Witchvox Weekly Update for 2/8/1999|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: February 8th. 1999
Times Viewed: 6,705
| It's Official Folks!|
Today we can finally reveal what's going on...
ACLU Slaps Law Suit on Lincoln High!
ACLU Defends Honor Student Witch's Right to Wear a Pentacle!
-UPI News Wire
LINCOLN PARK, Mich., Feb. 9, 1999 (UPI) The American Civil Liberties Union is representing a 17-year-old witch in a lawsuit against a Michigan school district for allegedly trampling her right to worship and free speech.
Crystal Seifferly filed the suit challenging the Lincoln Park School District's 4-month-old rule against certain student uses of the pentacle, a five-pointed star that's a symbol of her Wicca faith and common in jewelry. Seifferly claims she's been a witch since age 13, and that the school district rules discriminate against her by lumping Wicca together with the Ku Klux Klan and hate groups.
At an ACLU-sponsored news conference today with her mother, Seifferly said she "will not be forced into shame" by opponents of her religion. Seifferly's mother says she and her husband are Christian but support their daughter's lawsuit as well as her freedom to choose a religion.
In October, school officials announced a policy change that prohibited students from wearing pentacles (for original coverage Click here.). Crystal Seifferly, 17, is an honor student at Lincoln Park High School and a witch - a member of the Wicca religion.
TWV/WADL Plan Joint Press Release:
From: Lowell McFarland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WADL Senior Media Advisors
President Steve Foster, Witches Anti-Discrimination League (WADL) has just informed me that a joint press conference was conducted this morning, Tuesday February 9, 1999, in Detroit, Michigan, USA., with The Witches Voice (TWV) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in which the ACLU announced that it has filed a lawsuit against the Lincoln Park High School, Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA., on behalf of Pagan students relative to their right to peacefully display their religious beliefs by way of appropriate jewelry, pentacles, etc., in school and during school time.
The above is a voice report and I am awaiting the actual ACLU filing. As the press covering this press conference included CBS-TV News, there is the possibility that a CBS report on this press conference may appear on this evening's CBS News.
Wren Walker (TWV) has just informed me that some local and national new media are already carrying this story.
"Religious freedom is for everyone, including Wiccans. As more pagan children enter the public school system, it is imperative that educators and administrators alike become better informed on the practices and beliefs of all earth-based religions," Walker said.
Additionally, Steve Foster indicated that WADL and TWV are working on joint press releases, to be soon released on the Internet, to inform Pagan leaders, groups, covens, groves, circles, solitaires, etc., and others, of this important anti-discrimination effort by WADL/TWV/ACLU.
Steve Foster has indicated that this lawsuit by the ACLU may go a long way to establish proper respect and religious rights for all Pagan students in America.
For additional coverage... Surf to Wren's Nest on the Web
| Pat Robertson's Surprising Statement about the Lincoln High Issue! |
from The 700 Club's broadcast of Feb. 10th, 1999
Today I came home for lunch and Wren said, "You have GOT to see this..." She hit the play button on the VCR revealing this mornings 700 Club broadcast... Pat Robertson's comments about the Lincoln High issue were suprisingly open minded and spoke about the right to practice the religion of YOUR choice... Although he continues to paint Witches, Wiccans and Pagans (incorrectly) as Satanists and Devil worshipers, he did, with his own folksy style, celebrate Crystal Seifferly's right to wear her Pentacle. Pat's unedited response is as follows:
"You know, I never thought you'd see the day that I would say that people have the right to wear a pentagram."
"I'm totally against Satanism, I'm totally against devil worship and I'm totally against the occult, but like it or not, folks...If we can wear crosses and the Jewish students can wear menorahs or the Star of David or what have you, then these people have to be allowed to wear their pentagram."
"I just believe the best test of truth is in the marketplace. And the ACLU might have itself-somebody else file an amicus brief on this one."
"Yeah, I know it's terrible to think about and I commend the people in Michigan for trying to cut down on gang violence, but at the same time, as long as this woman -that young girl- isn't trying to stir up violence and call for the human sacrifice or other gory stuff, then she has the right to wear the symbol of what she believes in whether we agree with it or not."
I was quite surprised to hear this... He did say it and did mean it. With the influence of the 700 Club on the Christian community, this statement will have far reaching impact. It was indeed a step forward in maintaining ones right to practice the religion of YOUR choice. Thanks Pat!
Oneofthesheep at Witchvox.com
| New Faces to Come...|
Now that we've made it past that "Blue" Virgo Moon... Sailing (thank the Goddess) is smooth again. For TWV the transition rendered the opposite, an positive, inventive and productive week. Powerful restructuring continues throughout the Witches' Voice. Site goals have always been the same; make it clean, fast, detailed, deep and accurate. The challenge has always been to deal with the sheer volume of data that we feature. This page (our home page) has always tried to cover way too much information. Effective this week we will archive this page on a weekly basis (offering 4 weeks back). This new approach will enable us to design this page to be both effective and efficient.
The Compact Disc that kept the Voice staff productive this week was an old favorite. "Beyond the Minds Eye" (compositions by Jan Hammer)
Introducing The Nest v2.0 Born out of necessity and a natural for Wren, Wren's Nest gets a long overdue face lift this week. Many of you have asked for a "more printable" version of the Nest. We have made the decision to go with a classic white look and a tighter design. Web Note: We did toy with a "frames version" for most of the week but the majority vote was a big... NOT! We may toss the Frames version up later this week as an alternative. Last year, Wren's Nest was hit over a quarter of a million times and is more active every single day. Bookmark Wren's Nest for the latest in Craft related news.
The Little Witch - A Smash! Last week we introduced a wonderful short story by John entitled "The Little Witch", and to say it was well received would be an understatement, We were shocked to discover that this page was viewed 1,023 times during its first week. The Witches Voice is proud to present you with this incredible story of what it is like to be new to all of this. Aim your browser to ... "The Little Witch" to experience this wonderful creation - Bless you John for this work of magick!
| This weeks Feature |
Which Witch is Witch?
Witch, Wiccan Pagan?
Witch, Wiccan or Pagan? That do these words mean? How are they different? Can you be just one? two? or all three? These questions are the basis of constant debate and discussion throughout the Pagan community. From time to time we get email asking why WE seem to mix these three words throughout this website. The answer is simple, The Witches' Voice has never had a desire to define these terms TO or FOR the community. However, most of you do have some very strong opinions on this subject. This week we present 4 pages of thoughts on "What is a Witch, Wiccan or a Pagan"
Speaking of The Little Witch... Over the past several months we have received email of "concern" about our Pagan Parenting section. Fundamentally asking the question "Why is it going nowhere"? The answer is threefold; FIRST: Wren and I aren't Pagan Parent, SECOND: time is at a real premium here at the Voice and we work hard just to keep this site alive and THIRD: This section like many others at TWV is at the mercy of community submissions. A couple of dozen have offered articles but until this past week no one had actually delivered anything. This week Valerie DID deliver... A wonderful review of three children's books for Pagans. We took this opportunity to polish up our Pagan Parenting section. We have added every link that we know of to site related to Pagan Parenting (many are incredible) and have created a new section in our Pagan Links pages for the same. Visit our Pagan Parenting Pages for Valerie's Book Review and some powerful links. If YOU are a Pagan Parent and would like to offer your magick to this section email us with your thoughts.
The Goddess 2000 Project "A Goddess on Every Block!"... The community is all a buzz about this wonderful new project spearheaded by Abby Willowroot. "The Goddess 2k project is a Grass-roots community based Goddess art project. Thousand of pagans and others who honor the Earth are preparing to welcome the year 2000 by creating large goddess statues and paintings all over the country. Groups in other countries are also participating". Full details are available at the official Goddess 2000 Project website For additional info Email WillowWebs@aol.com or write: Goddess 2000 Project, PO Box 403, Benicia, CA, 94510
A Behind The Scenes Peek At The Witches Voice: Wren and I (like everyone else) do have our own personal thoughts on many community issues but rarely present them here. Although we have done numerous interviews in the past few years we have never done one online. A few weeks ago the beautiful Trystia of invited us to do just that. Click HERE for part one of this interview. Bless YOU Tristia for deeming us worth of this interview, the pleasure was ours - F&W. The Pagan Directory Online also features a wonderful interview with popular Pagan author Silver Ravenwolf, site listings, powerful articles and much much more.
Also New at the Voice... We have added 2 new sections in our Pagan links area: "Email Lists - Connections" and "Pagan Parenting Links".
PhyoenixPhyre Gearing up to be Strong. Once again, Wren and Fritz would like to again thank the numerous Groups and Festival organizers that have invited us to be part of their magic. Sadly, lack of time precludes us from accepting most of these invites. However, next month we will be attending PhoenixPhyre just north of Tampa, Florida. The feature list is looking wonderful and includes:
Patricia Telesco, Don and Daniella Waterhawk, Elspeth of Haven,
Maya Heath, Main Ritual with Full Moon Circle (TUUC)
Phyllis Curlott and Bruce Fields
Alexian and Seridina from Earth Tones Studios
For our part we plan on presenting workshops and Fritz will, no doubt, perform at Bardic circle. Visit the Phoenix Phyre web site for more info on this festival.
Always in your service,
The Witches' Voice
February 10th., 1999 c.e.
| Witches' Voice vs. RC5-64 cracks the top 1000! |
What is Witches' Voice vs. RC5-64? It's the meeting of two projects-- supporters of The Witches' Voice joining together to form a team on The Bovine RC5 Project, working to make encryption stronger and hopefully raise some money for The Witches' Voice.
Oh. How does it work? The total possible number of keys (68,719,476,736) has been broken down into blocks. Now, what you do is download a client and run it on your system. It goes out to RC5, and downloads a number of blocks (this is set by you) and starts applying the keys to a section of the code. Once it's done, it uploads the tested blocks and downloads more. With tens or hundreds of thousands of computers across the world running this client, you've got the largest code-cracking network in existence.
Okay, what do I do? Go to Click HERE to check out FAQ's on this interesting challenge. (Wren and Fritz are honored to thank our friend and sponsor Cather "Catalyst" Steincamp for spearheading this opportunity for the entire Witch, Wiccan and Pagan community.)
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