Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]


Views: 17,154,574


September 14th. 2014 ...

GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)


September 7th. 2014 ...

Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery

Web Oh-oh

The All


August 31st. 2014 ...

Coven vs. Solitary

Faith

A Strange Waking Dream


August 24th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation

The Pagan Cleric

A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)


August 17th. 2014 ...

To Know, to Will, to Dare...

On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows

The Darkness


August 10th. 2014 ...

As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?

The Power of the Gorgon


August 3rd. 2014 ...

Are You a Natural Witch?

You Have to Believe We Are Magic...


July 27th. 2014 ...

Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?

Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle

The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys


July 20th. 2014 ...

Being an Underage Wiccan

Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition

Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches

Thoughts on Ghost Hunting


July 13th. 2014 ...

A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...

From Christian to Pagan (Part III)

Being Wiccan

My Wiccan Ways...


July 6th. 2014 ...

Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds

The Lore of the Door

Leaves of Love


June 29th. 2014 ...

What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?

Are You My Familiar ?

Invocations of the God and Goddess

Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene

Results Magic and the Moral Compass


June 22nd. 2014 ...

Witchcraft vs. Religion

Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?

Norse Mythology


June 15th. 2014 ...

Becoming Your Own Wise One

Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha


June 8th. 2014 ...

Moral Relativism and Wicca

Paganism in Cebu, Philippines

Color Infusion

Soul Strings


June 1st. 2014 ...

Rediscovering My Pagan Faith

13 Keys: The Wisdom of Chokmah


May 25th. 2014 ...

Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials

Awakening to our Celestial Nature (A Free 8-Day Course)

How to Work With Your Muse

10 Things I Love about my Sacred Work as a Public Witch


May 18th. 2014 ...

Finding the God (From Christian to Pagan -Part II)

The Medea Within Us All

Visits from the Departed


May 11th. 2014 ...

Breaking the Law of Return

Karma and Sin

Mental and Emotional Balance- I CAN Have it!

The Sin Concept


May 4th. 2014 ...

When to Let Go...When to Hold On

Goddessy: Sorceress Speaks On Beauty

Embracing my Inner Goddess through Belly Dance


April 27th. 2014 ...

Mental Illness in the Pagan Community

World Crisis: Awaken Witches and Take Action

Being Pagan, Being Bipolar

"Earth Day" Is A Pagan Conspiracy!


April 20th. 2014 ...

Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide

Safety: Let's Shift Our Focus

Morality and Controversy in the Craft

A Pagan Perspective on Easter

The Star Child


April 13th. 2014 ...

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Being a Worrisome Witch

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops


April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah


March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

True Meaning of Community


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.












Article Specs

Article ID: 10928

VoxAcct: 46299

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 3,005

Times Read: 5,917

RSS Views: 79,082
Your Invitation To An Interfaith Religious Rights Rally: July 4th, 2006, Washington, DC

Author: Caroline Kenner [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: June 25th. 2006
Times Viewed: 5,917

("THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT THE 2006 RELIGIOUS RIGHTS RALLY. INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2007 RALLY WILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE MAY 20TH EDITION OF THE WITCHES' VOICE")

We live in a paradise of religious freedom in America, at least on paper. Here is the full text of the First Amendment of The Bill of Rights: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Think Globally, Do Magic Locally: How you can help the Rally

For each of us who can travel to the rally in Farragut Square Park, there will be hundreds of Wiccans and Pagans, and people of other religions as well, who care about these issues but must stay home. We are asking that anyone who has an interest in helping us to please light a candle, say a prayer, meditate on universal religious freedom, do a spell, a shamanic journey or a ritual with your community wherever you live.

Diana L. Paxson, Priestess, Fellowship of the Spiral Path, Elder, the Troth, said: "For the past two years I have been calling on the Founding Fathers (especially Washington, Jefferson, and Madison) as "mighty dead", or ancestor spirits with an interest in helping us to preserve the religious liberty they considered an integral part of a free, democratic society. They worked very hard to incorporate into our laws a guarantee that the U.S. would honor positive moral and spiritual principles without being bound by any religious denomination's expression of those principles. Far from being a "counter-culture" or "alternative" faith, in this, at least, Pagans are firmly based in American tradition. We already have shrines to the major Founders, and a cycle of national holidays and birthdays on which to honor them and use our focused energies to invoke their help in protecting freedom of worship in this land. As their spiritual heirs, let us work together to do so."

Mel Lloyd, of Co. Laois, Republic of Ireland, said "As the founder of one of the smaller Druid organizations, Hibernian Order of Druids, whose members are to be found in eight countries, one of our principles is: We respect other people's religions as being valid for them. Therefore, I fully support the Fourth of July Religious Rights Rally and have asked my members to do a special ritual incorporating the aims of the rally, and to time it so that the combined energy of the Hibernian Order of Druids will be directed to the rally in Farragut Square Park, Washington, D.C."

H. Byron Ballard, United Religions Initiative representative from western North Carolina, said "I am teaching a group of 40 people grounding techniques in Appalachian Folk Magic, a very practical form of energy work. I have asked my students to focus Earth energies during the Rally in Washington, D.C., with the intention of keeping us energized and focused on our goals. And sending a cool mountain breeze to sultry D.C. might not be a bad idea either!"

Other things you can do to help: If you are so moved, please make a small contribution to the rally initiative through Chesapeake Pagan Community's website, http://www.chesapeakePagans.org - This money will be used to pay for travel and hotel expenses for Selena Fox, Roberta Stewart and Phyllis Curott. Any money left over will be used either for more advocacy related to the acceptance of the Wiccan pentacle by the Veterans Administration as an approved religious symbol for use on veterans' memorial plaques, or given to the Lady Liberty League for their fine work advocating religious liberty.
Join us on America's birthday for a celebration of religious freedom between noon and 4pm. We will assemble peaceably two blocks from the White House, and speak freely of universal religious tolerance. Help us send a message to our leaders and to the world about the free exercise of all religions: we live in America in the 21st century, a diverse society, a glittering mosaic of peoples and religions drawn here by the promise of freedom.

And during the rally on July 4th, we will petition the Veterans Administration to hear a grievance. Still, after many years of struggle, the Wiccan pentacle is not on the list of approved religious symbols allowed to appear on the tombstones of veterans. Many of us feel that this is a violation of our Constitutional rights.

We have an ecumenical program planned. Our opening speaker is Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Jared Leland, Esq., spokesman for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, will also be joining us. Speaking from a Pagan perspective will be Phyllis Curott, Esq. and Rev. Selena Fox. Caroline Casey, radio host and mystical wise woman, will regale us with her astrologically inspired wit. H. Byron Ballard will bring an ecumenical perspective from United Religions Initiative, and Diotima Mantineia will represent The Witches Voice. Mzimani and Circle Skin and Bone will be leading the drum jam after the speakers finish, so bring your drums to the rally. Other speakers are still pending.

Our most special guest is Roberta Stewart, widow of Sgt. Patrick Stewart, of the Nevada National Guard and the U.S. Army. Sgt. Stewart paid the ultimate price for his country, shot down in Afghanistan, wearing dog tags stamped with his religion, Wicca. Yet Roberta and their two children cannot lay Sgt. Stewart to rest properly, because the Veterans Administration does not allow the Wiccan pentacle on veterans' memorial plaques. (See On the Tombs of Fallen Warriors below for more on this issue.)

The problem of religious discrimination affects many people, not just Wiccans and Pagans. There are too many people who still feel they must conceal their religious beliefs at work, people who feel they can't wear their chosen religious symbol publicly, people who worry about what their children might say at school about the family religion, and people who lose access to their children because their religion is suddenly unacceptable to their ex-spouse.

Engaging with others through ecumenical work is imperative for people who belong to minority religions of all kinds. Many Pagan leaders are acutely aware of the need for ecumenical work. “It is highly important at this time that the Pagan community supports ecumenical work,” said Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone. “We cannot continue with the violence based on religion that we see so often in the world today. The only way forward is for all religions to realize their common goals of peace and tolerance within this world.”

We Pagans and Wiccans are standing on the brink of full acceptance as a religious community, but we are not there yet. Not until the remaining bastions of intolerance are swept away can we fully emerge from the Broom Closet and take our place among the world's religions.

This rally is inspired in part by these words of Robert Kennedy, spoken at the university of Cape Town, South Africa, in 1966, when that country was still suffering under apartheid: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

Help us send out ripples of hope, help us set the stage for a new dawn of universal religious freedom and mutual respect. Please join us, whether in person or in ritual, on July 4th in Farragut Square Park, two blocks from the White House, between noon and 4pm. And if you can come, please remember to bring your drums!

On the Tombs of Fallen Warriors

The Veterans Administration has approved 38 symbols of faith to be placed on the memorial markers of veterans who have served in the militaries of the United States. Wicca is listed on military dog tags and in chaplain's handbooks, is practiced on military bases worldwide and is recognized as a world religion protected under the United States Constitution. But the pentacle, a symbol recognized as sacred by Wiccans and other Pagans as well, is not on the VA's list of approved symbols of faith.

There is a strange dissonance between the military's attitude towards Wicca and the Veterans Administration's attitude towards Wicca. The military abides by the First Amendment in offering religious accommodations to Wiccan and Pagan soldiers. Anyone can practice whatever form of worship they desire, so long as it does not interfere with their duties or cause a danger to either those practicing or those around them. Why can a soldier practice their faith while serving his or her country, but have that same faith go unrecognized at the time of his or her death?

The Veterans Administration appears to ignore requests for approval of the pentacle. Why? Various Wiccan and Pagan groups and individuals have been asking the Veterans Administration to approve the Wiccan pentacle on veterans' memorials for nine years. The symbols of other faiths have been approved during this time, while applications from Wiccan groups were delayed or denied under the guises of reviewing VA acceptance processes. Why did the Wiccans have to wait when others did not?

We are left to assume we are facing a lack of religious accommodation for Sgt. Stewart, and other soldiers who have died upholding the idea of religious freedom as a basic American right. We can only think that we, as a religious group, are being discriminated against in the United States, a country that tells us we have a right to practice our religion. More importantly, a single department within the government is discriminating against us. A department does not have the authority to legislate or to render Constitutional decisions. It is a tragedy that Patrick Stewart died protecting religious rights on foreign soil when his own religious rights are being so shamelessly violated on domestic soil.

Roberta Stewart is the wife of Sgt. Patrick Stewart, of the Nevada National Guard. Sgt. Stewart was called to take part in the fighting in Afghanistan, and there he was shot down with his comrades, and passed from this existence into Eternity. He earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his bravery. Roberta and their family are left to grieve at home in Fernley, Nevada, without the comfort of their symbol of faith: the pentacle on Patrick's memorial plaque.

The pentacle meant so much to both Roberta and Patrick. "Our pentacle represents our spirit and our soul. It's my eternal connection to my husband. I feel lied to," said Roberta Stewart. "Why did they stamp "Wicca" on Patrick's dog tags if they won't allow the pentacle to be on his tombstone?" The effort to win a pentacle for Patrick's grave has taken a toll on Roberta. "I haven't had any time to grieve yet. I've had nothing but struggle since I lost the love of my life."




ABOUT...

Caroline Kenner


Location: Silver Spring, Maryland

Author's Profile: To learn more about Caroline Kenner - Click HERE

Bio: Caroline Kenner is a shamanic healer living in the Washington, D.C. area. Caroline has been practicing Paganism since 1984. She has studied shamanism with Sandra Ingerman and the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and has been a professional spiritual healer for 8 years. Caroline is initiated into multiple magical traditions, and is a member of Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, Order of the Wandering Stars. She is a founding trustee of Chesapeake Pagan Community and has worked on Pagan religious rights issues for more than 15 years. Caroline graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Anthropology and holds a Master's degree in Communications from Boston University. See www.mythkenner.com for more information.





Other Articles: Caroline Kenner has posted 24 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email Caroline Kenner... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to Caroline Kenner ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2014










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).