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Witchvox Weekly Update for 6/21/1999

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: June 21st. 1999
Times Viewed: 4,257

SEC. XX. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY RIGHTS DECLARED.

(a) Display of Ten Commandments: The power to display the Ten Commandments on or within property owned or administered by the several States or political subdivisions thereof is hereby declared to be among the powers reserved to the States respectively.

(b) Expression of Religious Faith: The expression of religious faith by individual persons on or within property owned or administered by the several States or political subdivisions thereof is hereby

(1) declared to be among the rights secured against laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion made or enforced by the United States Government or by any department or executive or judicial officer thereof; and

(2) declared to be among the liberties of which no State shall deprive any person without due process of law made in pursuance of powers reserved to the States respectively.

After Midnight...
The House Passes the 10 Commandments Amendment

<---- Here it is folks.

You don't have to be a lawyer to see that this is a major blow to the constitutional provision of the separation of church and state!

Wren and I don't view much TV but we do watch C-span and CNN and the other night we watched in horror as the bill with the 10 commandments amendment (tacked on to a Juvenile Offenders Bill) got the up vote. The good news is that many ridiculous amendments do pass the House but mercifully die a quick death in the Senate. If you don't want to see the doctrine of a single religion marring the halls of the government buildings and schools in your town, write your Senator. Your Senator WILL make this decision for you. Call them, write them or email them with your thoughts on this issue.

The next morning Wren posted the AP news clip related to this issue on Wren's Nest. It was clear that this would stun the Pagan community as well as ALL of the other non-Christian faiths. Almost immediately the mail from concerned Pagans started pouring in. This weekend, the community was buzzing about this disturbing development. Like many in this community, the Witchvox staff went to work.

"Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Most of us are quite familiar with the ten commandments, (I, for one, was beaten by nuns as a small child until I could quote them) but for those of you who aren't, they read as follows:

  1. Thou Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me.
  2. Thou Shall Not Make Unto Thee Any Graven Image.
  3. Thou Shall Not Take The Name Of The Lord Thy God In Vain.
  4. Remember The Sabbath Day To Keep It Holy.
  5. Honor Thy Father And Thy Mother.
  6. Thou Shalt Not Kill.
  7. Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.
  8. Thou Shalt Not Steal.
  9. Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor.
  10. Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Wife.

    * This is the loose "modern wording" of this list. Some Christians have changed #6 to read "Thou shalt not Kill without a good reason".

Picture This: Your Pagan child stares at the copy of the Ten Commandments posted on his classroom wall.

He or she then asks the teacher, "What does "no other gods" mean and why aren't we supposed to have them? I have them."

The placing of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms would open the door to many such questions by students. The Constitution forbids it. The Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional. The House last week passed a bill to make it possible.

What is wrong with this picture?

Check out our Extensive Coverage of this critical issue and to find out how YOU can help. We will post additional community comments throughout the week.


In other news this week...

Young Pagans of the World Launched! In and effort to give Young Pagans additional coverage AND to prune back the sheer size of our State pages, this week we broke out all teen contact listings into a section of their own. Pagan Teens are no longer at the bottom of the state pages. If you would like to view a listing of Young Pagans in your state Click Here and pick your area. (The WitchVox Young Pagan pages currently list over 3,000 Teen contacts from around the world)

WitchVox Cracks 7 Million! Thanks to your support, suggestions and interaction, the Witches Voice will break the 7 million pages viewed milestone this Tuesday (over 53,462,000 actual hits). We are also honored to thank all the artists and authors that have contributed to this site as well as our internet service provider Cetlink for allowing this to happen for the past 2 years at a flat 29 bucks a month.

Blessed Be and Meet Me in DC '99 Is a Go! This past week the organizers of BBMMDC launched their campaign to create Pagan Awareness in the U.S. capital on Samhain Weekend 1999.

    "The event idea was conceived from the Million Man March in 1995. Several people got together and tried to create an organizational structure from which the event could be realized. It still is unclear why the event, as it was originally conceived, never took hold, but the original creators/organizers disbanded in mid-to-late 1996. It was then that the small group of people, seeing the idea as incredibly fruitful and necessary, took it and ran with it" Fem (president, BBPU and Core Member, BBMMDC).

    The first BBMMDC rendered a turn out of 600-800 at the nation's capital and a statement was indeed made.

    BBMMDC '99 looks to not only be VERY organized but also promises to be an exciting event, packed with many famous Pagan leaders and celebrites. Wren and I had a wonderful chat with one the organizers, River, at Heartland last month and it was clear that he is with a very professional group of folks and that this time it should be much stronger. BBMMDC has two web sites: A Splash Page and a Main Page. The Witches' Voice wishes BBMMDC only the best and will bring you more info as it develops.


THIS Weekend in Washington D.C. ...

MPN To Host Prayer Circle in DC: Join the Military Pagan Network in support of continued religious freedom in the military. Because of Rep. Barr's harassment, we will be holding an eclectic Wiccan 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. Monday, June 28, 1999, 7p.m. at the West Lawn of the Jefferson Memorial (to the left of the memorial as you face the Tidal Basin)  Email: Coordinator@milpagan.org   Telephone: 410-740-0561  Website: http://www.milpagan.org/

Web Surfing Peeves Hey maybe it's just us? As Wren and I work on the Voice we find ourselves growling and bristling when we surf the web to check out links and do research. The following 3 situations make us the craziest. How about you?

  1. Dead links! It amazes us that quantity seems to reign over quality on the web. It's becoming a nightmare to use the search engines for research and so many sites we have visited lately are infested with broken links. We work hard at TWV to do our part for a clean web (Our links section is verified on a daily basis and we ARE constantly working on the other sections). If this makes you crazy, email Webcrafters and search engines and work on this. If you find any broken links here, feel free to let us know as well.

  2. POP out Windows! What is up with this? The Geocities pop up banners are irritating enough, but there seems to be a trend to create links that open up in a new window. Our question is WHY? Are they afraid that we won't come back? The average surfer is viewing the web with an 800x600 monitor, space for new windows just isn't at a premium. We say, if you are sending people off of your site via links of interest then do it! Why does a site need to be lurking in the background? Amazingly, many sites that we love and respect "hold their ground" when you try to link away.

  3. Trapped in Frames? Although one could argue that frames ARE a good design move. It is clear that the masses don't like it. The pro sites don't do frames as the default. Frames ARE a good option, but do your surfers a favor and don't use frames as a default. Let US choose to Frame or not to Frame.

Interviews with Two Pagan Authors: This week the Wiccan/Pagan Times is featuring an interview with Raven Grimassi author of several titles including Wiccan Magick and Wiccan Mysteries. Raven has been a teacher and practitioner of magickal systems for over 25 years and he has some definite ideas concerning our heritage and the preservation of the Old Ways.

The Microsoft Network is featuring a powerful Interview with Starhawk . Candid and very much down to earth!

OCRT Fighting to Survive: The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance web site is too popular for their own good. In the past two weeks several of you have written us asking to help get the word out on this sites financial woes. Wren and I have been big fans of this site and its work for almost three years. OCRT's activity of late is rendering them big usage charges and word has it that this puts their monthly bill in the 200+ range. It's apparent that their support donations don't cover this and the option to continue to serve the community and to pay for it themselves may not be a practical one. If you value what they do, support them, OR you can help them to find a web hosting service that will allow them 20 plus gig a month in bandwidth for a fee less than 100.00.

Several times in the past, TWV has sent OCRT cash support because it is our belief that they are a very important resource for Religious Freedom. The typical WitchVox balance doesn't allow us to send them money these days but we are hopeful that we will be able to do this in the future. Early last year (2/18/98) I penned a rant on this subject and sadly this reality hasn't changed much. The message of this rant was a simple one... Support ANY Organization that you believe in. By ANY I mean those outside our community as well. The Lincoln Park High case of earlier this year was a victory because the ACLU IS properly funded. Wren and I are proud sponsors of the ACLU.

Bob Barr Those of you that regularly surf this site noticed a huge feature on the Bob Barr issue that dominated this page just 4 days ago. We have moved it to our Bob Barr Index in a effort to keep this page "loadable" and to gain space for the Ten Commandments issue. Is Bob a major proponent of the Ten Commandments amendment featured above? Big surprise! This is yet another one of his "passions".

Blessed Solstice Everyone!!!,



Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
June 21st., 1999 c.e.





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