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Patti Wigington

Pagans to Rally for Religious Rights

By June 22, 2007

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On the fourth of July, hundreds of Pagans will gather peacefully at Lafayette Park, across from the White House, and advocate for a Pagan military chaplain, request the availability of more religious symbols from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and call for freedom of religious expression. Organized by the Chesapeake Pagan Community, this event should bring some interesting issues to the forefront.

You may recall that President Bush said several years ago, in response to a question about the rights of Wiccans in the military, that witchcraft was not a religion. Despite his sort-of deflection of the question, by not addressing Wicca specifically but making a generic statement about witchcraft, the president has made it fairly clear that he's not a big fan of non-Christian religious groups. I'm wondering how he'll react when hundreds, possibly thousands of Pagans are hanging out right there in his front yard.

The Religious Rights Rally will feature speakers such as author Diana L. Paxson, Rev. Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary, and Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The best part of this whole thing? It's not just for Pagans and Wiccans, because religious freedom has to apply to everyone in the country... otherwise, it applies to no one at all. What better day to celebrate our freedoms that on Independence Day?

Comments
June 23, 2007 at 9:18 am
(1) Wolf says:

Wish I could be there to see it in person.

Best of luck to anyone who goes.

June 28, 2007 at 9:56 am
(2) Kae says:

Ooh, wish I could go! Great job to everyone who organized it!

June 29, 2007 at 8:38 am
(3) Adrianne says:

I wish I could go!! Beset of luck and brightest Blessings to all who can go!!

June 29, 2007 at 8:42 am
(4) marla-mysticrose says:

Oh wow!I wish I could be there with ya’ll!That would be great!

June 29, 2007 at 8:43 am
(5) joan barnett says:

i wish I could be there and so do several of my friends,but as we dont have enough notice it is impossible.Our hearts and thoughts and blessings are on all those there

June 29, 2007 at 8:53 am
(6) Michele Balzano says:

I wish there was more notice–I would SO go! I hope they show something on tv! Blessed be :)

June 29, 2007 at 9:04 am
(7) Magdalena Cancel says:

Blessings to everyone who goes an stands up for all of us Pagans/Wiccans!Say it proud an say it LOUD!

June 29, 2007 at 9:54 am
(8) Andi Anderson says:

As a born & bred Okie & a converted ex-christian now on the Path of the Goddess, I’m not at all surprized @ the Presidents comments. While it is not The Burning Times here, I do have to keep quite my beliefs as they are not excepted in the public at large here. My thoughts & spirit will be with you in D.C. and I pray the Goddess & the God send you strength & success and LOTS of media attention.

June 29, 2007 at 10:41 am
(9) Fawn says:

President Bush was right, witchcraft isn’t a religion. It’s a way of life. Religion is co-dependent and all about ritual and rules, sin and guilt. Which makes witchcraft more thn a religion. With the tide turning in our favor more and more often and not lumping the way we see things with any of how people who practice the dark side see things the president will notice us someday. He’s just to deeply into his own beliefs to really pay attention to the shifts going on in popular culture. Guess the only wayto get him interested is to let him find out for himself that Jesus was one of us. That Mr. Bush whether he knows it or not is tapping into “witchcraft” whenever he prays for things and they come true.
If the rally is going to beon television it’ll be on C-SPAN. Most rallies usually are.

June 29, 2007 at 10:53 am
(10) Denise Hudson says:

As all the others I wish I could be there also. If there is a petition that will be circulated let me know so I can sign.

Blessed Be

June 29, 2007 at 10:56 am
(11) Christie says:

Also an ex-christian, I find the wiccan path refreshing and restorative. It is a way of life; it isn’t a religion. I like how Fawn phrased it, “Religion is co-dependent.” The tide is turning in our favor, not just the wiccan path but other non-christian based paths. I do hope it is a glorious day!

June 29, 2007 at 11:02 am
(12) Dena says:

I am so excited to hear what is going to happen on July 4th. I wish I could be there and will try to in spirit. I hope Bush and his Administration can realize that Pagans and other minority religions is not a joke. He needs an extreme wake up call. Good luck! Let us know the outcome!

June 29, 2007 at 11:41 am
(13) Shayna says:

Oh, I wish I could go! Good luck to everyone participating! By the way, Fawn, you worded it perfectly. Witchcraft /is/ a way of life and if our President can’t accept that we deserve to be recognized in our religious practices, then we’ll just have to hope for a better president. :P

June 29, 2007 at 11:42 am
(14) Tammi says:

I would sure go but am scheduled to have surgery the day before. I am not one to keep quiet about my belief in the Goddess and God. Good luck to all as I will be there in spirit with all present. And Blessed Be!!!

June 29, 2007 at 11:59 am
(15) Janice says:

I will be there with you ,in spirit ,i will be thinking about you all day,have a great time,and thank you for being there for those of us who can’t be.

June 29, 2007 at 12:13 pm
(16) Bridin_Baisleac says:

Stand Proud all you Pagans going,wish I could be beside you in this, but my thoughts will be with you!!! As a guide in the wonderful ways of Witchcraft I wish more would just take the time to learn about us instead of passing us off or pesecute us for our choice. I do believe that if Jesus lived today that he would be Pagan. I can’t see how he would or even could put up with the scare tactics of the Christin world today. Just my two cents..
Biaidh
Bridin_Baisleac

June 29, 2007 at 1:06 pm
(17) paganwiccan says:

Wow! Lots of positive feedback! I was hoping to be there in DC myself, but it doesn’t look like I’ll make it. To the folks who are able to attend — thanks in advance for standing up for your rights and for ours. What a great way to celebrate the freedoms that this country has. Hopefully this will raise some awareness, not just among Pagans and Wiccans but among people of all faiths.

June 29, 2007 at 1:13 pm
(18) Lynn says:

Wish I too could be there standing in front of the White House to show that there is more out there than the nasty, narrow-mindeness and phony Christians that hide behind their God to continue the spread of their hate and superiority. It is too bad that Christian’s have not learned the ways of their faith and do their Satan’s bidding, but I have faith that the goodness in the God and Goddess will demand judgment in the end. We have to demand fairness, righousness and respect, otherwise, we lose all to those who will continue to supress in the name of superiority and greed. There will never be peace or goodness again; only evil.

June 29, 2007 at 1:38 pm
(19) Mary Wood says:

I can see the Faux .. I mean ‘Fox .. News report now; how this one pagan rally for every few thousand Christian rallies constitutes a dangerous upswell in occult groups bent on taking down the American military and way of life.

Anyway, add another “Wish I could be there in more than just spirit.” I’d love to see how much news this makes and how many of those reports contain some semblance of accuracy surrounding Wicca/Witchcraft/Paganism.

June 29, 2007 at 2:09 pm
(20) Kovu says:

YOu know the government is afraid of us that’s why they say we’re just a bunch of people that never grew up religions are based on believing in a higher power and because Bush is stupid enough not to believe in the thought of non-christians we have the war in Iraq. Bush needs to freshen up on his history because most of are in inventors were non-christin so I leave you all with these words: I’m sorry I can’t be with you but,in spirit and we all know the Godess Will be there to hum you you through every stem.

June 29, 2007 at 3:20 pm
(21) Deanna says:

Oh, I wish I would have known about this sooner. I would have made arrangements to attend. Bless Be to all!

June 29, 2007 at 3:28 pm
(22) Jodie Clark says:

A sincere thank you to all those that will be attending and raising awareness for equal rights for Pagans (as is currently afforded to other religious group) at the White House in DC on the 4TH July 2007. please accept and add my “Wish I could be there in more than just spirit” Blessings Jodie Clark

June 29, 2007 at 5:02 pm
(23) Gaedon says:

This is a wonderful way of demonstrating against the religious discrimination that continues to pervade our society and government. Although we are protected for religious freedoms, those of different religions, exluding Christians, Jews and Muslems, are not considered. The political right and the fundementalists seem to think that their way is the only way. Why is that? And why do political decisions become influenced by religious agendas. I also think the Unitarian Universalists would support Pagans and other non-traditional religions. They too believe all have different paths to the same. Blessed be! My thoughts will be with you all.

June 29, 2007 at 7:42 pm
(24) Magickman says:

Sure wish I could be there in person, even though I will be there in spirit. Many Blessings be with the ones who WILL be there, time to show our (cough)Dictator that we Wiccans exist too, and that we too are voters, and Patriotic Americans. Our smbols are just as important as the other are. Death to the New World Order!

June 29, 2007 at 8:06 pm
(25) elvis says:

Thank the goddess that wiccans, pagens, and other non mind controlled members are sending a message to Bush. Just because he doesn’t believe in us doesn’t mean that we do not exist. Their are many service men and women that are dieing in some god forsaken war zone. Do these people not deserve to have their symbols displayed when they pay the ultimate price. Just because we do not follow the masses doesn’t mean that we do not matter. We have been ignored for far to long. WAKE UP BUSH, for we are legion. Blessed be to all our armed forces and lets bring them home.

June 29, 2007 at 8:08 pm
(26) luna says:

So many have said it but, oooooh i want to go. i will be watching it on tv and sending my strength to everyone who goes.

Blessed be, may the goddess and god be with you!

June 29, 2007 at 9:21 pm
(27) kristy says:

Hey this looks very cool, and i hope that the president takes notice, many christians believe we are beneath them, i do hope to show that we are not, and we are just like them, just a different religion, and a different way of life.

June 30, 2007 at 11:49 am
(28) Thorfinna Freyasdottir says:

As many others, I wish I could go. However I would LOVE to see if we couldn’t get this sort of gathering nation wide. I think its too late for this year, but we should work to organizing a pride blitz the same day every where. We do have a ‘Pagan Pride’ day here, but to me its more like a Ren Faire with venders than an opportunity to show our leaders that we are out here in more numbers than the common man believes.
In addition it could show that Wiccan is not the only path we follow.

I’d like our leaders to be given the wisdom that Odin gained, but I think that’s asking a bit much at this point.

:-)

June 30, 2007 at 3:23 pm
(29) Angie says:

Man… I wish I could go! Sounds great!

June 30, 2007 at 8:51 pm
(30) Kathy says:

Best of luck. Bush is a closed minded idiot that believes his way is the only way.

July 1, 2007 at 11:31 am
(31) micaela says:

my strength and my blessings are with you. i so wish i could go with you. but remember as you march and rally you aren’t just doing this for us you are doing this for my son and everyone’s sons and/or daughters. for our past. for our present. for our future.

GOOD LUCK.

July 1, 2007 at 4:47 pm
(32) Fox says:

This truley is a wonderful thing.^_^ I really wish I could go as well. I send my blessings to all whom are able to attend. Blessed be.

July 1, 2007 at 7:36 pm
(33) Misty says:

I do wish you all a blessed journey down this path.

All blessed energy for freedom, always and in all ways!

Watching the news for the coverage!

Blessed Be!!

♥ Misty

July 2, 2007 at 12:02 am
(34) Deanna says:

wish I could be there. It is about time!!

July 2, 2007 at 10:43 am
(35) Staci says:

It didn’t surprise me a bit reading about what Bush said. We have to stand up for our freedom!! It’s a great idea & I truly wish I was there!!

July 2, 2007 at 5:38 pm
(36) Tedi says:

man, yet another “wish I could be there” Maybe if I had read about it sooner – I am so proud of those who are going. It’s true – if there is judgement against one there is judgement against all.

July 2, 2007 at 6:43 pm
(37) Eric says:

God Bless those who claim to be witches, heathens and pagans! May you find the love of Jesus Christ someday! This great nation was indoubtedly blessed in a supernatural way. God only knows why, but our strong Christian heritage makes one wonder.

July 3, 2007 at 3:22 pm
(38) chiakuma says:

smar!! alas i read about this too late. It doesn’t matter though because i know my fellow sisters and brothers will proudly represent us all tomorrow. My spirit joins you all for making sure that this country lives up to its title as the ‘melting pot’ and land where anyone can call home no matter what their religious affiliations, and despite what Bush thinks and says my dog tags say quite clearly that i am wiccan and have ever since i’ve been in the military.

July 3, 2007 at 8:50 pm
(39) megan says:

it sounds really amazing, and i am happy we have people to stand for us, blessed be to you all.

July 4, 2007 at 1:53 pm
(40) sylvia says:

It surprised me when I read these 39 comments and not once did I hear about the verdict on the courts decission on the pentagram on military tombstones. THE PENTAGRAM IS RECOGNIZED BY THE MILITARY AS A RELIGIOUS SYMBOL NOW. Any family that wants to change their loved ones tombstone can do so if they want a pentagram on it free of charge. Am I the only one that pays attention to the news? This rally is a really great thing, don’t get me wrong, but update your facts before you start ranting about something that has already been changed! And Wicca is a recongnized religion by the courts, wiether or not Bush likes it. Instead of complaing about christian political figures, how about we try to get some pagan ones int here? As far as I know, no one has even attempted to run for any major office and I’m sure that if they did make it to any type of national vote ranking, that all the pagan people might have actually voted for that person. But the fact is, with most of us, everything is about religion. If we are fired from work it’s because the boss found out we were pagan, not the fact that we were late for the uptenth time. Hardly any pagans who are truely discrimiated agianst will file any type of law suit because “they are afriad of what will happen”. Well, I’ll tell you what will happen. You will get pissed off and complain about the mainstream religions and blame them for what has happened to you, and do it on an internet forum so people can read it and relate to it. But honestly, I think that if you don’t do anything to serve justice to yourself through the very means that they are trying to use agianst you, you don’t deserve the RIGHT to even complain about it if you wont stand up for yourself. So,keep on being taken advantage of because you are afriad of protecting yourself with the system that was meant to give you justice, and if you lose you can at least say you tried and come up with some conspiracy charge and sue everyone else.

July 4, 2007 at 5:18 pm
(41) paganwiccan says:

Actually, if you read the link you’ll see that everyone acknowledges that the VA has approved the pentacle — what they’re asking for is the addition of MORE pagan symbols for deceased soldiers.

July 5, 2007 at 10:01 am
(42) kenny says:

i have been watching the news channels and i havnt heard anything about this yet. would someone please give me a link to a washington news page or something that has information about this on it. thank you.

July 5, 2007 at 1:15 pm
(43) paganwiccan says:

Interestingly, I’ve been watching the news channels today and haven’t seen anything about this either. If anyone attended and can tell us how it went, or if you’ve got links to new coverage, we’d love to hear from you!

July 6, 2007 at 12:58 am
(44) Siouxzq says:

Hello my brothers & sisters. I luv the new wave term, but as a Native American, I [& many other] have been raised on these truths. It does NOT take a religion, affiliation or cause, to have faith. Grandfather & Mother Earth loves us all and just have faith. Many suffer at the hands of goverment and religion. Be thankful that you see the truth.
Blessed be.

January 4, 2009 at 3:12 pm
(45) rob says:

dumb dumb dumb. wtf r u guys thinking. stupid witches and what not.

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