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Pagan Protest in Catskill, NY
Acct. ID: 180737
Notice ID: 17082
Posted: May 17th., 2010
This Notice has been viewed 512 times
Proclaimed by: Rev. Viktoria Whittaker
Proclaimed from: Palenville, New York
My fellow pagans, we need your help.
By now you may well have heard about the pagan congregation called the
Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater and our ongoing battle with our
municipality, the Town of Catskill over the property tax exemption for
our convent/temple in Palenville (which is part of Catskill) . It has
been detailed in the Wild Hunt blog. Next Tuesday, May 25th, we will
need to go to the grievance hearing once more and protest the denial of
our property tax exemption for 2010. Although we are currently suing
the town over this matter, we are still being forced to go through with
this until the judge rules in our favor. This is the fourth year in a
row it has been denied with no explanation. This time, we want very
much to have a large number of our fellow pagans to be there and stand
with us. Please keep in mind that this is a religious freedom issue,
one that does affect all non-Judeo-christian faiths. Quite simply, the
issue is this: larger faith groups such as Christianity, Judaism,
Buddhism, Hinduism, etc, enjoy property tax exemption because they are
recognized as being beneficial to society and it also helps them to
survive and properly allocate their resources to their mission, which
often includes humanitarian works. Our point is this: we are a
religious group that has been recognized as such by the federal and New
York State government. We engage in religious activities and have helped
out needy people, and basically do everything that any other religious
group does and therefore WE DESERVE THE SAME RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS AS
ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS GROUP. It does not matter if you do not know who we
are, if you don't recognize our religious symbols or if you don't like
the people we are trying to help. The U.S. constitution recognizes that
all people have the right to worship as they please, and a key part of
this is the right of a congregation to maintain its own worship space.
What makes this possible, is the property tax exemption for religious
The grievance hearing will be held at the Catskill town hall on Tuesday,
May 25th at 4pm. We will meet at the Maetreum in Palenville, which is
located at 3312 Route 23A (just past the traffic light at the 32A
intersection and across the street from Ryan Nelly's bar. If you can't
come that early, then just go straight to the town hall at 4pm. If you
plan on attending, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, so
that we can get a headcount. Please come dressed in your pagan finest,
displaying your pagan jewelry or whatever, as long as you are willing to
come presenting yourself as a pagan in support of us. Please, though,
be civil, since we don't want to give them a reason to throw us out. We
just want to let them know, in a very public forum, that it's not just a
small group of weirdos in Palenville that objects to what they are
doing, but an entire religious community. And yes, there will be
reporters there. Afterwards, we will all come back to the Maetreum for a
barbecue and just to see and enjoy the property that's at stake and that
we wish to share with the larger community.
If you can't make the meeting, then please send us some energy. This
struggle has been taking everything we've got. We really need this to
end soon, and in our favor, for if it doesn't, we are in serious danger
of losing our beloved home and temple for taxes that by rights we
shouldn't even owe. Thank you for everything.
Rev. Mother Battakes Cathryn Platine
Rev. Viktoria Whittaker, Battakes-in-Waiting
Telephone: (518) 312-4907
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