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Wren Wrant...

 So Where's The Pumpkin Bob?

Clearwater, Florida - May 19, 1999:

This morning I actually checked outside my front door. But, nope"the basket of pink and white begonias on the steps was still there. It had not turned into a pumpkin. Today was not Halloween.

Of course, Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia probably would prefer it if today really was Oct. 31st. Then he could breathe a sigh of relief at the thought that all this media attention that pagan paths are receiving would be over tomorrow.

No such luck, Mr. Barr. It used to be that way, but not anymore. Witchcraft and paganism are here to stay.

365 days a year, there are Witches and pagans writing news articles, arguing court cases, driving police cars, approving mortgage loans at the bank, treating patients in the ER" and yes, serving in the military.

Better get used to it, because here in America, it's an all or nothing deal. All religions are welcome on military bases or none are. And we doubt many folks would support that idea.

Bob Barr is on record as decrying the loss of religion in society. More religion, he says, more religion in the schools, in the home and everywhere else.

Now you'd think that a real advocate of 'more religion' would leap for joy when yet another faith has found acceptance in an all-too-secular world and indeed religion is alive and well on the U.S. military bases"

Given his history of pushing for more religious expression, Barr's recent demand for the removal of "Witchcraft" from military bases would be filed under 'irony' if another word didn't sum up his position even better: like 'hypocrisy'.

Advocates of 'religious rights' like Barr, of course, are not really promoting the ideal of religious freedom for everyone. On May 18, Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer said in a press release, "I have spent the last twenty years in public policy focusing on the impact of the gradual stripping away of religious faith from our nation's classrooms." "This chipping away at religion in public life takes many forms."

We've noticed. We've also noticed the constant use of all inclusive words such as 'religion' and 'religious faith' where no such inclusiveness for minority religions and faiths is actually meant to apply.

Witchcraft, Wicca and many other pagan belief systems have been recognized as valid religions for a long time now and that fact is not going to change just because some folks can't handle the information.

We've been doing our legal homework and incorporating our groves, covens, temples and groups as 501(c)3 religious organizations for many years. The IRS knows. The U.S. Military knows. Constitutional scholars know. The news media knows. Where have these guys been?

If Georgia's good-old-boy representative thinks that today looks a little too much like Halloween for his beliefs to handle, well just wait until tomorrow"and the day after that.

The numbers of people claiming pagan beliefs continues to grow and our presence will probably challenge and reshape many outmoded ideas on what constitutes belief and religious expression in this country.

That is a good thing for a democracy to experience. It tends to keep everybody looking closely at the Constitution and thinking hard about the rights and responsibilities of freedom for all.

So, Mr. Barr, why don't you go out and carve yourself up a big smiley-faced pumpkin today? It'll remind you that Witches don't just come out on Halloween anymore.

It is also a wonderful form of stress reduction therapy and since it seems that the acceptance of Witchcraft upsets you so very much, it does look as though you're going to be needing a little something to get you through the years ahead.

Walk in Light and Love,

Wren Walker
May 19th, 1998
The Witches' Voice
Clearwater, Florida

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