Bob Barr: Community Letters Page 2
Article ID: 2373
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 6,213
Times Read: 10,956
Author: Pagan Communities
Posted: May 22nd. 1999
Times Viewed: 10,956
Bob Barr Bullish on Bigotry...
Witches and Pagans respond to Rep. Bob Barr - Page #2
Page ONE Page TWO
--I am an American. I am proud to be an American; but can I still be proud of that if we no longer have our freedom? Can I still be proud of my country if it dictates what I must believe in? America would become no better than those countries which enforce such dictates upon their peoples, the same countries for which we have entered wars, enforced trade embargoes, sent aid, and anything else you can imagine" It is with deep and passionate concern that I ask you to TRULY represent the people, rather than allowing this injustice to happen. - Rev. Eva Jung.
--I believe that religious freedom is a right, not a privilege. I believe that it is a right, regardless as to whether or not a citizen is military personnel. If this policy comes into effect, and religious freedom ceases to be a right for military personnel, what is to stop this policy from being extended to all U.S. citizens? What is to stop this policy from being extended to outlaw other minority religions?
Representative Barr is advocating a path that, in my opinion, should be avoided. There must be religious freedom for all, else there is religious freedom for none.
As a citizen of a neighbour nation, I have no voice in your internal domestic affairs -- these decisions are for your nation state to make. I am simply stating my concern and profound hope that your government decides to uphold the spirit of its constitution and retain religious freedom as a right for its citizens.- (H.P. Neil Jamieson-Williams, Temple of the Willow Grove, Canada.
--As for one of your commandments; "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor", I sir, am one of your neighbors. It is a shame that your hatred clouds your clear thinking. - Taumi.
-- It is your prerogative and free right to rally for others to join your band wagon against other religions, to try to persuade others from the religious right not to enlist in the army, to not re-enlist, or to drop out all together if that is what you want to do, and I do uphold your right to freedom of speech because that is what America is all about. Although if I were holding public office, however, I certainly wouldn't be so blatant with my own prejudices. I am one of those who do vote at every single election from every school election to the Presidential ones. You were voted into the office you hold. It's people like me who pay your salary with our hard earned dollars, and I personally am offended at your tactics. It's citizens like me who can vote you out.
I reiterate, the Inquisition is over. - Jacquelene Elliott US Citizen, small business owner, taxpayer and voter..
- Even by the standards of oleaginous hypocrisy, self-serving connivery and unintentionally hilarious buffoonery that have made Congress the laughingstock it has so deservedly become, your amazingly stupid, monumentally ill-informed and obnoxiously fascistic comments regarding Witches in the military are without peer.
It was politicians of your ilk, specifically George Wallace and Fob James, who made Alabama forever known, in the more fortunately educated areas of the country, as The Idiot Governor State. With your brains and mouth, plus the fact you seem afflicted with Blitherer's Disease, can it be long before Georgia becomes known as The Bozo Representative State? Happy clowning, Bob! - Rev. James R.Gearl.
- THIS nation is strongest in its acceptance of diversity and its willingness to have an open mind. It is strongest in its belief of personal freedom. As a U.S. representative you must be aware of this. As a US Representative you also gave a promise to those who elected you to uphold the Constitution of the United States. By not allowing Wiccans to practice their religion on military bases you are going back on your promise.- Jacki.
- My Religion is just as important as Christianity and it will be here on Earth just as long. You see, right now you are arguing about a few celebrations for those who abide by a Different God than you but, we as Pagans have more important issues we deal with. We fight daily to perserve our Land, our Water, our Air and instead of condemning us for caring why not just respect us as very Peaceful Earth caring individuals. I'm sure if you spoke person to person with us you would see we are just as normal as the next person and you might even enjoy our company. - Siryn Dolphinsong.
- Maybe you should take a lesson from the country above you. Canada does not tolerate any type of religious restriction, force or pursuasion from its political leaders, or any other person for that matter. This is because we follow the rules. You should learn them. Let your God lead you and my Gods lead me. Blessed Be! .- Veshka Valkyrie - Priestess of the Northern Witch Learning Circle.
- QUOTING a decision re: freedom of speech to defend an attack on freedom of religion is a very interesting tactic, sir! No "taxpayer funding" of witchcraft? There are hundreds of thousand of pagans in this country, a great many of them taxpayers.- Greine.
- I WOULD like to enlighten you a bit about my religion of choice which is Witchcraft. How could you not sanction our wonderful military troops (I used to be one sir, honorably discharged I might add) not practicing their religion of choice which is a legally recognized religion according to the U.S. government. You do know that you work for the government, RIGHT? You should then be up on this information, for it is also in the Army Chaplain's handbook.- Soloswan.
- I'M just adding my voice to the doubtlessly overwhelming number of responses you'll be getting on this issue. You're wrong on this, sir. Wiccans-- or witches-- have just as much right to practice their religion in the military as Christians. You, on the other hand, have no legal ground to determine what religions are permissable. Please read your Constitution... particularly the First Amendment.- Cather Steincamp,Voter, Taxpayer, and Wiccan.
- I AM writing this to let you know that your attempts to force the military into rejecting certain religious faiths is unconstitutional, and the People (read: voters) of the United States of America will NOT stand for it. Your party heads will be petitioned, interest groups will be told of your public support, which is now spiraling downward. I believe your next primary will be difficult. If you imagine this to be the right thing to do, you are also imagining that the framers of the constitution were wrong.- Stevenh, Citizen, Voter, Witch.
-INDEED your ignorance of and disrespect for a beautiful and life-affirming belief system (RELIGION) causes me much distress and shame as a fellow southerner. You would do well to heed the words and actions of the Master Jesus rather than to wallow in the self-serving, narrow and unloving politics of the neo-puritans who hide behind His name.- Victoria.
-ON the most basic level, Pagans are part of the US military. These are men & women who are prepared to serve in combat, in peacekeeping, in any role asked of them by the US government. They are prepared to shed & lay down their lives in defense of this country. They are, regardless of religion, prepared to die in the course of duty. Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, & Pagans alike are ready to sacrifice their lives to defend America. To deny some of them the right to religious freedom simply because you do not agree with their beliefs (or have not sufficient understanding of those beliefs) is offensive. Not only to them, but to anyone who values fairness & decency. And it not only violates the spirit of the Constitution, it trivializes the contribution of every serving American, past, present & in the future.- Karen.
- YOU supported your decision regarding Wicca with the following quote: "This move sets a dangerous precedent that could easily result in the practice of all sorts of bizarre practices being supported by the military under the rubric of 'religion.' What's next?" Okay, so you move to disallow it. Well, since you seem so intent on taking thoughts and principles to their extreme, how about we do the same with YOUR thoughts? I think your suggestion sets an even MORE dangerous precedent that could result in the banning of any and all religions in the armed forces under the rubric of 'bizarre practices'. What's next, Bob? Will armed guards put troops in the brig for wearing a crucifix under their uniform? - A Concerned Veteran.
- AS a Witch, I am very disappointed to hear of your statement about witchcraft on the military bases. Though I am not an American, I know that Canada often looks to the USA as a role model. As a result of the recent ceremonies at the military base at Fort Hood, I was hoping that the Canadian military might consider it as well
Your uncalled-for response makes this unlikely. I regret that you do not have the tolerance and acceptance to learn and appreciate other religions in the USA, and the rest of the world
Witchcraft and paganism have been recognized as legitimate and very much legal religions for quite some time. I suggest that you read your Constitution again, the bits about religious freedom.- Silver RavenCat.
-MR. BARR, it might interest you to know that not only are we (witches) in the military but we are: Teachers, lawyers, judges, and chefs. We are doctors, nurses, baby sitters, and care home operators. We are business owners, market speculators, bankers, and custodians. We are authors, artists, craftsmen, and college professors. We are scientists, data gatherers, and newspaper reporters. We are environmentalist, animal rights activists, omnivores, and vegetarians. We are poor, middle class and wealthy -- I personally know a couple who are over 7 figures. We are sons, daughters, parents, and grandparents. We are EVERYWHERE!
And here is another shocker for you -- we are a prayerful people! Loving, caring, and generous. Please remember that religion -- as in 'freedom of religion' -- is NOT spelled c h r i s t i a n i t y. REMEMBER when you open the door for religion, prayer, and creationism in schools... we are coming through that door with you! We, along with every other religion out there, have our own creation story! - Betty.
- I AM a student, I am a Witch, and I vote. Actually, I am only 18, and I had the distinct pleasure of voting for the first time this November. I have read your comments concerningWitchcraft both in your assault on Fort Hood Pagans, (18 May, 1999,) and in a more oblique refernce in your "Causes of Youth Violence Found in Adult Culture" statements made on May 13 of this year. Sir, I am appalled. There is really no better word to describe the feeling I have right now, I am appalled.
I am new to the Amreican system of government, I am not new to my emotions. I know what it was like to fill out my selective service card within 30 days of my 18th birthday, knowing that the government quite literally had my number. I was a little apprehensive about that, I had too many images of the Viet Nam War and it's draft floating around in my head I suppose. Too many ideas about being called to do something I did not want to do, but I filled out that card, it was my duty as an American citizen. You have more of a duty to America than I do sir. I was born here, that's about all I owe to America, my parent's and ancestors did the rest for me. You are a Congressman, there are only 434 other people in the world who have your kind of power, your kind of prestige, and they all work in the same room as you
I have a voice, and I intend to use it; I use it here: please correct yourself. Do not try and have Witchcraft removed from the Military, you may say what you say, you have as much of a right to an opinion as I do, no more, and certainly no less. As Thomas Jefferson once said, "I may not agree with what you are saying, but, I will defend your right to say it withmy life." - Cuiun Silverwind.
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