Article ID: 1940
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 6,875
Times Read: 12,186
Posted: February 2nd. 1997
Times Viewed: 12,186
Dear Local Merchant,
The First of October marks the beginning of the Halloween season. At this time, we would like to take the opportunity to thank you in advance for your cooperation in remembering that Witches are real people and not just storybook characters. In fact, many Witches are your patrons and neighbors.
As you may already know, Witchcraft is a recognized religion which is protected both federally and at the state level by statutory provision. (Statutes listed below). Although one might think it festive, the portrayal of Witches as "hags" with green faces and warted noses is not only inaccurate, but unkind.
The United States of America was founded on religious freedom; a right which you yourself enjoy and would not want threatened or removed. Because America is pluralistic, we need to treat this strength with sensitivity and respect. Certainly, your business would never portray Christians, Buddhists, or those that follow Judaism in a comical, negative or prejudicial manner.Not only would this represent poor marketing choices, but it would not demonstrate the good will you wish to extend to your valued patrons.
We realize that Witchcraft as practiced in a religious context may seem new to you, but let us assure you that there are people all over the world that follow this path. Witchcraft or Wicca sees the Divine in all. There is no Satan, devil or evil deity in its belief structure. The Witches Voice has counted over 76, 000 visitors to it's web site since April of 1996. This represents a large cross section of America as you must realize.Witches are not a fringe group but a growing religious force and the fact that Witches have visited and shopped at your store is surely a definite reality. The receipt of this letter alone should alert you to the fact that a Witch has some concern about your professional or corporation image and the message it conveys.
Therefore, we thank you for allowing all to share equally in the joy of this season and for thinking seriously about your displays and the merchandise you will be offering in this, our New Year season.
Witches and Witchcraft are protected by law as follows:
Protected and Recognized as a Religion under the Constitution of the U.S.-
U.S. Constitution Amendment: 1st, 14th;
Dettmer v. Landon, 617 F. Supp. 529 (1985)
Fed. App. ct., 4th cir., 592 F. 2d 934 (1986)
Free to Practice It's Beliefs; USCA Const. Amend. 1: Kaplan v. Hess, 694 F.2d.842/224 U.S. app. D.C. 281.... USCA Const. Amend. 14 Africa v. Anderson, 542 F. Supp. 224, (16FPD 212-216)
Free From Having It's Lawful Rights Interfered With:
Statutory Provision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Ch. 265. *37, Ch. 801 (2), (1980)
Free From Intimidation, Threat, Oppression: Ch. 265.*39, Ch. 165 (1), (1983)
While we are sure that your response to this request will be a positive one, do be aware that non-compliance may result in loss of revenue and patronage on the part of Witches who deem decorations of the kind described to be offensive.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding,
enclosure: The Frequently Asked Questions about Witchcraft
99 Chauncey St Suite #10
Boston, Ma. 02111
Attn: Executive Director
Location: Tampa, Florida
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