FROM: MISTER ZEN
TO: HARVEY SMITH
RM=>It's been my experience that the curiosity is already there to
RM=>begin with. Better they get it from someone with ethics than from
RM=>Christian parents try to forbid them, it's just going to make the
RM=>knowledge that much more desirable. BB Rowan
>Hummmm, welll as a parent who raised two children, i would just have to
>disagree with that completely.
>Better the children hear it from their parents then from someone trying to
>evoke curiousity...My children never thought of witches ie witchcraft
>etc.. until a witch visited their school. Then we sat down and had a nice
>discussion about it, and it was then moot point... And the witches never
>came back to the school for we certainly as parents had our rights to
>complain and complain we did...
For a change, I agree completely with you, Harvey. I would raise as big a
stink if children of mine came home and told me that a XXXXXXXXX religious
person had come on campus and preached the gospel to them (substitute the
name of ANY religion, including Wicca, for XXXXXXXXX). Religion does not
belong in public schools. There are parochial schools and private schools
aplenty for those who want their children to have religious schooling. I
would want my children to be exposed to all religions from the standpoint
of learning about them (like in a history class), but I would not allow
them to be subjected to manipulation of that sort. I can imagine three
circumstances where a Wiccan might be invited to a public school, and I
find two of them to be without merit:
1. The Wiccans were invited as a "curiosity," i.e. "Look, kids, there
really are witches! (gasp)!" You can imagine why I might have an aversion
to that. "Look kids, a Dominican and a Witch! Quick, Johnny, make a wish!
Anybody remember to bring the marshmallows?" "Ooh, look, a real live
Jesuit! Blaspheme for us, pleeeeease?"
2. The Wiccans were invited as representatives of their religion - which
completely violates the concept of separation of Church and State. Wiccans
are usually outspoken defenders of Civil Rights - so what's sauce for the
goose should be sauce for the gander.
3. Some High Schools have "World's Religions" classes, usually under the
auspices of the History department. If Wicca were presented in the same
context as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Jainism, Confucianism, et al, then
and only then would I have no objection. Close inspection by parents should
be welcomed by the school board to ensure that the religious speakers
present only "This is what we believe," rather than "here's why you should
be like us."
In Colorado, the state Supreme Court recently struck down a ruling
prohibiting religious groups from handing out literature ON CAMPUS! I have
seen no Wiccan literature, but I have seen a bit of JW, Fundamentalist,
LDS, Dianeticist (?) and White Supremacist literature being spread around
in the hallways, which the schools now have no power to prohibit. The only
prohibition it must be done by students of the school, and the people
handing out pamphlets may not obstruct a child's ingress or egress to or
from the school, or to and from classes. I despise this little void in our
state legislative system - how do you feel about this? If it is legal to
hand out Christian literature in public schools in Colorado, should it then
be OK to hand out, say, neo-Nazi hate literature as well? And, if not, then
who should decide?
P.S. Harvey, this may be on a different topic, but I thought I'd throw it
in: last week, my wife and I attended the Colorado Symphony and enjoyed a
lovely evening of Vivaldi. At the intermission, we had wine in the lobby
and I saw that there were orthodox Jews there as well, wearing their
yamulkes (sp?). I remember thinking that, even with the recent hostilities
in the Gulf, there were probably Muslims in the audience as well; and
wasn't it nice that we could all sit down together and enjoy the music.
Well, my feeling of rapport was short-lived. Due to on-going construction,
the entire audience is forced to walk through a narrow gauntlet to leave
the area. There, posted where none could escape his unholy wrath, was a
(seemingly) Christian hate-monger, spreading his vile filth where none
could escape it. The man called us all fornicators, liars, and lusters
after the Whore of Babylon, at the top of his lungs, baptizing nearby
unfortunates with his saliva, such was the force of his oratory. All of us,
Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, Christian and so on! Needless to say, my evening
(and temperament) was spoiled. How sad.
Sir, where I was raised, to call one's wife a vile name is to earn a punch
in the mouth. As my father used to say, "Them's fightin' words!" It was
only my wife's intervention that prevented me from dispatching the foul
miscreant on the spot. What say you to this? I realize the this man might
not be of the sort whom YOU would consider a true Christian, but I have
NEVER IN MY LIFE been accosted by a Pagan of any stripe in this manner.