstrated his contempt for the United States Constitution time and time again."
The ONTARIO CONSULTANTS FOR RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE have bestowed upon Mr. Barr their prestigious "Burning Times Award" in "recognition of being the North American political figure whose behavior most closely exemplifies the spirit of the Witch burning times."
Aside from the OCRT's coverage of this issue, the site also contains over 800 essays on religious topics and faiths. If you want to know more about any religion, path or belief system, OCRT is THE place to find the information!
The Witches' Voice
June 17th., 1999 c.e.
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