Conservative Christian boycott of the U.S. Army
Rep. Barr's comments, the boycott by many conservative Christian agencies, and the
resultant attack on fundamental freedom of religion, assembly and speech at Ft. Hood
appear to have had two main causes:
|an intolerance towards non-Christian faith groups, and|
|a massive confusion over the various meanings of the term "Witchcraft."|
The latter may have been caused by misinformation about Wicca published by some of the Christian religious hate sites on the Internet, and
misinformation on many conservative Christian books about Wicca. They are
not reliable sources of information.
The terms "Wicca" and "Witchcraft" have multiple
conflicting meanings. Two are listed below:
|Many conservative Christian sources of Wiccan information ultimately base their beliefs about Wicca on religious
propaganda from the 15th to 18th century, when the Christian church
was burning people alive who were believed to be Witches or other heretics. They often
believe that Wiccans/Witches:|
- Worship Satan, and may sell their souls to the Devil.
- Engage in animal and perhaps human sacrifice.
- Devote their lives to black magic, committing evil acts that hurt others.
- Are viciously anti-Christian.
- Are actively involved in recruiting young people into the movement.
- Follow a form of Satanism.
|Wiccans, sociologists, religious historians, and others believe differently:|
- Wiccans worship a Goddess and a God. They do not recognize the existence of Satan; the
Devil is a quasi-deity shared by Christianity and Islam. Wiccans do not sell their souls
to any deity.
- They do not engage in animal or human sacrifice
- They often do acts of positive, healing magic; they are prohibited by the
from doing evil acts that harm others.
- They are not opposed to Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism or any other religion. However,
they do object to attempts by anyone to limit their freedoms of religion,
speech and assembly.
- They generally do not allow persons under 18 years of age to enter a coven. They do not
even recruit adults.
- Wicca is not Satanism. Wiccan concepts of deity, humanity and the rest of the universe
are totally different from the beliefs of Satanism.
Some conservative Christians are attempting to ban what they see as a profoundly evil
religion from army bases. But that religion does not exist, and never has existed.
Meanwhile, they are violating many principles that their religion considers to be of the
highest importance: freedom of speech, religion and assembly. The are many analogies
between Fort Hood, TX in the 20th century and Salem, MA some three centuries
Author's editorial comments:
When we first learned of the boycott of the U.S. Army, we thought it was a joke.
We had difficulty visualizing how Americans who follow one religion would attempt to
prevent other Americans from following their own religion. Sadly, it was not a prank.
It is our belief that the boycott of the army by conservative Christians
represented a very serious attack on personal religious freedom in North America.
The boycott is no longer being perused. However, the original 1999 news release is still part of the
Free Congress Foundation web site. 1 The boycott was a frightening display of religious power against a
minority religion's fundamental human rights, including the freedom of speech, freedom of
assembly and freedom of religion itself. It shows little respect for the U.S. Constitution. If
the coalition of conservative Christian groups had been successful in banning Wicca on army bases, they
might have subsequently tried to ban
Native American Spirituality as well. The two religions are very similar.
The ARIS survey of American adults has shown:
|A rapid increase in the percentage of Wiccans.|
|An increase in the percentage of adults who are not affiliated with any
|A decrease in the percentage of Christians.|
We may well be entering a time of increased inter-religious friction in North
America. President Clinton's speech on religious
tolerance indicates that fear, misunderstanding and hatred of a
minority religion can lead eventually to genocide of the type observed in Bosnia
Herzegovina during the mid 1990s. Hopefully, this will not happen in the U.S.
The religious hatred that was stirred up by the pastor of an
Independent Baptist church near Ft. Hood was troubling. Similar bigoted speech in
recent years has resulted in conservative Christian perpetrators organizing at
least one lynching, one attempted mass murder by stoning, many fire bombings,
assaults, etc. Anti-Wiccan rhetoric by Christian leaders may yet
motivate some emotionally unstable individual to exterminate Wiccans, feeling
that he is doing God's will.
|The increased number of Wiccans
in the U.S., |
|Their increased visibility and media coverage, and|
|A more realistic portrayal of Wicca in conservative Christian books|
resulted in the reduction of anti-Wiccan rhetoric by conservative Christians in
Additional on-line articles & editorials:
Some Wiccan web sites containing Witch hunt articles:
- Robert McFarland, "Satanic' Army Unworthy of Representing United
States. 10 Groups Call for Nationwide Recruiting Boycott," Free
Congress Foundation, 1999-JUN-9, at:
Copyright � 1999 to 2001 incl., and 2004 by Ontario Consultants on
Originally written: 1999-JUN-9
Latest update: 2004-JUL-07
Author: B.A. Robinson