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Wyrdsister
August 8th, 2001, 04:42 PM
This is a long article, but well done and interesting. Not quite a "witch hunt" per se (i.e. it could happen to any one of a non-majority religion) but another wake up call.

http://www.inpgh.com/html/2001_08_01/news/feature.tmpl

Wyrdsister
__________________

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND MATE
A local Wiccan may go to jail for exposing his child to his religion. Is this the 21st century, or the 17th?

Written by MARTY LEVINE

"This is the ghoulish corner," Conon Brewer jokes, leading a visitor past his front door, with its "Jesus Lives" sticker, to his computer desk. It's the most colorful spot in Brewer's small house in Cabot, an hour's drive north of Pittsburgh in Butler County, but it's scary only if you haven't experienced American pop culture lately.

Scattered on the table and tacked to the walls are a spider left over from last Halloween and a plastic raven from Wal-Mart. There are Pokemon and cat figures Conon says his 10-year-old daughter Sara gave him. There are skulls used in fish tanks, Buddhas, a yin-yang symbol, gargoyles, skeletons and a stone water fountain of the type available in most department stores. There is a Cartman mouse pad. And there is a poster of a Hindu god, which Conon got during a public tour of the Sri Venkateswara Temple in Penn Hills with Sara and his new wife Paula in April.

"My uncle, who is into Harley-Davidsons," Paula volunteers, "his personal space is scarier."It would be an absurd contest, except for this: Conon Brewer may be held in contempt of court this week for allowing Sara to see his computer desk and anything else that hints at his personal sense of spirituality. He stands accused of violating his 2000 divorce decree, which orders him not to expose his young daughter to books with "spirits and ghosts" or to the teachings of his religion -- Wicca.

It is a decree he never signed. He knows perfectly well it violates his First Amendment rights.

Wicca, like all religions, is impossible to summarize in a few sentences. It has its feet in the pre-Christian nature-centered pagan beliefs of Europe and its head in New Age and Eastern philosophies. Some Wiccans are witches who join covens, but the spells and other "magic" Wiccans practice, they emphasize, is centered on improving the self. There are several neopagan sects and a variety of deities; most commonly, pagans acknowledge a Lord and Lady at the head of the cosmos. Although Wicca remains an obscure practice in mainstream America, it is common enough that the U.S. Army allows Wiccans to worship in services at army posts.

Conon's ex-wife Jennifer refused to comment to INPGH on this case. But in her contempt petition she claims that their daughter, Sara, following her first and only visit to Butler in April, reported that Conon held a Wiccan service at his home and took Sara to another service at a friend's home, as well as to a party at Hocus Pocus, a New Age store in Oakland. Sara also told her Conon "is a high priest and his wife is a high priestess" and that Conon "dresses in ritualistic attire and displays a symbol representing said Wicca religion around his neck, on his computer, and on various other things in his home...."

All of which is substantially true, Conon says -- apart from the attire, which he dons only for services. And he was careful, he emphasizes, not to expose Sara to Wicca's teachings, as opposed to its trappings or participants (his house and his friends). Sara was simply not present anywhere near the worship services, Conon says, or wandered up to Wiccan discussions voluntarily and without participating. The simple stone altar behind the Brewer house -- about the size of a stool -- is set in a clearing at the far end of the backyard, invisible from the house. And the crowded party at tiny Hocus Pocus, which spilled out onto the sidewalks of Meyran Avenue, left Sara no chance to do anything but socialize, Conon adds.

Wiccan artifacts may be unavoidable in the Brewer house, but their meaning is not at all obvious to the uninitiated, and they're hardly frightening. In the Brewers' otherwise empty dining room sits another small altar and what Conon refers to as Wiccan "knickknacks" in a wooden cabinet and on an antique chest: candles, herbs and oils, souvenirs from nature walks and an ornate doll, which turns out to be Paula's favorite Christmas tree angel -- representing the feminine side of nature, she explains. The obviously fake spine-bone staff in one corner, topped by a skull, is just part of the costumes Conon and Paula wear for fun to Renaissance Fairs. The maypole is for a Wiccan holiday. It is a collection no more or less obtrusive or influential than the family photos, vacation seashells and kitschy art found scattered throughout most homes.

But all of this is really beside the point. Simply substitute the word "Jewish" or "Lutheran" -- or the name of any other mainstream religion -- for the word "Wicca" in the contempt petition above, then make Conon a minister, an imam or a Catholic priest, and his dilemma becomes clear.

He is not being charged with exposing his child to snake bites or even with pressuring her to change her religion -- practices that, courts rightly find, have harmed children in recent divorce cases involving parents of differing Christian faiths. He is not even being charged with practicing symbolic deity ingestion or with cutting off a part of his child's sex organ -- both accepted rites of mainstream religions today.

In fact, he is not being accused of doing anything at all to Sara specifically. He is simply being charged with following a religion not many people understand, or care to acknowledge.

Conon Brewer, 32, is a red-bearded, ponytailed, jeans-and-T-shirt kind of guy who works for Ness Plumbing in Harmarville. He met Paula, 31, a small, slim blonde Butler native who works for Prudential Financial, while his first marriage was dissolving; they married and moved here last year.

But Conon and Jennifer were married -- and divorced -- in rural Lawrence County, Tennessee, which is where he is headed this week to face contempt charges. Part of the case may stem from the fact that he abandoned his Southern Baptist roots in the same state that brought us the Scopes monkey trial. But certainly part of the case is born of the usual human soap opera.

Conon discovered Wicca in the first six months of his 1988 marriage to Jennifer, while stationed in Watertown, New York, as a member of the Army Infantry, Tenth Mountain Division. He explored the religion through books and online, and three years ago found a Wiccan group in Nashville, 80 miles from his home in Lawrenceburg, a three-factory town in Lawrence County.

Jennifer, Conon says, was reluctant to go with him at first, but eventually she participated, bringing Sara voluntarily to Wiccan worship, as confirmed in court transcripts of their divorce proceedings. By the divorce, she was explaining her attendance as a way to feel close to Conon. Conon himself says he got something different out of the experience.

"I wanted spirituality in my life," he says. "I wanted to find other people who thought like myself."

The couple moved, for a brief time in 1997, closer to Nashville and their new house of worship. By October, 1998, Jennifer had re-embraced Christianity and the couple separated. Jennifer took Sara back to live with her parents. Six weeks later Conon, depressed, lost his job and moved back to Lawrenceburg and Jennifer, with the informal stipulation that he wouldn't have any contact with Wicca or his Wiccan friends. He gave up being a union pipefitter to take a factory job for lower wages.

After six months, he says, "I couldn't live like that." He began attending his Wiccan worship circle twice a month and took a construction job in Nashville. Finally, he moved himself there, where Jennifer served him with divorce papers. During those two months living alone he met Paula, also a Wiccan and also getting divorced after more than a decade, although for reasons having nothing to do with any religious conflict, she says.

Conon's adultery, although no crime in most states, is still grounds for divorce anywhere. But Conon's religion cannot legally be the reason to award physical and legal custody of Sara to Jennifer, who is a Southern Baptist. Nor can there be a blanket prohibition against exposing Sara to Wicca unless Jennifer proves that harm could come to her child, according to Conon's lawyer and a variety of family law experts nationwide.

But with Tennessee Chancery Court Judge Stella Hargrove -- a front-line elected jurist, equivalent to Allegheny County's Court of Common Pleas judges -- presiding over the divorce, Jennifer Brewer didn't even have to try to prove her daughter risked harm from Wicca. Hargrove, as court transcripts reveal, doesn't appear to believe Wicca even qualifies as a religion.

"Now Wicca appears to be a lifestyle," Hargrove said from the bench, "that has a creed of harm none, do what you will. It's been described to the court as a form of some kind of witchcraft. It's been described to the court as a lifestyle that has no moral code. There's no right or wrong. And while there may be some factors under this lifestyle that encourage visualizing yourself to be the best you can, to be in tune with yourself -- and there's some testimony about reincarnation and meditation; but on the other hand, there's also substantial testimony as to partial and total nudity that's involved in this lifestyle."

One hesitates to imagine what Hargrove might make of Buddhism, or any other religion whose followers outnumber the population of Tennessee but don't happen to live anywhere near her.

She also chastises Conon Brewer for things that might actually have an impact on his daughter, such as his choice of job or how much time he has spent with her. But after admitting she has never even heard the opinion of 10-year-old Sara, Hargrove leaps to her conclusion:

"Finding that on the front end of this marriage after this child was born these parties both agreed that Sara would be brought up under Christianity, then the court is going to limit the physical custody" -- that is, award control of Sara to Jennifer, leading to a divorce decree that forbids Conon's religion in his daughter's life.

William C. Barnes Jr., Conon's lawyer, seems as puzzled by the judge's decision as anyone. He calls himself "quite conservative," religiously, and admits not to knowing much about Wicca. But nowhere does the law say a couple, married or otherwise, must stick to any decision made on the "front end," let alone one this important. "I make a lot of front end decisions that are wrong," Barnes says. "If I make a decision to send my child to public school, do I have to keep that up?"

Hargrove's opinions and the prohibition against Wicca may just be a case, as lawyers say, of getting "hometowned" -- being hit with a ruling reflecting the peculiar ethos of a single locale. "What if the predominant religion in the United States was Wicca?" Barnes says. "Would I have to throw my King James away?

"It was just a witch hunt," he adds without intended irony.

"The child's best interests trump the parents' freedoms," notes local lawyer Joanne Ross Wilder, who recently researched the history of religion in custody cases. She says parents have been required to vaccinate their kids, give medical treatment and meet compulsory education requirements -- albeit by home schooling -- despite the religious prohibitions of some sects.

But courts are divided about what constitutes the "best interests" between two mutually exclusive religious beliefs. Half the time judges favor a variety of religious experiences for the children of divorce; other times they rule that multiple faiths cause confusion and therefore harm a child.

After hearing Judge Stella Hargrove's assessment of Wicca, Wilder seems unimpressed. "So far," she says, "I haven't heard [the judge] say anything about what's in the best interest of this child."

The seminal case in Tennessee on this issue -- one that Conon Brewer's lawyer may be able to hang his arguments on -- is Neely v. Neely, a 1987 divorce in which a non-churchgoing father discovered Pentecostal-ism after his divorce and wanted to expose the couple's son to his new faith. His ex-wife failed to prove that her son would be harmed by attending the father's church, as opposed to hers, and he was granted that opportunity on every other weekend.

In another Tennessee case, Baker v. Baker, from 1997, the court's arguments were even stronger. While ruling that the divorced parents' two Christians sects were at doctrinal loggerheads, and that the parents were using religion to beat each other up in front of the kids, the judge affirmed that courts must maintain neutrality, favoring neither one religion nor the other while requiring the parent who believes there is harm to prove it.

The court's decision quotes the Tennessee constitution: "That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience...; and that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship."

Even that neutral language contains multiple assumptions. But it ought to be good enough to support a legal remedy for Conon Brewer -- even in Tennessee.

Which is not to say that being Wiccan in Pittsburgh is all a frolic in the woods.

On the back patio of the South Side's Beehive coffeehouse, a dozen members of the nine-month-old Pittsburgh Pagan House Foundation gathered on July 19. Clutching very modern talismans -- cellphones, coffee and cigarettes -- they looked, frankly, quite a bit less unusual than the rest of the Beehive crowd.

Kelly Muzyczka-Lenhart, co-president with David Zoltan of PPHF, conducted business with a sleeping infant in her arms. Paula Brewer took notes while Conon spent the entire time socializing in the corner with other members. Hot topics: planning Pagan Day Out and Pagan Night Out. "Something family oriented," Muzyczka-Lenhart urged.

The core group of members active now is small, especially in festival season. "I think our best bet is to concentrate on the Witches' Ball," she said, "and" -- and what? And recruit little children? And perpetrate evil in the world? What? "And make it the best kick-ass time possible," she concluded.

So it went for this fledgling group of co-religionists, travelling entirely under the radar of mainstream faiths. They discussed how to audit themselves, how to discipline antagonistic members and how to be a successful religious organization. A visiting pagan from Columbus gave high marks to a book he'd read on how to run a mainstream Christian church.

"They've been in the religion organization business a lot longer than we have," Muzyczka-Lenhart laughed. And then the group discussed how to make certain people actually read the book.

Meanwhile, the other PPHF co-president and co-founder, David Zoltan, added that quintessential Pittsburgh moment, announcing he would be leaving the city shortly because "there are no jobs for me in Pittsburgh," despite his recent degree from Carnegie Mellon.

What was it like, then, living the pagan life in Pittsburgh?

Zoltan and Muzyczka-Lenhart were looking at a Lawrenceville church property up for sale recently, hoping to create a physical home for the PPHF.

"What are you going to do with it?" asked a local resident, noticing the pair.

"We're thinking of turning it into a community center," Zoltan told him. ("We were trying to be coy," Muzyczka-Lenhart explains.)

"Lawrenceville already has a community center," said the local.

"It's for a spiritual group -- Pittsburgh Pagan House," Zoltan revealed.

"Is that like atheist or something?" came the reply. "This is a good Catholic neighborhood."

Group member Sharon, who works in sales, says some of her customers wouldn't buy from her if they knew she was pagan, although her boss is obviously okay with it; he called her one day to ask for a rainstorm to keep his daughter's sports team from going down in defeat. "I take a lot of good-natured teasing from my co-workers," Sharon said. "I'll say I was raised Presbyterian if I'm really pushed." She keeps the tiny pentangle she wears inside her clothing.

Muzyczka-Lenhart, who was raised Jewish, began working for a reform Jewish temple after she had turned Wiccan. The friend who hired her knew she was pagan but the rabbis, and her co-workers, did not.

"I would use terms like 'spirituality' and 'our religious priorities at home,'" she said. "I went through that with my in-laws as well. I can't count how many times I've used some sort of euphemism."

"My favorite," Paula Brewer said, "is 'it's kind of like Native American spirituality."

"People aren't threatened by that," Sharon added.

Meanwhile, Conon Brewer's hearing on Aug. 3 will help determine how much low-level legal authorities still feel threatened by things they don't understand, like Wicca.

"We believe all paths are sacred," Paula Brewer says. "We don't believe if you're not of our paths you're damned."

Conon admits he was once behind on his child support payments and is still in arrears for some of the debt left over from his first marriage. But he says he's not interested in fighting for custody, and he appears to be one of the calmest upset divorced fathers imaginable. He remains certain that his daughter deserves to understand him.

"I just want to defend myself," he says. "At no time was I pushing my religion on Sara. She was raised Christian. I had no desire to mess up her life, to tell her her religion was wrong. But I didn't want my daughter to believe her father was going to hell."

That "Jesus Lives" sticker on the front door? The Brewer house used to be Paula's mother's place, and Paula has simply never removed the evidence. But she isn't in a hurry to do so.

"You know what the whole thing is?" she says. "That's a valid path too."

Much as Muslims consider Moses and Jesus to be prophets, Wiccans and other pagans can count Jesus, the Greek gods or any other deity in their personal pantheons. Call it generosity of spirit. It's an admirable quality; Wicca might have a thing or two to teach other, more established religions.

But God forbid Conon's daughter should ever find out about that. >> News editor Marty Levine's last INPGH cover story related a night's work by a Pittsburgh Police drug-busting squad [May 30].

Earth Walker
August 8th, 2001, 05:40 PM
Whoa!:mad: :mad: :mad:

The story of Rebecca Lexa is also worth reading


She who is NOT to be interrupted!
****************************
:bad: toda bone
****************************
Meaner than a junkyard Cat :meanface:

raevyncigany
August 8th, 2001, 10:11 PM
Thanks for posting this, hon...*Sigh* A very good friend of mine is on the verge of this kind of a disaster...we all know and love her, so even though I'm not going to mention her name, would you all please say a word or two to the Goddess for her? She is Wiccan and her ex is starting a row about her teaching her children about her faith...it's confusing the heck out of the kids because the ex is determined that 'his' children will have nothing to do with Wicca...

:meanface: Can we say STUCK UP?!??!?!

BB

Rae )0(

SilverRain
August 8th, 2001, 10:50 PM
Something sort of like this happened with my aunt. When she got divorced she began to go to church again (her ex was Jewish) and taking her kids. Her ex didn't like that and there were major court battles over the whole thing. The ironic part being that the kids were never raised with any religion until their parents divorced, then they had two.

I will never understand how parents can put their children through things like this.

SilverRain

EasternPriest
August 8th, 2001, 11:30 PM
Prayers for clarity of vision to all who are involved in this unfortunate mess.

feywytch
August 9th, 2001, 12:23 AM
Quick update to wiccan in child case.. AREN has issued the statememtn it is truly not about religion. I was notified of this on my flyer from AREN. Have to check to see why, but the religion is merely a off shoot of the original complaint is my guess. let you know when I find al the rest of the facts!!!

Either way it still sucks.

Socharis
August 9th, 2001, 08:27 AM
if it were christianity i bet nobody would mind.

Wyrdsister
August 9th, 2001, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by feywytch
Quick update to wiccan in child case.. AREN has issued the statememtn it is truly not about religion. I was notified of this on my flyer from AREN. Have to check to see why, but the religion is merely a off shoot of the original complaint is my guess. let you know when I find al the rest of the facts!!! Please do, feywytch! Once, you have the details, that is. And what is AREN?

Thanks for your vigilance!

Wyrdsister

EasternPriest
August 9th, 2001, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by Socharis
if it were christianity i bet nobody would mind.

Actually..not always. Part of the custody problems that I had in the past had to do with the fact that my Christainity was of a different flavor than my ex's.

Danustouch
August 9th, 2001, 02:00 PM
Differen't Flavor??? Hmmmmmm...

Teriyaki????? Or Honey Mustard?

kuja14
August 9th, 2001, 07:20 PM
i only have one comment STUCK UP!

feywytch
August 9th, 2001, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by Wyrdsister
Please do, feywytch! Once, you have the details, that is. And what is AREN?

Thanks for your vigilance!

Wyrdsister



No problem I will post as soon as I get to the site. Maybe I can get the link if my computer (think nice thougts) behaves!!


I have a local newsletter for pagans and get these updates time to time.

feywytch
August 9th, 2001, 09:19 PM
Well AREN ( alternative religious education network may be now interested)

Here lay the earlier problem apparently they were contacted by a third party and had no direct contact to verify anything...as of now investigation is planned as to whether this is a case of religious discrimination or if this was a side issue..

complete case files are now up at www.pghpagans.org

EasternPriest
August 10th, 2001, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by Danustouch
Differen't Flavor??? Hmmmmmm...

Teriyaki????? Or Honey Mustard?

Actually, I looooooove honey mustard;)

Dellit Tandannon
August 10th, 2001, 12:57 AM
YARG!
if this nation had a majority of pagans, and some one "exposed them" to christianity, do you think this would happen?!?! NO!

SimplyStrange
August 10th, 2001, 01:19 AM
Originally posted by Dellit Tandannon
YARG!
if this nation had a majority of pagans, and some one "exposed them" to christianity, do you think this would happen?!?! NO!

Oh I know! People send out Christian missionaries everywhere to all corners of the earth to spread the word of Jesus and they're doing nothing wrong...yet the idea of Pagan missionaries seems absurd! Why is this? What have Pagans ever done to anyone else?

Sheesh, you guys have gone through a lot of crap throughout the ages...and you have the best attitude about it! I love you guys! :D

EasternPriest
August 10th, 2001, 01:35 AM
Originally posted by SimplyStrange


What have Pagans ever done to anyone else?



Not to bring up a sore point, or start anything.........but it was the pagans that persecuted the Christians for a few hundred years....feeding to the lions, burning, crucifixion, etc.....and the Christians had to hide to avoid religious persecution.


It doesn't justify anything going on today, but when it comes to religious persecution, all paths have been guilty at one time or another......

Dellit Tandannon
August 10th, 2001, 01:53 AM
yeah, before the christians persecuted the pagans, the pagans were throwing them to the lions.

Myst
August 10th, 2001, 01:55 AM
Originally posted by Dellit Tandannon
yeah, before the christians persecuted the pagans, the pagans were throwing them to the lions.

Among other things. You might want to look into Roman, Greek, and Christian history :)

Armitage
August 10th, 2001, 01:56 AM
Thing is, a lot of us, both Pagan and Christian alike, would really like to think (or hope, more realistically) that we've gone beyond this kind of crapola.

EasternPriest
August 10th, 2001, 01:59 AM
Originally posted by Armitage
Thing is, a lot of us, both Pagan and Christian alike, would really like to think (or hope, more realistically) that we've gone beyond this kind of crapola.

Unfortunately, we haven't figured out how to overcome human nature.....

SimplyStrange
August 10th, 2001, 02:20 AM
Well, I'm aware that they did that, but that was SO long ago. I'm talking recently. It's really sad that people can't get over things that happened so long ago. That had nothing to do with me or them or any of us for that matter. So why don't we all just grow up and get over it??

Myst
August 10th, 2001, 02:31 AM
Oh so if it's happened more then a couple days ago it's not important? What's the exact timeline on when you should "get over" these things?

Earth Walker
August 10th, 2001, 03:08 AM
Originally posted by Willow Raven


Among other things. You might want to look into Roman, Greek, and Christian history :)

The Romans were not Pagan, they were a patriarchal society
that had replaced the Goddess with god....the Romans were
noted for slaughtering Pagans in England, and elsewhere.
They also killed believers of other patriarchal religions, and it
has been that way right up to the present day....the Jews
against muslims, against christians, etc., each one saying they
have the right to war to prove that they are "right" and wars
have also been fought because other people were/are looked
at as "inferior" and because the court/church coveted what
was not theirs....and for the sake of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!
Not being satisfied with persecuting Blacks, East Indians, Asians,
First Nations, etc., the whites turn on each other, English
against French, against Italians, etc., protestants against
catholics, etc. The Crusades were a mixture of protestants and
catholics to "convert" the heathens --- meaning Arabs, Jews, and
Moors. Some christians fleeing Europe to escape persecution
from other christians, found refuge in North and South America,
where they commenced persecuting First Nations people, like
Wounded Knee and other atrocities in the U.S. --- the problems
of the Residential Schools caused by the catholic, first united,
and anglican churches in Canada, what the Conquistadors did
to the native peoples for the lust for the "treasure" of gold.
In British Columbia, Sun Peaks Resort is hell-bent on now
taking away a large portion of a reservation, in spite of the treaty,
for economic gain.
In Australia, for example, Pauline Hanson and her One Nation (under god) party are fighting for legislation to deport all
immigrants because they are not white...she is also pushing to
strip away all the rights of the Aborigines....to deny them social
programs and the right to work......out of sight, out of mind....
which is totally abhorrent!:mad: :G: and they have been partially
successful in their endeavors.
I am not saying that ALL christians are like this, but this is what
the majority of mainstream society believes...that "white is right."
I do not believe that I am being "offensive" in posting this, for
it is true history, and the truth of what is happening today.


Patriarchy had a specific beginning in history.
It will also have an end. :smash:

Myst
August 10th, 2001, 03:19 AM
Originally posted by Mystique
The Romans were not Pagan, they were a patriarchal society
that had replaced the Goddess with god....the Romans were
noted for slaughtering Pagans in England, and elsewhere.


Really? I was operating under the belief that Roman myth is largely Greek myth, except with different names - ie. Venus instead of Aphrodite or Jupiter instead of Zeus. Anyways that's what I've read has said. I guess, yet again, it depends on your definition of Pagan - ie. not based on Christian Gods (as I believe) or some other term. I think regardless of whether you call them Pagan or not the point's still the same - it's human nature that people of one religion try to get rid of another religion.

Sad isn't it :(

Earth Walker
August 10th, 2001, 02:41 PM
The transition from Goddess/Matriarchal societies to god/patri-
archal socieites is explained in the book: When God Was A Woman by Merlin Stone.


Patriarchy had a specific beginning in history.
It will also have an end. :smash:

Illuminatus
August 10th, 2001, 03:13 PM
Originally posted by EasternPriest


Not to bring up a sore point, or start anything.........but it was the pagans that persecuted the Christians for a few hundred years....feeding to the lions, burning, crucifixion, etc.....and the Christians had to hide to avoid religious persecution.


It doesn't justify anything going on today, but when it comes to religious persecution, all paths have been guilty at one time or another......

Yeah, I miss the good old days, when Pagans used to throw Christians to the lions...... Ancient Rome, where are you when we need you???

Semele
August 10th, 2001, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by Illuminatus


Yeah, I miss the good old days, when Pagans used to throw Christians to the lions...... Ancient Rome, where are you when we need you???

Your gonna get mauled over this one!!!

*running and ducking simultaneously to avoid getting caught up in the crossfire*

Of course I know your being a smart a@$!!! One of your better qualities in my opinion!

Illuminatus
August 10th, 2001, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by Semele
Of course I know your being a smart a@$!!! One of your better qualities in my opinion!

Only because you haven't seen my dashing good looks, seen my true inner beauty, or witnessed my fantastic savoir-faire. Those, and my deep sense of Humility, are by far my greatest virtues.

Earth Walker
August 10th, 2001, 07:50 PM
Two lions were discussing the people they had eaten in the
arena.
The first lion talked about the christians, and the second lion
mentioned old people....and when asked how old people tasted,
he replied: "Depends."

8O 8O 8O


Patriarchy had a specific beginning in history.
It will also have an end. :smash:

Earth Walker
August 10th, 2001, 09:14 PM
Originally posted by Mystique


The Romans were not Pagan, they were a patriarchal society
that had replaced the Goddess with god....the Romans were
noted for slaughtering Pagans in England, and elsewhere.
They also killed believers of other patriarchal religions, and it
has been that way right up to the present day....the Jews
against muslims, against christians, etc., each one saying they
have the right to war to prove that they are "right" and wars
have also been fought because other people were/are looked
at as "inferior" and because the court/church coveted what
was not theirs....and for the sake of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!
Not being satisfied with persecuting Blacks, East Indians, Asians,
First Nations, etc., the whites turn on each other, English
against French, against Italians, etc., protestants against
catholics, etc. The Crusades were a mixture of protestants and
catholics to "convert" the heathens --- meaning Arabs, Jews, and
Moors. Some christians fleeing Europe to escape persecution
from other christians, found refuge in North and South America,
where they commenced persecuting First Nations people, like
Wounded Knee and other atrocities in the U.S. --- the problems
of the Residential Schools caused by the catholic, first united,
and anglican churches in Canada, what the Conquistadors did
to the native peoples for the lust for the "treasure" of gold.
In British Columbia, Sun Peaks Resort is hell-bent on now
taking away a large portion of a reservation, in spite of the treaty,
for economic gain.
In Australia, for example, Pauline Hanson and her One Nation (under god) party are fighting for legislation to deport all
immigrants because they are not white...she is also pushing to
strip away all the rights of the Aborigines....to deny them social
programs and the right to work......out of sight, out of mind....
which is totally abhorrent!:mad: :G: and they have been partially
successful in their endeavors.
I am not saying that ALL christians are like this, but this is what
the majority of mainstream society believes...that "white is right."
I do not believe that I am being "offensive" in posting this, for
it is true history, and the truth of what is happening today.


Patriarchy had a specific beginning in history.
It will also have an end. :smash:

Here are two clippings from the Vancouver Sun, 8/8/01,
which reflect on what I've already said.

Aid workers face Taliban death penalty.

LAHORE -- The Taliban presented evidence Tuesday against
eight Western charity workers facing the death penalty for
trying to convert muslims to christianity.
Mohammad Salim Haqqani, the militia group's deputy minister
for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, displayed
computer disks containing the story of christ in Dari, one os
Afghanistan's two main languages.
He also displayed copies of the bible in English and Dari, as well
as a book on christianity, a timetable for Shelter Now International's radio broadcasting, and what he called a written
confession of a foreign female staff member of the German-based
agency.
The Taliban has refused access to the foreigners, six of them
women, and 16 Afghans. The foreigners include four Germans,
two Americans and two Australians.
Any hope that the Taliban would respond to outside criticism
diminished Tuesday. "We have our concerns too. A fair one is
that these people strongly insulted our religion and traditions
and the concern shown by foreigners is not justified," Haqqani
said.
The fate of the group rests with the religious police, the most
hardline faction within the disparate Taliban movement, which
controls more than 90% of the country.

Stock swindles in name of religion booming
Con artists tie investor trust, money to reap profits from
'affinity fraud'

WASHINGTON -- Scams using religion as a lure to have Americans
invest money took in about $1.8 billion US over the last three
years, and swindlers are becoming more prevalent and
sophisticated, state securities regulators said Tuesday.
Classified by regulators as "affinity fraud," the process involves
using someone's religion to gain their trust and, ultimately,
their money.
"I've been a securities regulator for 20 years, and I've seen more
money stolen in the name of god than in any other way," said
Deborah Bortner, the securities director for the state of
Washington and president of the North American Securities
Administratora Association.
"The con artist makes faith in god synonymous with faith in the
investment scam," Bortner said at a news conference at which
investors also described their experiences.
One of the victims, Forrest Bomar of Palestine , Tex., said, "I'm
embarrassed to say this, but I never asked for an annual report,
I never asked for an audit, I never called anyone. I never any had
any fear."
NASAA said officials in 27 states have taken legal action against
hundreds of companies and individuals that used religious
beliefs to gain the trust of more than 90,000 American investors
before taking their money, about #1.8 billion of it over the last
three years. In contrast, a 1989 survey co-sponsored by NASAA
found that only 15,000 investors had lost more than $450 million
in such scams in the previous five years.
The increase in affinity fraud is likely related to investors' looking
for an alternative to the skittish stock market and scams that
offer above-market returns, Bortner said.
Bomar lost money in a scheme that drew 13,000 people, including about two dozen investors from as far away as Hungary,
Singapore and Taiwan.
"In 1994, I bagan to look for fixed-rate income because I had become tired of the [fluctuations] of the stock market," he said.
When he received a postcard outlining returns of 6.75 per cent
and pledging to "do the work of the lord,' he called the company,
the Baptist Foundation of Arizona.
Mark Sendrow of the Arizona Corporation Commission said the
Baptist Foundation of Arizona took in $590 million, using a maze
of shell corporations in a Ponzi scheme, before it was shut down
in August 1999. Ponzi schemes depend on the solicitation of new
investors to pay existing ones.
NASAA said three people related to the Baptist Foundation pleaded guilty to defrauding investors in May and have agreed
to cooperate in an investigation of five other people who have
been indicted on 32 counts each of theft, fraud and racketeering.


Patriarchy had a specific beginning in history.
It will also have an end. :smash:

EasternPriest
August 10th, 2001, 10:08 PM
Originally posted by Mystique


The Romans were not Pagan,

Yes, the Romans were pagan, as were the Greeks, etc.......

Armitage
August 10th, 2001, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by Willow Raven
Oh so if it's happened more then a couple days ago it's not important? What's the exact timeline on when you should "get over" these things?

When it didn't actually happen in your lifetime or your living family's. I'm not saying to forget it completely, but stop saying 'you' were persecuted, killed, etc.

Earth Walker
August 11th, 2001, 03:24 AM
Originally posted by EasternPriest


Yes, the Romans were pagan, as were the Greeks, etc.......


At the time the Romans threw christians into the arenas, they
were not Pagans...in fact, they hadn't been Pagans for a few
hundred years. Prior to the advent of Patriarchy, the Romans
were Pagan...but not at the time of their persecutions of others,
and it wasn't only christians.

Your history grade -- F-



Patriarchy had a specific beginning in history.
It will also have an end. :smash:

bloodstone20
August 19th, 2001, 02:44 PM
well, the lady won't win, if i have anything to say about it. I am writing the newspaper, to give it more publicity, and i am also going to forward the link to others. Thanks for sharing.

Anwyn
August 19th, 2001, 11:27 PM
Of course, how does that hold up from the view point of reincarnation? At what point am I expected to forgive and forget for being persecuted and/or killed several lifetimes back? If I can still remember it, personally, then it hasn't been long enough, has it?

Every religious group can point fingers at other groups, instead of just accepting the responsiblity for their collective actions. Even though it may not have been me personally who was persecuting Christians back in the first and second centuries C.E., it still effects me, even if it is just in the fact that that persecution made Christians, centuries later, feel justified in their persecution of Pagans, Jews, Muslims, etc. This persecution lead directly to the loss of Paganism as a main-stream religion, and to fairy tales that depict witches and other things associated with Paganism as evil. We are still experiencing the effects of this today. In fact, I would be willing to wager that prejudices reinforced by these fairy tales have played a part in the custody case that started out this thread.

~Anwyn

Wyrdsister
August 20th, 2001, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by feywytch
complete case files are now up at www.pghpagans.org Wow, what a resource! Thanks so much, feywytch!! :)

Wyrdsister

thefluiddruid
August 22nd, 2001, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by Mystique


The Romans were not Pagan, they were a patriarchal society
that had replaced the Goddess with god....the Romans were
noted for slaughtering Pagans in England, and elsewhere.

You might want to do some research from more creditable sources. The Romans were indeed Pagans, they just weren't matriarchial pagans.
Also their attempt to kill of my ancestors were because of our political power, not because we were none roman pagans. In fact the Romans were well known for not only allowing people to follow thier own religion as long as they didn't try to hide their beliefs and rituals, but for adopting other cultures dieties into thier panthion.


The Crusades were a mixture of protestants and
catholics to "convert" the heathens --- meaning Arabs, Jews, and
Moors.

Wrong again there were no protestants during the crusades, the protestant branch of christianity didn't exist until the actions of Martian Luther sparked a schism with the catholic church in Prussia.


(edited for typos)

thefluiddruid
August 22nd, 2001, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by Mystique



At the time the Romans threw christians into the arenas, they
were not Pagans...in fact, they hadn't been Pagans for a few
hundred years. Prior to the advent of Patriarchy, the Romans
were Pagan...but not at the time of their persecutions of others,
and it wasn't only christians.


Just so you know, despite the words of some extreamist, Pagan does not = Matriarchal...
At that time the Romans WERE Pagan. Pagan means Europian Pre-Christian religions not belonging to the Judieo Christian group of religions. The word comes from a Latan (ie. Roman) word meaning country dwellers, and was first applied to folks who did not convert to christianity when it became the official roman religion.

Wyrdsister
August 23rd, 2001, 02:50 PM
Hello all!

How about we take the "they were pagan - no they were not pagan" to a new thread in another forum, perhaps the "Historical Pagan (http://www.mysticwicks.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=28)" one? We are waaaaaay off topic from the original post.

Thanks, all!

Wyrdsister
keepin' a little order

Myst
August 23rd, 2001, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by Armitage


When it didn't actually happen in your lifetime or your living family's. I'm not saying to forget it completely, but stop saying 'you' were persecuted, killed, etc.

Incidentally, sorry if I sounded harsh, I think I had a bad day (no excuse I know). And I do agree with you in that. My point, I guess, is just that everyone is persecuted against at some time, and perhaps we should stop going "well they started it"!

feywytch
September 3rd, 2001, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by feywytch
Well AREN ( alternative religious education network may be now interested)

Here lay the earlier problem apparently they were contacted by a third party and had no direct contact to verify anything...as of now investigation is planned as to whether this is a case of religious discrimination or if this was a side issue..

complete case files are now up at www.pghpagans.org



UPDATE...


Having been in touch with some paralegal pagans down there now I see why AREN backed off...

First they did indeed send (AREN) info and offer free legal services should th ecase be religious based...no one got back to them...repeatedly.
Second this guy OWES back support and was proven to ignore daughter for hi shobbies, lifestyles, religious practises...

Basically the guy is a well I won't use the words said to me....but not a worth while case to even consider...

The case itself is not so much about HIS religious choices as about the other things...the religious choices are more of a point tween the parents as mom does not really want her child to have the upbrining of wicca...which as a parent is half her decision anyway and since custody lies with her it is sort of her complete decision....

So as much publicity as thi sforst got it has died down once
reality crept in.....just another crying wolf...

EasternPriest
September 3rd, 2001, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by Mystique
[B]


At the time the Romans threw christians into the arenas, they
were not Pagans...in fact, they hadn't been Pagans for a few
hundred years. Prior to the advent of Patriarchy, the Romans
were Pagan...but not at the time of their persecutions of others,
and it wasn't only christians.

Your history grade -- F-



B]

I got an A in history -

1. The Romans were pagan - wherether you want them to be or not.
2. There is no proof that the mythological "matriarchal societies" ever existed.

thefluiddruid
September 3rd, 2001, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by EasternPriest

2. There is no proof that the mythological "matriarchal societies" ever existed.

Actually there is proof that some did exist.
Specifically the Acnient Celts were during a specific time period, and the Cherokee.
However there is no proof that there was ever one spanning the whole of Europe.

Wyrdsister
September 4th, 2001, 09:42 PM
Hello? Off topic much? :nyah: :D

Let's move the theological/historical debate to another forum, okay? Thanks everyone!

Wyrdsister

Draeconin
September 6th, 2001, 02:41 AM
Originally posted by EasternPriest


Not to bring up a sore point, or start anything.........but it was the pagans that persecuted the Christians for a few hundred years....feeding to the lions, burning, crucifixion, etc.....and the Christians had to hide to avoid religious persecution.


Only after making political waves... The Romans were *very* tolerant of anything that didn't upset their political stability, but quickly stomped on anything that they percieved as being a threat to that stability. It wasn't the religion of Christianity that they disliked, it was the political actions arising from its tenets that led to the persecution of that religion. In particular, the insistance that no god but theirs was real (and the accompanying intolerance of others religions) created unrest.

Draeconin
September 6th, 2001, 02:50 AM
Originally posted by Wyrdsister
Hello? Off topic much? :nyah: :D

Let's move the theological/historical debate to another forum, okay? Thanks everyone!

Wyrdsister

Sorry. I posted before seeing your request.

Myst
September 6th, 2001, 03:15 AM
Originally posted by feywytch
Basically the guy is a well I won't use the words said to me....but not a worth while case to even consider...


Frankly, I think this happens all too often. Our immediate reaction is to jump and scream about Wiccans being persecuted, and as you've found that's not the basis of the case at all....

feywytch
September 6th, 2001, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by Willow Raven


Frankly, I think this happens all too often. Our immediate reaction is to jump and scream about Wiccans being persecuted, and as you've found that's not the basis of the case at all....



And this is one of my peeves .... out of the cases or complaints on ehears or we get a blurb at at the newsletter for our news listings and updates....most tend to be of this genre.

What made me dig a bit more was the fact that the site I gave here...well everything was "connon's statement" connon's updates.....get the pic? Everything originated from his mouth not the totality of the whole case. It made me a bit wary of jumping.

And when AREN is hazy about it it definitely is worth checking. :O

Too many cry wolf for frre publicity and such...it pisses me off cause it just makes it worse for those wh truly may need to have the help and acknowledgement in the legal arena. It makes us in general seem petty.

In all the stuff good and bad I have dealt with as an open witch...I have never called aclu or any one...I just dealt with it....and I damned sure did not need a web page or anything else...usually acting like an adult and acting respeonsibly helps.



Abd in another vein :)

I noticed a bit of a split on history.....please understand that although in some ways I do agree with some of what I have seen....it has been my humble experience that ALL of history is actually just perceptions of those who were in the power at the time or the stronger of the area...In other words history was oft wrote by the view of the conquerors...:)

Pleas do no tstone me :) Just my humble opinion.

Myst
September 6th, 2001, 09:42 AM
Well, I thought *I* was going to get stoned for that.

Certainly some people are prejudiced against, but it's no good jumping up and protesting against it before being sure it's really happening.... clearly, as you've indicated a li'l more research helped uncover the truth here.

It's too bad some people take advantage of the media like that :/

feywytch
September 6th, 2001, 07:59 PM
Originally posted by Willow Raven
Well, I thought *I* was going to get stoned for that.

Certainly some people are prejudiced against, but it's no good jumping up and protesting against it before being sure it's really happening.... clearly, as you've indicated a li'l more research helped uncover the truth here.

It's too bad some people take advantage of the media like that :/


I truly agree!

And as for history..I always take it with a grain (or several pounds ) of salt.....it looks different from each different perspective...while there is much that can be scientifically proven to a point.....much of what is there is still at the base perceptions of the times. *******seeking shelter from missives of stone*****

Wyrdsister
September 9th, 2001, 10:43 PM
Thank you for the update, Feywitch! I'd much rather be educated about the truth than for speaking up in support of someone who has legitimately dug their own hole! :apirate:

I agree Willow; we can be too quick to jump up and say "persecution." I think everyone can be reactionary at times - I know I can be. This is why I appreciate updates like Feywitch's! :D

Good to know the follow up info to this story. I hope the child involved here ends up in the best possible situation.

Wyrdsister

feywytch
September 10th, 2001, 09:13 PM
Nothing further has come.....interesting....truth leaks out ans suddenly nothing new appears...wow wonder of that works for bill collectors?????

Shadowolff
September 2nd, 2003, 04:35 AM
Oh I know! People send out Christian missionaries everywhere to all corners of the earth to spread the word of Jesus and they're doing nothing wrong...yet the idea of Pagan missionaries seems absurd! Why is this? What have Pagans ever done to anyone else?

Sheesh, you guys have gone through a lot of crap throughout the ages...and you have the best attitude about it! I love you guys! :D
I consider myself a Christocentric pagan (thanks for the term, usbear -- sounds nicer than the "heretic Christian" label I used earlier), but one of my sadnesses is how the religion of Christ seems to be overlooked too often in the religion about Christ.

Wiccawitch812
September 3rd, 2003, 03:34 AM
Thank you for Posting That. I live right outside of Oakland Pa. Thanks again.

Elfa Wylde
September 3rd, 2003, 06:33 AM
can I say "Deja Vu??"

My mother-in-law and I had a conversation once where all she kept saying was that "she didn't want ANYONE influencing her granddaughters to one faith or another" (i always thought it was mostly because I'm the step-mom) then had proceeded to take them to church with her if they were staying with her on the weekends.

I saw no real harm in that. The girls are 16 and 13. Old enough, pretty much, to understand different faiths and to be curious.

Now they're getting interested in Wicca. And here came the same tired old conversation. Mother-in-law is a bit up in arms over that we're ALL (me, husband and kids) going to Pagan Pride.
She says I'm trying to influence them to "turn away from God."
You can't win against some people. (lol) I have to laugh. There'd be no peace if I didn't.

I wish this guy a LOT of luck. My stpe-father-in-law if from Tenn. It's pretty...well... "bible-belt" there according to him. If you hear any more on this, let me know!

L.L.&B!

mol
September 3rd, 2003, 10:40 AM
I consider myself a Christocentric pagan (thanks for the term, usbear -- sounds nicer than the "heretic Christian" label I used earlier), but one of my sadnesses is how the religion of Christ seems to be overlooked too often in the religion about Christ.
Wow! This is an old thread!

And I agree completely with your reasons for sadness.

Kadynas
September 7th, 2003, 10:44 PM
As a Pittsburgh native, I was upset to see such a thing going on in my hometown... I went to college in Pittsburgh and as a whole, the city was a pretty tolerant place.
But if this guy is really just some deadbeat dad crying wolf about religious persecution just to save his sorry butt, I really can't have much sympathy for him, Wiccan or not. If that is the case (and who really knows for sure...) then it's very damaging to those who must endure "real" religious persecution anywhere in the world. I too want the freedom to walk down the street wearing a pentacle without anyone mentioning "Hell" to me, but at the same time I can't say I'm being actually persecuted by anyone. My religion just isn't the most popular one and to be honest, that fact doesn't bother me much.
I think religious groups have a tendency to live in -and reenact the battles- of the past too much. Yes the Romans (pagan or not, matriarchal or patriarchal, however you choose to look at it) did throw the Christians to the lions. Yes the Christians arrested, tortured and killed many people in the name of Witchcraft. And while I think it's a sad commentary on human history, I personally wasn't there. What I'm saying is that I personally wasn't a victim of the burning times, and I'm not going to add to the Christian/Pagan animosity by harboring a grudge for something someone's ancestors did to my ancestors. I choose to concern myself with the discrimination and persecution that goes on in the here and now.
I got a little off track there, but the point I'm trying to make is that if you're going to cry religious persecution, you'd better be honest about it and not try to use it as an excuse for your own bad behavior being held against you.

nameless
September 10th, 2003, 06:34 PM
I hate seeing stuff like this, it's always just so depressing and makes me think about all the persecution in the world... Blah! But life is beautiful, and I send many loving thoughts towards those who need them. :elf:

LadyWillow
October 4th, 2003, 04:51 PM
That's alittle odd and very stupid. They have to prove harm has come to the child, and from what I know, I can bet that no harm has come to that child.

Grey Cat
October 22nd, 2003, 07:03 PM
There's a bit more to this story then you're getting from the long post. He was ordered by the court not to take his daughter to rituals and he deliberately, according to the story he told AT THE TIME, took her on a long drive to attend several. Therefore he IS in contempt of court. If he'd fought the ruling, I'll be totally on his side but that's not what he did.

Yes, the ruling was wrong and had he waited for the appeal process he almost certainly would have seen it overturned. But once he became in contempt of the court, he sadly reduced his case to a cut and dried conclusion.

Be careful how you talk back to judges for thou art gentle and wilt in jail.

Teshuva3D
December 13th, 2003, 08:30 PM
what i want to know is how people can assume that Wicca has no moral code?? I myself am not Wiccan but have known a few..and have read a tiny bit about the religion..and almost immediately what struck me is that it is INDEED based on a moral code of acceptable behavior..the folks who condemn Wicca as lacking in morality are the folks who have never bothered to read about it..or speak with any of it's followers..and it's that simple..
Now,and i mean no offense to whomever ..but what is moral about preaching of an angry,judgemental God??Where is the morality of teaching people that God will punish and anniliate them if He is not worshiped in one particular way?? Where is the morality in exposing children to the idea that God will be angry if u question the ways of the infinite??WHERE IS THE MORALITY OF THAT???!!!!
I am pagan..My INFINITE IS A LOVING BEING WHO WELCOMES THE SEEKING AND QUESTIONING FROM US...MY INFINITE ACCEPTS AND ENCOURAGES INTELLIGENT DECISIONS BASED ON EXAMINATION AND RESEARCH..AND GENUINE YEARNING TO PROGRESS SPIRITUALLY..phew,i'm done..sorry folks but religious bigotry really gets me going.
Blessings,
Tesh

Kadynas
December 14th, 2003, 12:15 AM
I can relate to what you're saying, but not all Christians are that way, not even all the ones that think Wicca is bad... I know one very excellent Christian who believes God wants us to question, to seek to better understand Him. She's also very tolerant of other people's beliefs, but some people have just been frightened into thinking that anything to do with witchcraft is evil somehow. Yes I think more people should learn to study another religion's main points before they condemn it, but that's life sad to say. It's not always that people are bigoted, just that they're afraid of what they've heard or of what they don't understand.

MoonLightWanderer
May 31st, 2004, 05:46 PM
I think what we all need to do is live and let live---perhaps the wisest words ever spoken. I think if people spent less time tryig to force their beliefs on others and more time trying to find truths with in themselves we'd all be a whole lot happier

misschief
June 3rd, 2004, 09:39 AM
you know... i personally know a woman in delaware ohio who had her two teenage children taken from her by a judge in illinois for being a seminary student. she attends, and lives on the campus of, a methodist seminary in ohio, her ex-husband filed for custody of the kids, judge granted custody on the basis that she had them living in a 'cult' environment. now, i'm not christian by any means, but a cult?... ye gods! what is wrong with people?
i know if i were her... that crap woulda been on every newspaper and newstation i could get my hands on. it's messed up... but it's all around the board, ya know? i would try to sue... but that's just me. there is absolutely nothing wrong with showing your children faith, as long as you aren't forcing them into it. no one has the right to make decisions like that for you! this guy needs to stick to his guns (not literally.. lol) and find a legal and 'respectable', so to speak, way to deal with this. it's garbage, freedom of religion?? HA, whatever.

bellamandu
June 3rd, 2004, 05:13 PM
yep. one of my old friends had a child a few years back and she was perfectly capable of raising her child and what not. very good mother, actually.

but her mother decided that since she was pagan, she was a bad influence upon her child, (im not going to go into the reasons) and had the child legally taken away from the mother and left with the father. which, may i say, cant keep a job for longer than a few months, if he has one, and barely ever has enough money to feed the child. from what i remember, when they were still married, he was even abusive at points.

may i remind you that the mother has to fight just to be able to see her child maybe once a year. its sad, really. its beautiful here, but god sometimes i hate the south.

i feel really sorry for her and her child, though. especially for what the child has to go through. she is going to have a tough childhood.

misschief
June 4th, 2004, 06:08 AM
that makes me sick. seriously. we need a.. a movement or something. it's time for the next american revolution.... er something like that... lol

pawnman
June 9th, 2004, 08:27 AM
So, anyone ever find out the end of this story? Is he going to appeal it, or what?

misschief
June 9th, 2004, 01:44 PM
i've been wondering too.. fill us in, what's going on..

Mab
June 9th, 2004, 11:24 PM
Ok, well, I know there are extenuating circumstances...child support, etc.....

but this sounds exactly like something my bf's ex would try....and I'm a CHRISTIAN for pete'ssake....but I practice, so...if I get back with him (we're sorta on break now), I'll have to hide way in the back of the broom closet.

It's not right, no matter what religion is the question (ok, unless you are talking something really scary that entails something really out there like subjecting the child to poisonous snake bites or cannibalism or something), to deny a child it's parent b/c mommy & daddy can't agree on matters of faith.

mmbg
June 10th, 2004, 01:23 PM
What a story!

Xaphan
July 29th, 2004, 03:39 AM
YARG!
if this nation had a majority of pagans, and some one "exposed them" to christianity, do you think this would happen?!?! NO!

Call me cynical, but I'm not sure I believe that. Give any one group too much power and grave abuses usually follow.

aerialla
December 2nd, 2004, 11:51 PM
I just found this and had to comment. Luckily for me and any other Ohioans can add to this. I haven't really come across any problems. My sister who is almost radically Christian called the police on me because I was a witch and was abusing my children.

Of course like any good police officer does they hear abuse and go. They told my sister who was livid that there was nothing they could do about my being a "Witch" that it was my personal choice and they had no right to do anything about how I raised my children.

But because she called about me spanking my five year old daughter "What she calls abusive" I now could have my children taken away if for any reason they were ever called again.

Needless to say I don't have really anything more to do with my sister.

Shanti
December 3rd, 2004, 12:08 AM
I just found this and had to comment. Luckily for me and any other Ohioans can add to this. I haven't really come across any problems. My sister who is almost radically Christian called the police on me because I was a witch and was abusing my children.

Of course like any good police officer does they hear abuse and go. They told my sister who was livid that there was nothing they could do about my being a "Witch" that it was my personal choice and they had no right to do anything about how I raised my children.

But because she called about me spanking my five year old daughter "What she calls abusive" I now could have my children taken away if for any reason they were ever called again.

Needless to say I don't have really anything more to do with my sister.
Oh hon thats so frightening. ~hugs~ for you.
Being a parent not of a mainstream can be dangerous if you have an ex or relative that doesnt agree with your path. And its all to often not you that wins.

Pandoras
December 3rd, 2004, 02:20 AM
Well this is a sad story but hardly uncommon. And in my opinion, what's worse is that these kinds of things will continue to happen so long as Pagans continue to believe that spirituality and religion has nothing to do with politics. Sometimes, I don't think that Pagans even really want religious freedom and understanding. How many Pagans just love to whine about how they're so misunderstood and discriminated against from the comfortable privacy of their bedroom broom closets. But when the shit hits the ceiling, they expect everyone, the ACLU, Lady Liberty, the Pagan Federation, and everyone else to come to the rescue.

Shanti
December 3rd, 2004, 02:36 AM
Well this is a sad story but hardly uncommon. And in my opinion, what's worse is that these kinds of things will continue to happen so long as Pagans continue to believe that spirituality and religion has nothing to do with politics. Sometimes, I don't think that Pagans even really want religious freedom and understanding. How many Pagans just love to whine about how they're so misunderstood and discriminated against from the comfortable privacy of their bedroom broom closets. But when the shit hits the ceiling, they expect everyone, the ACLU, Lady Liberty, the Pagan Federation, and everyone else to come to the rescue. A lot are afraid to make a public stand. I am in a small nasty town and I am low income with 2 small kids..its deffinately 'safer' to stay quiet!!! I dont want my life being distroyed. Its not hard to take down some of us due to our class and locations! Thats just a simple fact of life for some.

Pandoras
December 3rd, 2004, 02:46 AM
A lot are afraid to make a public stand. I am in a small nasty town and I am low income with 2 small kids..its deffinately 'safer' to stay quiet!!! I dont want my life being distroyed. Its not hard to take down some of us due to our class and locations! Thats just a simple fact of life for some.

You're absolutely right. And I am not saying that people should come out and scream from the rooftops, especially if they're in situations like the one you're describing. But the reality is that freedom of any kind doesn't come easy. It takes sweat and money or at the very least, support.

Using Christianity as an example, Christianity is a powerful force in America because Christians are organized, well funded, volunteer efforts are large, teamwork and dialogue abound, organizers trust and empower their volunteers, and members trust their leaders. Look at the effects they've had on our government.

pawnman
December 3rd, 2004, 08:39 AM
Well this is a sad story but hardly uncommon. And in my opinion, what's worse is that these kinds of things will continue to happen so long as Pagans continue to believe that spirituality and religion has nothing to do with politics. Sometimes, I don't think that Pagans even really want religious freedom and understanding. How many Pagans just love to whine about how they're so misunderstood and discriminated against from the comfortable privacy of their bedroom broom closets. But when the shit hits the ceiling, they expect everyone, the ACLU, Lady Liberty, the Pagan Federation, and everyone else to come to the rescue.

I think you may be on to something there.

aerialla
December 3rd, 2004, 01:10 PM
Look at it this way at least we are getting more of a fair deal now that we would have even 20 years ago. People are changing, not everything is black and white anymore. There are innumerable shades of gray.

George Bush came to my town and made a very powerful statement. He said that he wants this to be a country for all religions, not just Christianity, even though he is a devoted Christian. His mind is open to the fact that there are more religions out there, he may not totally agree with their ideology, but he feels that everyone is Welcome in the USA. He is the first political leader that has come out for all religions and to try to work with everyone on understanding that there are more out there than just a little box of one kind.

Who know maybe in 20 years Pagans will be able to have the kind of structure that Christianity has. Its something that we can all build upon. Its up to us to change it, no one else can do it for us.

Even with the problems that I have had with having an all Christian family I am very proud of my religious choice and I am one of those people that will stand on a rooftop and shout it for all to hear. Too many people are still in the closet. And hey it's dark in there. I prefer to be in the light where I can Mother Moon and Father Sun shining down on me and sharing that with everyone around me.

sacrificialgoddess
December 3rd, 2004, 03:00 PM
He also said that he didn't believe that witchcraft was a religion when asked about Wicca. The man is misguided in multiple ways

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
December 3rd, 2004, 05:07 PM
He also said that he didn't believe that witchcraft was a religion when asked about Wicca. The man is misguided in multiple ways

I don't believe witchcraft is a religion either. It's the practice of magic and it is not religious in and of itself. Wicca and witchcraft are not synonymous terms.

pagan_majik
December 3rd, 2004, 06:23 PM
that is seriously messed up....i think its stupid that the mother is doing that. i mean, of course, if he has a service or whatever, and the girl is coming into the room or building, thats her choice, not her fathers. i hope the judge will see this and let the man off. and the thing with him haveing skulls and whatever in his house, i mean, theyre things from kmart, anyone could have them in their house. i have christian friends who have skulls and other such things in their rooms.....

sacrificialgoddess
December 5th, 2004, 06:02 PM
I don't believe witchcraft is a religion either. It's the practice of magic and it is not religious in and of itself. Wicca and witchcraft are not synonymous terms.

That's exactly my point. He responded with an answer about witchcraft to a question about Wicca. Whether he denied Wicca was a religion is a debatable point. But he did leave the impression that either he thought they were one and the same and neither was religious in nature, or that he was deliberately avoiding the question. Neither leaves me feeling confident that he would be willing to defend my religious choice.

pawnman
December 5th, 2004, 06:23 PM
That's exactly my point. He responded with an answer about witchcraft to a question about Wicca. Whether he denied Wicca was a religion is a debatable point. But he did leave the impression that either he thought they were one and the same and neither was religious in nature, or that he was deliberately avoiding the question. Neither leaves me feeling confident that he would be willing to defend my religious choice.

Bah. Most Wiccans can't even agree on the belief system is, how are you giong to expect a hardcore Christian from Texas to be able to make that distinction. He said he wants the country to be for all religions, not all religions except these certain ones, or all religions that belong to group x, y, and z.

sacrificialgoddess
December 5th, 2004, 06:27 PM
Religions he sees as religions, of course.

pawnman
December 5th, 2004, 06:29 PM
Religions he sees as religions, of course.

I wouldn't be concerned with Bush taking away your religious rights until I see a little more proof of it and a little less speculation based on his personal faith.

Pandoras
December 5th, 2004, 06:33 PM
Bah. Most Wiccans can't even agree on the belief system is, how are you giong to expect a hardcore Christian from Texas to be able to make that distinction. He said he wants the country to be for all religions, not all religions except these certain ones, or all religions that belong to group x, y, and z.
But the thing is, in order for the country to actually be for all religions, certain religions have to be recognized as being legitimate. President Bush does not recognize Wicca as a religion and the judge referred to in the article in question doesn't either.


But with Tennessee Chancery Court Judge Stella Hargrove -- a front-line elected jurist, equivalent to Allegheny County's Court of Common Pleas judges -- presiding over the divorce, Jennifer Brewer didn't even have to try to prove her daughter risked harm from Wicca. Hargrove, as court transcripts reveal, doesn't appear to believe Wicca even qualifies as a religion.

"Now Wicca appears to be a lifestyle," Hargrove said from the bench, "that has a creed of harm none, do what you will. It's been described to the court as a form of some kind of witchcraft. It's been described to the court as a lifestyle that has no moral code. There's no right or wrong. And while there may be some factors under this lifestyle that encourage visualizing yourself to be the best you can, to be in tune with yourself -- and there's some testimony about reincarnation and meditation; but on the other hand, there's also substantial testimony as to partial and total nudity that's involved in this lifestyle."

Phoenix Blue
December 6th, 2004, 08:02 AM
But the thing is, in order for the country to actually be for all religions, certain religions have to be recognized as being legitimate.
No, they don't. The government has no place judging the legitimacy of any religion. Whether a parent has mistreated a child is a pretty simple litmus test for the most part, and religion does not enter that equation.

Pandoras
December 6th, 2004, 09:49 AM
No, they don't. The government has no place judging the legitimacy of any religion. Whether a parent has mistreated a child is a pretty simple litmus test for the most part, and religion does not enter that equation.
I didn't say government should judge the legitimacy of a religion. I said our government needs to recognize that Wicca is a legitimate religion. And besides, what the government should and should not do is of little consequence. It's what the governement does and does not do. The government shouldn't have faith-based initiatives, but it does, and it doesn't include Wicca because Wicca is not a "real" religion according to our President.

Religon and politics are intertwined in this country and it does enter the equation; that's what this entire article is about. If this father wasn't Wiccan, and was instead Protestant or Jewish, there wouldn't even be any question about the dangers of exposing his daughter to the religion.


Conon Brewer may be held in contempt of court this week for allowing Sara to see his computer desk and anything else that hints at his personal sense of spirituality. He stands accused of violating his 2000 divorce decree, which orders him not to expose his young daughter to books with "spirits and ghosts" or to the teachings of his religion -- Wicca.

It is a decree he never signed. He knows perfectly well it violates his First Amendment rights.

Phoenix Blue
December 6th, 2004, 02:26 PM
I didn't say government should judge the legitimacy of a religion. I said our government needs to recognize that Wicca is a legitimate religion.
What's the difference? If the government "recognizes" that "Wicca is a legitimate religion," has it not just made a judgment on the legitimacy of a religion?

Keep in mind I'm not a lawyer; however, to my knowledge there is no "litmus test" that can be used to establish whether a religion is legitimate. The government, because of the First Amendment, doesn't get involved in that process one way or the other. In the eyes of the courts, Wicca and Christianity are equally "legitimate." No, it doesn't always work that way because we live in a world where people and courts don't always do what they should.


And besides, what the government should and should not do is of little consequence. It's what the governement does and does not do. The government shouldn't have faith-based initiatives, but it does, and it doesn't include Wicca because Wicca is not a "real" religion according to our President.
Do you think President Bush directly intervenes in what programs are selected for federal dollars under the faith-based initiatives programs?

The problem is one of organization: how many Pagan groups in your area are even established as 501(c)(3) charitable organizations? How much do they know about the process of incorporation as 501(c)(3)'s? If you want a piece of the faith-based initiatives pie, you have to know how to do that, how to craft your group's mission and message and whom to talk to. Groups that can navigate the same bureaucracy everyone else has to navigate can talk about discrimination if they actually have some grounds for it, but your claim, with nothing more than the president's statement of his personal opinion first spoken about five years ago to back you up, is next to groundless.


Conon Brewer may be held in contempt of court this week for allowing Sara to see his computer desk and anything else that hints at his personal sense of spirituality. He stands accused of violating his 2000 divorce decree, which orders him not to expose his young daughter to books with "spirits and ghosts" or to the teachings of his religion -- Wicca.

It is a decree he never signed. He knows perfectly well it violates his First Amendment rights.
Actually, it's not. If Sara's mother has full legal custody, then she also has the right to dictate what her daughter's religious education will entail. The custodial parent's right to raise her child with her own moral and ethical values trumps Mr. Brewer's First Amendment right.

If you don't believe me, then consider a different case: would you allow your child's grandparents to proselytize to your children if what they proselytized directly contradicted the morals and ethics you wished your children to learn?

If you don't, then you must logically agree that Brewer's legal argument does not carry weight. In the eyes of the law, a non-custodial parent is much like that of a grandparent - the court recognizes the relationship between parent and child but gives the non-custodial very few parental rights.

MorningDove030202
December 6th, 2004, 02:30 PM
Weither Wicca is a "real" (ie valid, acceptable, etc) religion or not will be decided by the court of popular opinion before it will get any real leagal support.....

Dove

Pandoras
December 6th, 2004, 07:54 PM
Phoenix_Blue -

I don't really want to argue anymore. If you honestly believe that Wicca and Chrstianity are treated equally before our society and the law, then fine. I wish I could believe that, but experience has shown me otherwise.

pawnman
December 6th, 2004, 10:57 PM
What's the difference? If the government "recognizes" that "Wicca is a legitimate religion," has it not just made a judgment on the legitimacy of a religion?

Keep in mind I'm not a lawyer; however, to my knowledge there is no "litmus test" that can be used to establish whether a religion is legitimate. The government, because of the First Amendment, doesn't get involved in that process one way or the other. In the eyes of the courts, Wicca and Christianity are equally "legitimate." No, it doesn't always work that way because we live in a world where people and courts don't always do what they should.


Do you think President Bush directly intervenes in what programs are selected for federal dollars under the faith-based initiatives programs?

The problem is one of organization: how many Pagan groups in your area are even established as 501(c)(3) charitable organizations? How much do they know about the process of incorporation as 501(c)(3)'s? If you want a piece of the faith-based initiatives pie, you have to know how to do that, how to craft your group's mission and message and whom to talk to. Groups that can navigate the same bureaucracy everyone else has to navigate can talk about discrimination if they actually have some grounds for it, but your claim, with nothing more than the president's statement of his personal opinion first spoken about five years ago to back you up, is next to groundless.


Actually, it's not. If Sara's mother has full legal custody, then she also has the right to dictate what her daughter's religious education will entail. The custodial parent's right to raise her child with her own moral and ethical values trumps Mr. Brewer's First Amendment right.

If you don't believe me, then consider a different case: would you allow your child's grandparents to proselytize to your children if what they proselytized directly contradicted the morals and ethics you wished your children to learn?

If you don't, then you must logically agree that Brewer's legal argument does not carry weight. In the eyes of the law, a non-custodial parent is much like that of a grandparent - the court recognizes the relationship between parent and child but gives the non-custodial very few parental rights.


I was going to reply again in this thread, but DAMN, that was well done! Here, have one on me. :drinking: :clapping: :nonono:

aerialla
December 7th, 2004, 12:29 PM
I think the reason why Wicca has not been fully established as a religion because you can't get the different groups to decide on one set ideal. That and people tend to not want to believe a religion that was made mainstream in the 60's. The correct way to go about it is to get Paganism recognized as a religion, then branch off into the different sects (Wicca, Satanism etc.) kind of like how the Christians have Catholic, Baptist and on and on. People in the general public I belive can understand Paganism easier than they can Wicca.

Mau
December 8th, 2004, 07:13 AM
AHHHH I live in Pittsburgh. That ain't far. dammit

pawnman
December 8th, 2004, 08:40 AM
Phoenix_Blue -

I don't really want to argue anymore. If you honestly believe that Wicca and Chrstianity are treated equally before our society and the law, then fine. I wish I could believe that, but experience has shown me otherwise.

I've never experienced any form of discrimination based on my religion, but that could be because I don't go looking for trouble by demanding that every person accepts my religion. I don't care if they accept it, I just want them to leave me to my own devices.

macrocosim144
December 8th, 2004, 04:34 PM
Weither Wicca is a "real" (ie valid, acceptable, etc) religion or not will be decided by the court of popular opinion before it will get any real leagal support.....

Dove
I have been under the impression that Wicca is indeed a legitimate religion in this country and can apply for the tax free status and all that under the Wiccan banner which has legal legitimacy here in the USA ... it has been for many years.

Phoenix Blue
December 8th, 2004, 05:32 PM
Any religious organization can apply for tax-free status because there's no block on the application asking exactly which religion the organization subscribes to. The IRS needs to classify you as a religious charity, but other than that it really doesn't care.

macrocosim144
December 8th, 2004, 05:51 PM
Any religious organization can apply for tax-free status because there's no block on the application asking exactly which religion the organization subscribes to. The IRS needs to classify you as a religious charity, but other than that it really doesn't care.
Its a bit more complicated than that ... I found this little tidbit of info you can read the rest by goin here ...
http://www.tylwythteg.com/association/assoc4.html


But what may be a "church" to some may not be a church to others. In the past, the IRS has not been inclined to grant exemptions to unorthodox churches. In a technical advice memorandum, the national IRS office set forth its views of church characteristics. Below are a list of them and how you can satisfy the criteria:


1.) A distinct legal existence; [Accomplished through incorporating your church]


2.) A recognized creed and form of worship; [Prepare a booklet describing your beliefs]


3.) A definite and distinct ecclesiastical government; [Describe in your controlling document]


4.) A formal code of doctrine and discipline [Describe in your church constitution]


5.) A distinct religious history; [Describe in your church constitution]


6.) A membership not associated with any other church or denomination; [Statement of belief in church constitution]


7.) Having a complete organization of ordained ministers ministering to their congregations and selected after completing a prescribed course of study. [Describe in church bylaws or Articles of Incorporation.]


8.) Having a literature of its own; [Describe in church constitution]


9.) Having established places of worship; [Describe in Bylaws]


10.) Having regular congregations; [Describe your coven or grove membership requirements]


11.) Having regular religious services; [Describe in your coven or grove membership manual]


12.) Having church schools for the religious instruction of the young. [Describe in the church controlling documents]


13.) Having schools for the preparation of ministers; [Describe in church controlling documents]

In addition, several court rulings have established that in addition to providing a "religious type function", a church must:


1.) hold services or meetings on a regular basis;


2.) have ministers or other "representatives";
3.) have a record of performing marriages, and other ceremonies or sacraments;


4.) have a place of worship;


5.) ordain ministers;


6.) require some financial support by its members;


7.) have a formal existence and operation;

8.) satisfy all other requirements of code 501 (c) (3) and

9.) have a body of believers or communicants who assemble regularly in order to worship.
Given the above federal legal requirements, how can your coven or grove become a legally recognized church? There are an......... you can read the rest by going here ...
http://www.tylwythteg.com/association/assoc4.html

pawnman
December 8th, 2004, 08:45 PM
Its a bit more complicated than that ... I found this little tidbit of info you can read the rest by goin here ...
http://www.tylwythteg.com/association/assoc4.html


None of this seems to be a big stumbling block for pagans willing to form a church. It just seems to present one for people who decide they're going to be their own church by themselves to dodge taxes. I'm sure a group of pagans wouldn't have much trouble meeting these requirements if they were serious about being a religious organization.

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
December 8th, 2004, 10:43 PM
Its a bit more complicated than that ... I found this little tidbit of info you can read the rest by goin here ...
http://www.tylwythteg.com/association/assoc4.html

I want tomention that some of those "requirements" put forth by the IRS to be recognized would exempt religions that have far less problems than paganism in today's society, such as the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the Amish, Buddhists, Jehova's Witnesses, etc. Seeing as these groups can get religious charities approved even though they don't fit all of the "requirements", I highly doubt that the IRS could deny the status to any pagan organizations who filed.

macrocosim144
December 8th, 2004, 11:11 PM
I want tomention that some of those "requirements" put forth by the IRS to be recognized would exempt religions that have far less problems than paganism in today's society, such as the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the Amish, Buddhists, Jehova's Witnesses, etc. Seeing as these groups can get religious charities approved even though they don't fit all of the "requirements", I highly doubt that the IRS could deny the status to any pagan organizations who filed.
That could be true but they do deny people all the time that dont seem to be "real" religions such as the group that tried to form a religion based on the taking of LSD. Denied...

pawnman
December 9th, 2004, 07:14 AM
That could be true but they do deny people all the time that dont seem to be "real" religions such as the group that tried to form a religion based on the taking of LSD. Denied...

Got a link? Did they have all of requirements covered? Did you see the paperwork?

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
December 9th, 2004, 08:08 AM
You know what I find odd about this list of requirements, I've seen it online in various places, but never have I seen it linked from the IRS's website. I'll have to have a look there and see if they actually have this list posted, and find out if this is really an accurate reflection of what they require for religious charities.

pawnman
December 9th, 2004, 08:47 AM
You know what I find odd about this list of requirements, I've seen it online in various places, but never have I seen it linked from the IRS's website. I'll have to have a look there and see if they actually have this list posted, and find out if this is really an accurate reflection of what they require for religious charities.

That's largely because IRS rules are impossilbe for regular folks to unerstand.

Here's what to fill out to file as a 501(c)(3). Keep in mind that not all 510(c)(3)'s are religious organizations, it can be any kind of charitable organization.

http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=130145,00.html

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
December 9th, 2004, 09:44 AM
Well they have a link for churches and religious organizations, there just isn't anything on it. It just says this: "Welcome to a new area of the IRS.gov website. Information is under development and will be posted as soon as it becomes available. Please check back soon."

Haerfest Leah
December 9th, 2004, 11:17 AM
All I have to say is what crap. Why does anyone give a shi* anymore what someone practiices. (rhetorical question) And I was raised in Tennessee, hell no I'm not going back to the bible belt. People piss me off.

Haerfest Leah
December 9th, 2004, 11:40 AM
I was going to reply again in this thread, but DAMN, that was well done! Here, have one on me. :drinking: :clapping: :nonono:

I second that

macrocosim144
December 9th, 2004, 12:59 PM
Well they have a link for churches and religious organizations, there just isn't anything on it. It just says this: "Welcome to a new area of the IRS.gov website. Information is under development and will be posted as soon as it becomes available. Please check back soon."
Ahh thats a shame ... perhaps there is someone among us that has been through the process and will give us the low down. Maybe we should start another thread on the subject?

pawnman
December 9th, 2004, 10:13 PM
Well they have a link for churches and religious organizations, there just isn't anything on it. It just says this: "Welcome to a new area of the IRS.gov website. Information is under development and will be posted as soon as it becomes available. Please check back soon."

Seriously? When I went, there was a link to the form, and a link to the instructions for filling out the form.

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
December 9th, 2004, 11:02 PM
Your link did have that stuff. After going to the link you provided, I clicked on the link below it that on the page that specifically dealt with churches and religous orgs. That link was the one who said more info coming soon.

Chappy
March 10th, 2005, 08:23 PM
I am slightly confused and disheartened by some of the threads and replies posted. Wicca is a religion, at least in my heart and that is what counts. What makes something magickal is the energy you give it. If you believe then it can be, if you believe and practice then it exists. Once you have given thought to anything, and then given that thought power then it exists. The degree it exists is equal to the energy you give it. To me this is the most basic premise in Wicca. With these thoughts in mind I know my everyday life is full of magik and wonder. I am not saying I live my life strictly to Wiccan standards, but I do acknowledge the Goddess and God everyday and they in turn acknowledge me. I know how I lived before I was aware of their presence and it wasn't good. Now I give my energy and life to them and they in turn reward me with knowledge and strength in order to live my life. What a beautiful circle. Blessed Be

Bob8402
March 10th, 2005, 08:47 PM
The government needs to learn when to back the hell off. I've known a lot of kids in my part of MD who were being beaten and neglected and sexually assaulted by their bastard parents, I've said things to school counselors in the past about that, just trying to get some help for these kids , I've had my parents call social services a few times. Not once was anything ever done. But they're going to do something in this case ? Because the guy committed adultery or what ? People get away with adultery all the time, how is this somehow special enough for them to decide to intervene on ? I hope there is a huge backlash against the local government in that area if this person gets charged with something, esp if it's something he didn't even do.

Pandoras
March 11th, 2005, 03:45 AM
Chappy and Bob8402,

No biggie if you want to revive this thread, but in just in case you had not noticed, the original post is from August 8th, 2001.

Exloration_La
July 11th, 2005, 06:49 PM
Anything that isnít best for the system or against the grain I believe is against the grain is illegal really there are so many laws and they are very flexible and can be twisted and interpreted any which way depending on who has the most recourses OR since itís people , jury etc with their opinions etc that are involved in the decisions and they will not favor for you if they donít like you. The law is not far and is open for all kinds of manipulation and unfairness in itís judgments. If you are one to have respect for the law then maybe try going to http://www.stupidlaws.com/ (http://www.stupidlaws.com/)