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ALERT: GEORGIA REP. BOB BARR ATTACKS AMERICAN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM By Rhuddlwm Gawr
First, I believe that you must read the
excerpt from the congressional web page concerning Rep. Barr's letter. This will
give you an idea of the kind of person you are dealing with. Click on http://www.house.gov/barr/p_051899.html
The position that we, The Church of Y Dynion Mwyn take, in
regard to this attempt by a U.S. Congressman to attack our religious freedom, is first
to ask you to, Go to
SCARLET LETTERS and then Go to BARR'S
TRUTHFULLNESS to find out more about his ethical values. (You know it almost
looks like Rep. Barr has a golden Dunce Cap on his head in the photo to the left.
Hmmm. Could it be that he anticipated the prestegious award he received recently from the
People For The American Way?) Go to the Georgia Barr Page .
consistently, within the bounds of being a non-profit organization, attempted to inform
Rep. Barr and his office of the nature of Wiccan and other Earth Religions. Our
efforts have been in vain as we suspected it would be, given Mr. Barr's past use of any
situation or information, no matter how false, to further his political self
interest. The key word here is "Political". It seems that most
politicians believe that they can say or do anything no matter how dispicable, all in the
name of politics.
Rep. Bob Barr is in
trouble. Trouble from his constituents, trouble from his right wing backers, trouble
from his political party, trouble from the Congress, and now with his misguided attack on
a Nature Religion, he has spiritual trouble as well.
Why is Bob Barr
attacking the practice of a minority religion in the military? Could it be that Bob
will use any means available to redirect attention away from his alleged unethical
practices and toward a perceived spiritual threat to his constituents?
Bob Barr swore to uphold
the constitution of the United States. He has apparently broken his oath and instead
is following the ways of religious bigotry. Since it has been reported that Bob Barr
has spoken at White Supremacist meetings, and supported their policies, it should not
surprise us that he is attacking the rights of Witches to worship as they please.
Go To A HANDBOOK FOR CHAPLAINS
(1993) - (ONLINE EDITION - last updated 25 March 1999)
WITCHES - 1 AND BOB BARR - 0
Bob Barr met with his constituents May
29, 1999 at the Marietta, GA public library. Lowell McFarland firstname.lastname@example.org reported that the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, USA., has an article about US
Representative Barr, facing Witches at a town meeting, over his anti-Witch demands
of the US Military. You can find the article at:
Here is an account of the meeting by Arwen Nightstar, a local Witch:
"I was there!! It was an interesting lesson in "we don't care what
you think" from Bob Barr. He was very very consistent in his answers. He said that
freedom of religion applied to the public sector but not to the military sector.
"There were 25-40 pagans there. Lady Galadriel (Book of New Laws) and Lady
Twylight from Ravenwood (I think?) were there as well. We had Lady G's son there in full
JRROTC uniform looking fine fine fine! One of my students was there but she wasn't in
uniform as she had been told by her Sarge that it was a borderline demonstration. Of
course, it wasn't.....but better safe than sorry in that!
"Several ex-milpags spoke up and so eloquently! They spoke of
tolerance...of the fact that the freedom of religion they were fighting for was for
everyone not just a few. Many many of us (not me..not a constituent and not a milpag)
asked him what religions he felt we should protect.
"One of his own constituents asked him why he was dinking around with a mickey mouse
1st Amendment issue when there were so many more important things going on. Many of the
pagans there felt she was a shill and was primed to take the wind out of our sails with
that. I felt quite differently. I thought she was telling him that his views on this were
not supported by his voters and that they felt his time could be spent
more wisely elsewhere.
"Just one witch's view...."
PEACE!~pass it on~
May you be blessed, Arwen
I am not limited by my eyesight. ~"Don Juan De Marco"
Also see the following
article from the Austin-American Statesman Newspaper in Austin Texas
Face-off brewing over Wicca practice at
Fort Hood (Texas)
By Kim Sue Lia Perkes
Published: May 28, 1999
Under a bright moon Saturday night, the witches of Fort Hood will honor a chaplain for
supporting the right of Wiccans to practice their rituals on the Army post.
At the same time in Atlanta, U.S. Rep. Bob Barr will face off with witches there over his
demand that Fort Hood immediately stop allowing Wiccans to openly practice their faith on
Fort Hood, the first U.S. military installation to sanction the neo-pagan Wicca religion,
became an object of national media attention after an Austin American-Statesman story on
the issue earlier this month. Last week, Georgia Republican Barr turned up the heat with a
letter to Lt. Gen. Leon S. LaPorte, Fort Hood's commanding officer, demanding that the
huge Army post "stop this nonsense now."
Fort Hood officials say the witches stay, and they have the support of U.S. Rep. Chet
Edwards, whose district includes the military installation.
"As a Christian, I have serious differences with the philosophy and practices of
Wicca," said Edwards, "But it would be terrible policy to require
each installation commander to define what is a religion and decide which religions can be
practiced by American citizens."
Following Fort Hood's lead, other U.S. military bases worldwide now are affording Wiccans
the same right as Christians, Jews and Muslims to have services on base.
In his letter to the Fort Hood commander, Barr said that allowing witches to openly
practice their faith at the post may win praise from liberals, but "its effect on the
combat readiness of your troops may be far less spectacular, to say nothing of its
detrimental effects on our society more broadly speaking, which has heretofore looked to
our military as epitomizing the American spirit of 'for God and country.' "
David Oringderff, founder and high priest of the Sacred Well Congregation of Texas --
which sponsors the witches on Fort Hood and three other U.S. military bases -- sent Barr a
response, asking the congressman to apologize. Oringderff is a retired major who served 22
years in the Army.
"As a psychologist and sociologist, I am painfully aware that, despite constitutional
guarantees and protection under law, intellectual and spiritual bigotry is alive and well
in this country," Oringderff wrote.
Witches, he told Barr, "are quite accustomed to naive notions and caustic rhetoric
from zealots," but they are not used to "such remarks coming from a man of your
The mention of Wicca and its adherents, witches, conjures up images of women casting evil
spells, making human sacrifices and selling their souls to the devil. Those images,
introduced in ancient times by the Roman Catholic Church to describe heretics, have
nothing to do with modern witchcraft. Wicca is a reconstruction of nature worship,
primarily from tribal Europe; adherents believe in a god and goddess and celebrate cycles
of the sun and moon.
Lt. Col. Benjamin Santos, a spokesman for Fort Hood, said the post has no official comment
on Barr's letter. "It is inappropriate for us to discuss the contents of private
correspondence from a member of Congress," Santos said. However, he added, the
military installation has not changed its policy on Wicca.
At home, Barr is in trouble with the local Wiccans. Witches, including active military,
plan to confront him Saturday during a previously planned town hall meeting at a public
"If anywhere there needs to be the freedom of religion . . . it should be military
bases," said the Rev. Candace Lehrman, founder and director of the Ravenwood Church
and Seminary of Wicca in Atlanta. "They are there to protect our country."
Saturday night in Killeen, the Fort Hood Open Circle -- the post's Wiccan group -- will
honor Lt. Col. Donald Troyer, the chaplain who has defended and supported the witches.
"We're responding to the First Amendment . . . and we're glad to do it," Troyer
said in an earlier
Barr said sanctioning Wicca on military bases sets a dangerous precedent.
"What's next?" Barr asked in his letter to the Fort Hood commander. "Will
Rastafarians demand the inclusion of ritualistic marijuana cigarettes in their
In order for a religious group to be sanctioned by a military base, it must meet criteria
including no participation in illegal activity and sponsorship by a legally incorporated
"Minority faith groups have been supported by chaplains for 20 to 30 years, and we
follow the same regulations and follow the same rules as Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhists,
Mormons and any other minority faith groups," Oringderff said. "I find it
ridiculous that we as a group are singled out for who we are and what we do and that we
choose to express our faith in ways other than what the dominate culture chooses to
END TRANSCRIPTION OF ARTICLE
The Church of Y Dynion Mwyn and The Association of Cymry Wicca supports the efforts of the
Witches Voice, Lady Liberty League, and all others who wish to expose this evil. see
the following excerpt from:
Lady Liberty League News #3, Tuesday, May 25, 1999; updated Wednesday, May
NEWS ALERT: Wiccan Religion Under Attack
A campaign of disinformation and discrimination has been launched against the Wiccan
religion as a whole and against Wiccans in the US Military in particular.
In a widely circulated May 18, 1999 press release
(http://www.house.gov/barr/p_051899.html), sent to media, government officials, and
others, Rep. Barr of Georgia's 7th Congressional District not only ridiculed and defamed
the Wiccan religion with his remarks, but demanded that the US Military treat the Wiccan
religion differently than other religions in accommodating the religious needs of military
personnel. Having seen a news report about Wiccans in the military taking part in a Spring
Equinox ritual at Fort Hood in Texas, Rep. Barr called for an end to Wiccan circles being
held at military installations and began his campaign against fair and equal treatment of
the Wiccan religion by the US government.
Barr's press release and his subsequent remarks about this are specifically directed
toward Wiccans and contain comments that are insulting, demeaning, and derogatory to the
Wiccan religion. Barr advocates that the United States military treat those who practice
Wicca in a discriminatory manner, by revoking their Constitutional right to worship.
Barr maintained his stand even after he was inundated with educational
material and other feedback from numerous Wiccan and Pagan sources, including that sent by
Wiccan constituents from his own district.
This type of attack from an elected official of the United States government sets a
dangerous precedent and challenges our basic Constitutional right to worship in a manner
of our personal choosing. The impact upon the Wiccan-Pagan community could be horrific.
Because of the First Amendment implications of this campaign, it should be of concern not
only to Wiccans and Pagans, but to those of all religions.
PAGAN RESPONSE UPDATE
Already Wiccans and other Pagans from many paths and organizations have begun responding
to this situation. A letter to Rep. Barr written by David Oringderff, executive director
of the Sacred Well Congregation which sponsors the Fort Hood Open Circle, has been widely
circulated on Capitol Hill. In addition, he has been interviewed by national
media, including FOX news. The Military Pagan Network issued a press release
and its coordinator, John Machete was interviewed on the BBC Outlook radio program which
aired on National Public Radio. Covenant of the Goddess also has issued a press release.
Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary has provided background information to media, government
officials, and others, and has been coordinating Lady Liberty League network efforts on
this issue. Stephen Kastner of Circle Sanctuary has been posting updates on the situation
as well as links on the LLL home page. A history of support Circle Sanctuary has provided
to Wiccans and other Pagans in the military for more than twenty years is now on-line at: http://www.circlesanctuary.org/liberty/military/index.htm
Lady Galadriel, national membership officer of Covenant of the Goddess, is helping to
organize response from Pagans in Rep. Barr's Congressional District in Georgia, including
a press conference and gathering held in connection with an upcoming Town Meeting Barr is
holding with constituents in Marietta, Georgia. The Magickal Cauldron website (http://www.magickalcauldron.com/bobbarr.html
) includes information about these events as well as articles that document Barr's attacks
on the Wiccan religion. Wren of The Witches Voice has been posting info and views (http://www.witchvox.com/cases/bobbarr.html).
Rep. Barr's campaign already has begun having an impact. Some Wiccan circles at military
bases are now in danger of being shut down and moved off base. Some military chaplains
have been pressured to stop their support services for Wiccans and other Pagans in the US
Military. Additional anti-Witch politicians are becoming publicly visible and proclaiming
their bigoted views. National/global media coverage of the controversy is growing, and
some on-line sites are carrying articles http://cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/05/18/barr.wiccan.ap/
Please preserve religious freedom for Wiccans and Pagans. Here are some ways you can help:
EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS
Write to your US Congressional Representative: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Write to both of your US Senators: http://www.senate.gov/
Give direct feedback to Barr: Rep. Bob Barr, U.S. House of Representatives
1207 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515-4611
Phone: (202) 225-2931 * Fax: (202) 225-2944
email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Express your opinions on-line at websites covering this issue, such as
Write to your local newspapers. Let the editors hear your voices.
You do not need to identify yourself as Wiccan or Pagan in
expressing your views. Simply address your concerns about the breaches of the First
Amendment. Do NOT send emotional tirades. Letters should be concise (not more than one
page), polite and intelligently written. Make sure your information is accurate. Remember
who you are writing to. Keep in mind that that your presentation can reflect on the entire
NETWORK WITH OTHERS
Spread the word about this situation to others concerned about religious freedom, whether
they be Pagan or not. Forward copies of this email to all those who may be willing to
Send copies of any letters you write and reports of other responses to this situation to
the Lady Liberty League archives: email: email@example.com
(with LLL update in subject line); postal address: LLL archives, Circle Sanctuary, PO Box
219, Mt. Horeb, WI 53572 USA; telephone: (608) 924-2216; fax: (608 924-5961.
Add links to Circle Sanctuary's Lady Liberty League website: http://www.circlesanctuary.org/liberty
Send suggestions of links with relevant news to: firstname.lastname@example.org
(with LLL links in subject line).
If you are a constituent in Barr's 7th Congressional District of Georgia, please support
the Wiccan-Pagan Educational Association's efforts in connection with Rep. Barr's Town
Meeting on Saturday, May 29 at 10 am at Marietta Main Branch Library, 266 Roswell Street
in Marietta. Wiccan and Pagan constituents are needed to attend the Town Meeting itself.
Wiccans and other Pagans who are not constituents are asked to attend the Wiccan-Pagan
press conference instead which will be held in the Marietta Town Square (corner of
Marietta and Roswell streets) beginning at 9:30 am. Whichever event you attend, please
dress conservatively (no ritual garb or tools). Behave and speak with dignity. Media will
be present. If you plan to attend, please contact Lady Galadriel by email (RealLadyG@aol.com) and/or by telephone (404-296-6429)
for more details.
INVOKE LADY LIBERTY
Call on the Goddess of Liberty in your circles and meditations and ask Her help in
supporting religious freedom for Wiccans and other Pagans.
Send blessings of protection, healing, and well-being to Wiccans and other Pagans in the
US Military, to participants in the upcoming Pagan Educational Gathering in Georgia, and
to others speaking out publicly on behalf of Wiccan and Pagan religious freedom.