Paganism

Witchcraft in the United States

October 29, 1999

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On October 29, 1999, The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on the Wiccan community of Contra Costa County in California.

Neo-Pagans Utilize the Internet

October 27, 1999

Source: USA TODAY

On October 27, 1999, USA Today published an article on the use of the Internet by Pagan groups. Fritz Jung of The Witches' Voice (www.witchvox.com) stated: "We were clearly one of the few religious groups to embrace the Internet with a passion from the beginning." Jung added that before the Internet, Pagans were "very fragmented with no national communication. The Net blew this spiritual path wide open." the Internet has about 3,000 witch, Wiccan, and pagan sites, which are mostly found on the page of...

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Witchcraft and Young Women

October 25, 1999

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On October 25, 1999, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article on the rising interest of young women in witchcraft. With television shows such as "Charmed" and Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and a popular new book entitled, Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation, Hollywood and book publishers have noted the interest in witchcraft of those between the ages of 11 and 23. Vicki Just, who dispenses tea and tarot cards at the Village Tea House in Bay View, Wisconsin, stated: "Older women and young women both are...

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Ban on Pentagrams Lifted in New Mexico School District

September 24, 1999

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On September 24, 1999, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the public school board in Roswell, New Mexico voted 4-1 to lift a ban on students wearing pentagrams, a Wiccan symbol. The school district had a ban on any "attire associated with gothic, satanic or occult-type activities such as pentagrams, etc.," but the pentagram has been excluded from this group because the district faced legal action from Kathryn King, a local minister of Wicca who says she knows approximately a dozen students in the district who...

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Wiccans Continue to Seek Worship Space at Fort Bragg, North Carolina

August 23, 1999

Source: Morning Star

On August 23, 1999 Morning Star reported that "Members of the Coven of the Dragon Warriors say they have been encouraged and threatened since going public about their hope to worship at Fort Bragg. Laurie MacNeill, the group's high priestess, said she would not withdraw plans to apply. 'We want soldiers to feel safe enough and free enough to worship without being harassed for their beliefs,' said Ms. MacNeill, a former Army sergeant. Lt. Col. Sam Boone, Fort Bragg's garrison chaplain, said he met last week with Ms. MacNeill to discuss...

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The Blair Witch Project Continues Stereotypes Against Witches

August 22, 1999

Source: The New York Times

On August 22, 1999, The New York Times published an article on how The Blair Witch Project continues the trend of negative bias against witches. Selena Fox, who helped found one of the oldest Wiccan nature preserves in the country, the Circle Sanctuary in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, considers it one long slur against witches: "If the film had been called 'The Blair Cherokee Project,' people would recognize the negative stereotypes."

Fort Bragg Wiccans Seek Worship Space on North Carolina Base

August 8, 1999

Source: The Herald-Sun

On August 8, 1999 The Associated Press reported that "Soldiers who believe in the Wiccan religion want Fort Bragg to allow their worship services and study groups on the post. The Wiccans say they are good soldiers and patriotic Americans. 'But we change 'God bless America' to 'goddess bless America,' said Laurie MacNeill, a former Army sergeant and the high priestess in the Coven of the Dragon Warriors. There are about 10,000 pagans in the military and an estimated 200 to 400 at Fort Bragg, according to the Military Pagan Network,...

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Wicca Becoming More Popular on College Campuses

July 24, 1999

Source: The Plain Dealer

On July 24, 1999, The Plain Dealer published an article on the presence of Wicca on college campuses. Practitioners and scholars agree that college is a gateway for many into Paganism because of the "usual willingness of the young to experiment with the new and unfamiliar." College students are attracted by Paganism's reverence for the Earth and nature and its flexibility and individuality. "I like it because it's a very self-styled religion...There's not very much dogma," said Andee Brown, a computer science major at Smith College...

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Controversy over Religious Rights of Pagans in the Military

June 23, 1999

Source: ABCNEWS.com

http://www.abcnews.go.com/onair/CloserLook/wnt990623_wehmeyer_story.html

On June 23, 1999, ABCNEWS.com reported on the Fort Hood Witches in Texas, "a group that includes active and retired Army personnel who are devotees of Wicca...Some local pastors, who consider witchcraft part of satanic worship, are outraged the Army is making room for witches. And conservative Christian groups are telling young men and women not to join the Army...

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Controversy over Religious Rights of Pagans in the Military

June 19, 1999

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On June 19, 1999, an article in The Atlanta Journal and Constitution stated that " Readers responding to last week's ethics question overwhelmingly voiced their belief that Wiccans have the constitutional right to practice their religion --- even on military installations. 'I support the right of people of all religious backgrounds and faiths to practice as their beliefs and hearts require,' Teresa Downing commented. 'Religious freedom is one of the cornerstones of our country.' ... 'People of other...

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Controversy over Religious Rights of Pagans in the Military

June 11, 1999

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On June 11, 1999, The Freedom Forum Online offered an Associated Press article reporting that Religious groups urge Christians to boycott Army over Wiccans. The Houston Chronicle published a similar article stating that "conservative Christian organizations this week called for a nationwide boycott of the Army, demanding it reverse its policy of accommodating soldiers with alternative religious beliefs."

Controversy over Religious Rights of Pagans in the Military

June 8, 1999

Source: The Washington Post

On June 8, 1999, The Washington Post published an article on the current situation of Wiccans in the military. The first Wiccan group to be recognized by the military was the Fort Hood Open Circle, which was formed two years ago at the largest military post in the nation, Fort Hood, Texas. Since then, groups have formed on military bases in Louisiana, Alaska, Okinawa, and Florida. The group in Fort Hood drew public attention in March 1999, when they invited a photographer to witness their spring ceremony and photos were printed...

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Controversy over Religious Rights of Pagans in the Military

May 18, 1999

Source: No source given.

On May 18, 1999, Representative Bob Barr's press release called for the exclusion of the Wiccan religion and Witchcraft from the countries' military bases. Barr's attack has been countered by many voices from within the Pagan community. The Witches' Voice reports that "John Machate, Coordinator/CEO of the Military Pagan Network responded in a letter to Congressman Barr, "This is a direct attack on the Constitution of the United States. All religions are protected, not just those...

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High School in Wisconsin Apologizes to Teen for Restricting Internet Access to Wicca

March 31, 1999

Source: Star Tribune

On March 31, 1999, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported that a battle between the Winter School District in Wisconsin and Burklin Nielsen, a 16-year-old student at Winter High School, has been resolved. Nielsen filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction claiming that her freedom of religion was violated when she was prevented from accessing material over the internet about Wicca in a school computer lab for public use during non-school hours. Nielsen, a Lutheran, was the target of many small-town rumors...

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