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Author Topic: George W. Bush removes bill making wicca a religion (I think...)
black roses 19
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quote:
AN OUTRAGE.....................
To all my brothers an sisters of the old religion join in my outrage I have just finished reading an article saying that president Bush is now trying to remove the bill saying that Wiccan is an actual religion. He says he can't see letting troops build bon fires an dance around with athames to celebrate thier holidays. This is rediculous we have prosecuted an condemed for hundreds of years an when we finally make alittle head way the goverment wants to stomp us back into the ground all over agian. Was it not bad enough that for hundreds of years we were drowned, burned, crusified, beheaded, and tortured because we didn't believe in the same thing as everyone else. So I am posting this to ask that every pagan, wiccan, or occult believer that shares my outrage please repost this an lets see if we can make some kind of difference. Please add your name below if you agree. [names removed]

Something posted on Myspace. I've googled (albeit quickly) and didn't really come up with anything - other than George W.'s personal views on Wicca itself. I also looked on the main site anywhere I thought was relevant but didn't see it there either. Chow if necessary [Smile]

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Midgard_Dragon
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First, I have to nitpick anyone calling Wicca "the old religion". Second, I was under the impression it is already recognized as a "religion", at least as far as protection under First Amendment rights (cite.)

This should protect Wiccans from "prosecution" assuming he/she means persecution. The bulletin sounds like a teenager wanting to have a cause (much as I was when I was young and wanted something other than Christianity to turn to.)

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Bubby
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He said wicca was not a religion before...

It's definently a possibility...

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black roses 19
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quote:
The bulletin sounds like a teenager wanting to have a cause (much as I was when I was young and wanted something other than Christianity to turn to.)
EXACTLY what I was thinking.

quote:
Second, I was under the impression it is already recognized as a "religion", at least as far as protection under First Amendment rights
What I got from this mess was that GWB was trying to remove it as an organized religion under the 1st Amendment rights...or at least...I think that's what I got from it.

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Midgard_Dragon
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Ah, let me backtrack a bit. I thought the OP quote was implying that GWB was trying to not let a bill that would make Wicca a religion pass. I now see that it says "trying to remove the bill." Now my question comes to political afficianados, can a President "remove" a bill such as this? Is there even one such bill declaring Wicca a religion in existance? I was under the impression from the religioustolerance.org page that no such "bill" exists.

ETA: @blackroses, made my edit while you were making yours. Hope mine clarified, I was a bit confused, your clarification is what I realized afterwards.

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black roses 19
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Confused? Surely not with such an eloquent writing style....

[Roll Eyes] [lol]

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Pondicherry Pi
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Does this perhaps have anything to do with the deal about getting Wiccan symbols on military headstones? Isn't there some to-do about that right now?

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Little Pink Pill
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quote:
Originally posted by Pondicherry Pi:
Does this perhaps have anything to do with the deal about getting Wiccan symbols on military headstones? Isn't there some to-do about that right now?

I was thinking the same thing. There's a thread on it somewhere around here, but all I could find at the present is this article Snopes posted. It's pretty informative about Wiccans trying to be accepted in America, but doesn't say anything about GWB.

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Peccavimus
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Teenagers often don't feel secure in their first amendment rights, imagining that an authority figure can take them away.

I used to think that was kind of cute and immature. Now -- well, I feel a little less secure in mine as well.

But no, Bush can't make Wicca "not a religion" any more than he could declare a state religion. He can *say* it's not a religion (and I believe has) but his opinion as a religious scholar, anthropologist, or sociologist is worth pretty much zilch.

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educatedindian
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There are two parts of the 1st Amendment dealing with religions, the establishment clause and the practice clause. Legally a president or anyone else in govt has no say in what is a religion or is not, except in cases where the courts are deciding if some group is an actual religion and not just something set up to skirt the laws, such as "churches" a few years or even weeks old claiming drugs are part of their religion.

Courts, govt agencies, presidents, etc, CAN and DO prohibit religious practices all the time. There are several dozen peyote users from the Native American Church in prison in Oregon and other states.

At the same time, rather bizarrely, the courts have ruled whites can use peyote if they're part of a "church" set up by James "Flaming Eagle," Mooney, a white imitator falsely claiming to be Native and denounced by the NAC for commercial sales of peyote, a big taboo for the NAC.

The courts and state govts also routinely bar Santeria believers from sacrificing animals.

The federal govt barred Native religions for centuries, actually had state mandated Christian denominations for each reservation.

Native religions have never been protected by the 1st Amendment and only got statutory protection in 1978. Ironically the only place where Natives could always be certain their beliefs were protected was in the US military, within limits. Native religious prohibitions against haircuts were not upheld, except among the Indian Scouts. Peyote use by Natives in the military is legal, but you can't use it if you'll be on duty the next day. That restricts it to Friday or Saturday nights, when traditionally it's usually done on Sundays since NAC members think of themselves as good Christians.

Like others, I wonder if the original complaint is related to the military. Carrying blades is banned on bases, and they'd probably need special exceptions for their athames. Same for bonfires.

And the recent stories about evangelicals persecuting non-evangelicals at the Air Force Academy might be related to this.

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Purple Iguana
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Wicca is a religion that predates Christianity (by how much, I don't know... but there was belief in the Goddess Mother long before a male deity "took over"). Most folks treat Wicca about as seriously as the French Culinary Institute treats Spam... mostly because the female participants refer to themselves as witches... and there's the whole Halloweenie thing that's chipping away at the credibility of the word "witch."

There can never be a bill which recognizes a new religion or removes an existing one because of that whole First Amendment thing. If the person who posted this wants to get up in arms, s/he should go crazy about the way that the current major religions have systematically sought to discredit the Goddess Mother by absorbing the Pagans into their own religions ("You mean that's YOUR god's birthday? What a coincidence, it's ours too! They must be the same god. Join us!") and eliminate Her believers.

Blah blah... for a better opinion, educate yourselves.

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Jonny T
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quote:
Wicca is a religion that predates Christianity
No it isn't.

unless you're under the delusion that Wicca is part of an unbroken chain of tradition going back to the ancient Celts.

(or you think Christianity was invented in the 1950s)

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Midgard_Dragon
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quote:
Wicca is a religion that predates Christianity (by how much, I don't know... but there was belief in the Goddess Mother long before a male deity "took over").
I treat Wicca with much respect, but you're wrong here. Wicca isn't all that old, as far as religions go. There have been nature religions and religions that one could consider "Pagan" far before Christianity, yes. Wicca was not one of them, however.

Wiki Article

No real proof either way in that article, but the belief that it didn't really start until the 1920's seems to be more accurate based on the information I have learned through other sources throughout the years.

quote:
Blah blah... for a better opinion, educate yourselves.
This seems a bit snarky if it's directed at those of us within the thread trying to educate ourselves through discussion. If it's directed at the quote, well, it makes more sense. But considering your first sentence, if it is snark it's probably a bit misplaced. No offense.

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Purple Iguana
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I apologize for the incorrect information. I was under the assumption that Wicca dated back to the other Pagan traditions. As for the other comment, Midgard, I intended no snark. I simply meant that there are people out there who (obviously) know more than I do about the subject, and they would do a better job than I would of defending the position. Now, I could have said that WHOLE WORLDS better at the time, but I have two small children who seem to take exception to me getting on the computer, so I try to limit that time. Unfortunately, in this case, it led to me speaking poorly.

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Midgard_Dragon
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It's okay, Purple Iguana, we all make mistakes, but it's probably best to read the thread and do a bit of digging on Wiki before posting an opinion contrary to evidence presented earlier in the thread. But again you mentioned the small children, and they are an acceptable scapegoat in this case. [Razz]

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ASL
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quote:
Originally posted by educatedindian:
There are several dozen peyote users from the Native American Church in prison in Oregon and other states.

And they're still in jail because the Supreme Court already ruled that, since such laws were not passed with the intent of restricting religion, but rather with a reasonable aim to banning hallucinogenic drugs and such, that they did not violate the 1st amendment. Affecting the practice of their religions was merely a collateral consequence that was, ostensibly, unintended.

quote:
The courts and state govts also routinely bar Santeria believers from sacrificing animals.
Same as above. If a city passes a law outlawing the slaughtering of animals outside of permitted slaughter houses within its limits for the purposes of sanitation and it also happens to mean some guy can't sacrifice a goat anymore, then too bad. The aim was reasonable and the law not passed with the intent of stifling religious practices.

quote:
Ironically the only place where Natives could always be certain their beliefs were protected was in the US military, within limits. Native religious prohibitions against haircuts were not upheld, except among the Indian Scouts.
Ok, the entire Indian Scout thing seems a bit dated.

quote:
Peyote use by Natives in the military is legal, but you can't use it if you'll be on duty the next day. That restricts it to Friday or Saturday nights, when traditionally it's usually done on Sundays since NAC members think of themselves as good Christians.
NFBSK, I'm glad the military doesn't allow ANYONE to use a known hallucinogen if they're going to have duty that day or the next. I can see it now. We're alongside a 20,000 ton oiler taking on fuel going 13 knots and only 180 ft apart. The conning officer notices that the distance is closing and orders a course to open, but the helmsman is too busy trippin' and communing with his ancestors to notice and the ships collide. Damn, the military sure is evil, not letting people hallucinate on duty or, better yet, just grant them the day off any time they choose to go on a spiritual journey of self discovery using hallucinogenic drugs as a facilitator.

Honestly, I'm surprised the military would allow it at all, even on non-duty days.

quote:
Like others, I wonder if the original complaint is related to the military. Carrying blades is banned on bases, and they'd probably need special exceptions for their athames. Same for bonfires.
I don't know about you, but not permitting personnel to walk around with personal weapons when they could find themselves in a drunken bar fight or (better yet) tripped out on a hallucinogenic drug seems pretty reasonable to me. Contrary to what some may think, people in the military don't just walk around and go to the grocery store and take a crap with weapons when they're not in a combat zone. As for the bonfires... Oh, that's a good one "Sir, we've got a problem, there are snipers in the buildings down the street, but it's the solstice and Pvt. Timmy is Wicca, so he says we've gotta let him build a fire and dance around it." "Oh, crap, you're right Sarge, I guess just tell them men to keep low and make sure they're wearing their dog tags. We wouldn’t want one of them to get the wrong blood type when he goes to the hospital after getting shot."

Of course, even on a military base, I wouldn't expect they'd be letting ANYONE put up fires. I don't know about Army/Marine/Air Force bases, but on the Naval bases I've been to, I'm pretty sure I've never seen an area set aside for huge bonfires of any sort.

quote:
At the same time, rather bizarrely, the courts have ruled whites can use peyote if they're part of a "church" set up by James "Flaming Eagle," Mooney, a white imitator falsely claiming to be Native and denounced by the NAC for commercial sales of peyote, a big taboo for the NAC.
Which courts and when? I find it hard to believe that the courts explicitly offered protection to this guy and this guy alone while still making it illegal for Native Americans to use it.

quote:
Native religions have never been protected by the 1st Amendment and only got statutory protection in 1978.
So, in other words, Native religions have NOT never been protected. They are now.


quote:
And the recent stories about evangelicals persecuting non-evangelicals at the Air Force Academy might be related to this.
I'll have to go with the "ranting teen with a persecution-complex and poor understanding of current events regarding the grave marker issue" theory myself.

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educatedindian
I Saw Three Shipments


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ASL,

It seems like your main point was to claim the 1st Amendment has always protected religious freedom for everyone, and all the many cases where it hasn't are just coincidences, just kinda happened, were always related to something else. (And, hypocritically claim simultaneously that if smaller faiths get their practices banned, well they sure deserved it, those damned freaks!)

I grant you the 1st Amendment was a good idea, but your naive faith in it is not generally shared by many minority faiths. (Word choice intentional, since your faith in it seems to border on religiosity.) If we want to continue our traditions, we look to those traditions and not to outside protection since several hundred years of experience has shown us it can't be relied on.

All anyone has to do is go look up the literally hundreds of cases where the BIA or reservation superintendants issued regulations specifically prohibiting "savage dances," "ceremonies that promote unhealthy generosity," etc., to find out differently. Or read about the imprisonment or witholding of food for entire families bvased on rumors (not proof) that a single member might have taken part in said dances or ceremonies (which, far from being dangerous, their main sin was simply not to be Christian in origin.)

Or, if you don't want to dig through BIA memos, just read about Wounded Knee, or even the thousands of Muslim immigrants summarily deported after 9-11.

"they're still in jail because the Supreme Court already ruled that, since such laws were not passed with the intent of restricting religion, but rather with a reasonable aim to banning hallucinogenic drugs and such, that they did not violate the 1st amendment. Affecting the practice of their religions was merely a collateral consequence that was, ostensibly, unintended."

Oh brother.

If I were a judge who outlawed circumcision on cruelty grounds, my intent would obviously include not caring about how it barred a specifically religious practice. My paternalistic attitude would be that I personally knew better than thousands of years of Jewish tradition.


"If a city passes a law outlawing the slaughtering of animals outside of permitted slaughter houses within its limits for the purposes of sanitation and it also happens to mean some guy can't sacrifice a goat anymore, then too bad. The aim was reasonable and the law not passed with the intent of stifling religious practices."

Once again, your paternalism is showing.

And your assumption that no one ever passes laws in response to public outcry over religious practices most of the public doesn't understand is very naive.

NAC members don't take peyote to get high and have a wild time anymore than congregation members get wasted on the sacramental wine. It's a solemn ceremony lasting 10-14 hours, with prayer and singing and meditation.

And Santeros' practices are generally more sanitary than anything Swift or Oscar Mayer do in their factories.

"the entire Indian Scout thing seems a bit dated."

The Indian Scouts were around until the 1940s. Tracker teams and LRRPs used in Vietnam had much in common with the original scouts, including waiving haircut regs for NDN members.

"NFBSK, I'm glad the military doesn't allow ANYONE to use a known hallucinogen if they're going to have duty that day or the next."

Why? The after effects of peyote are less than a mild hangover, much more like someone who drank a lot of coffee to stay awake. Just some tiredness from not sleeping.

"I can see it now. We're alongside a 20,000 ton oiler taking on fuel going 13 knots and only 180 ft apart. The conning officer notices that the distance is closing and orders a course to open, but the helmsman is too busy trippin' and communing with his ancestors to notice and the ships collide. Damn, the military sure is evil, not letting people hallucinate on duty or, better yet, just grant them the day off any time they choose to go on a spiritual journey of self discovery using hallucinogenic drugs as a facilitator."

I'll be charitable here and ascribe your account to ignorance and not bigotry.

Imagine if you'd said the same thing about Catholics:

ASL-I'm glad the military bars those Cathlics from getting all sloppy drunk at Communion. Damn the military sure is evil for making them wait a day after eating the body of their Dead Son of God with booze as a facilitator!

"not permitting personnel to walk around with personal weapons when they could find themselves in a drunken bar fight or (better yet) tripped out on a hallucinogenic drug seems pretty reasonable to me."

Your paranoia about faiths you don't understand is truly bizarre. For one thing you're confusing Wicca with Native traditions.

Where did you get the idea that Wiccans carry their athames as personal weapons, or that they take drugs for their ceremonies?

"Contrary to what some may think, people in the military don't just walk around and go to the grocery store and take a crap with weapons when they're not in a combat zone."

You might have better luck if you don't accuse me of saying things I never said. I'm an army vet myself.

"Pvt. Timmy is Wicca, so he says we've gotta let him build a fire and dance around it."

Please...The military gives Jewish soldiers a hard time about wearing yamulkes. I'm sure Wiccan soldiers go offbase for their practices.

"I find it hard to believe that the courts explicitly offered protection to this guy and this guy alone while still making it illegal for Native Americans to use it."

Believe it or not, this happened in Utah.
http://www.google.com/searchq=james+flaming+eagle+mooney&btnG=Search&hl=en&lr=

"So, in other words, Native religions have NOT never been protected. They are now."

If only that were true. Once again, your naive belief is touching. It's a hard time even getting the courts to stop sacred sites on public land from being bulldozed. Often tax dollars even go to the destruction of Native sacred sites like Mt Graham.

http://www.google.com/searchhl=en&q=native+sacred+sites+threatened&btnG=Google+Search

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ASL
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by educatedindian:
ASL,

It seems like your main point was to claim the 1st Amendment has always protected religious freedom for everyone, and all the many cases where it hasn't are just coincidences, just kinda happened, were always related to something else.

Look, if you think you're more qualified to determine the constitutionality of these laws than the Supreme Court then be my guest. If you don't have a law degree, then I suggest you get one before starting out. My main point is to counter YOUR ONLY POINT that, obviously, the first ammendment has NEVER protected anyone buy mainstream religions. You are citing examples that had their day in court and lost for a good reason, while many other instances exist of religious causes having their day in court and emerging triumphant. Hopefully the grave marker issue won't have to go to court to be settled.

quote:
(And, hypocritically claim simultaneously that if smaller faiths get their practices banned, well they sure deserved it, those damned freaks!)
Yes, the Supreme Court and I hate religious minorities.

quote:
I grant you the 1st Amendment was a good idea, but your naive faith in it is not generally shared by many minority faiths. (Word choice intentional, since your faith in it seems to border on religiosity.)
Yes, I have faith in the First Ammendment and the Consitution. I'm sorry.

quote:
All anyone has to do is go look up the literally hundreds of cases where the BIA or reservation superintendants issued regulations specifically prohibiting "savage dances," "ceremonies that promote unhealthy generosity," etc., to find out differently. Or read about the imprisonment or witholding of food for entire families bvased on rumors (not proof) that a single member might have taken part in said dances or ceremonies (which, far from being dangerous, their main sin was simply not to be Christian in origin.)
The Dawes Act is dead, so stop moaning about it.

quote:
Or, if you don't want to dig through BIA memos, just read about Wounded Knee
Yes, because that's like totally relevant now. I guess now that I'm living in Japan I should start reading up on Pearl Harbor, or the Atomic bomb drops, because obviously the fact that we were at war 60 years ago means that we hate each other now and openly discriminate against each other in our nations' respective laws.


quote:
Oh brother.
Ouch

quote:
If I were a judge who outlawed circumcision on cruelty grounds, my intent would obviously include not caring about how it barred a specifically religious practice. My paternalistic attitude would be that I personally knew better than thousands of years of Jewish tradition.
Judges don't outlaw anything. If a state legislature passed a law banning elective surgory for children who are incapable of consenting (which, personally, I'd support) and that law made no special provision about religious ceremonies, one way or the other, then YES, I would imagine that law would be upheld by the courts. Bad example.

quote:
Once again, your paternalism is showing.
How am I being paternalistic?!?!?! I'm citing Oregon v. Smith, in which the defendants had BOTH AGREED NOT TO USE ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCES. Why? BECAUSE THEY WERE COUNSELROS FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE CHEMICALLY DEPENDANT! They were not thrown in jail, but they were fired because they KNOWINGLY violated their agreement. I doubt when the organization reasonably decided it didn't want drug addicts of any sort as counselors for drug addicts that it had CLEARLY NOTHING TO DO with Native Americans. The two were NOT jailed, all they lost were their jobs and unemployment benefits for that job because they knowingly agreed NOT to use addictive substances and then used one anyway.

quote:
And your assumption that no one ever passes laws in response to public outcry over religious practices most of the public doesn't understand is very naive.
I'm not arguing based off of laws that were passed by an angry town and never reviewed. I'm talking about cases involving laws that have gone before the Supreme Court of the United States and been upheld.

quote:
NAC members don't take peyote to get high and have a wild time anymore than congregation members get wasted on the sacramental wine. It's a solemn ceremony lasting 10-14 hours, with prayer and singing and meditation.
Alrgiht, now you tell me, considering that Federal Laws DOES protect Peyote use for religious ceremonies: who exactly have you been talking about that has been thrown in an Oregon jail, or any jail for using peyote in a religious ceremony? I want a cite, or at least a case that I can look up, not just a "What do you mean?!?!?! You're so naive!"

quote:
And Santeros' practices are generally more sanitary than anything Swift or Oscar Mayer do in their factories.
And here's the best part, the part that proves you're a nut: The Supreme Court struck down the law in the example you are using because it obviously was passed specifically as a reaction to religious beliefs. Holy Shit! The system works!!!

quote:
The Indian Scouts were around until the 1940s. Tracker teams and LRRPs used in Vietnam had much in common with the original scouts, including waiving haircut regs for NDN members.
Like I said, dated. The entire point goes counter to the majority of your post that the US is made up of Injun hatin' red necks and racists, so there's no point in trying to counter it myself.

quote:
"NFBSK, I'm glad the military doesn't allow ANYONE to use a known hallucinogen if they're going to have duty that day or the next."

Why? The after effects of peyote are less than a mild hangover, much more like someone who drank a lot of coffee to stay awake. Just some tiredness from not sleeping.

And, not suprisingly, the military also does not allow you to drink on duty. There is a statutory minimum time between drinking and duty of 8 hours, however if you stop drinking 8 hours before but you drank so much you're still hung over the next morning then, guess what, you're still unfit for duty and you're going to mast anyways.

quote:
I'll be charitable here and ascribe your account to ignorance and not bigotry.
Funny, I was going to say the same to you.

quote:
Imagine if you'd said the same thing about Catholics:

ASL-I'm glad the military bars those Cathlics from getting all sloppy drunk at Communion. Damn the military sure is evil for making them wait a day after eating the body of their Dead Son of God with booze as a facilitator!

Straw man.

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"not permitting personnel to walk around with personal weapons when they could find themselves in a drunken bar fight or (better yet) tripped out on a hallucinogenic drug seems pretty reasonable to me."

Your paranoia about faiths you don't understand is truly bizarre. For one thing you're confusing Wicca with Native traditions.

Actually, no, I'm not. Given that peyote was on the tips of our tongues, I figured it would be funnier.

I find the content of your posts to be laughable and I'm done with you.

--------------------
"Dear Lord, please protect this rockethouse and all who dwell within..."

Posts: 1093 | From: Japan | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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