Christian - Wiccan conflict
||" 'Never again the burning times'
survives as more than a mantra for only as long as it is defended by
deeds." [A motto taken from a posting on a Wiccan mailing list.]
||Do "whatever you have to, to stop the invocation...[the]
Satanists are taking over the city." A plea, perhaps interpreted by
some listeners as an suggestions to use violence, by a Dallas, TX, Christian
TV station, protesting a Wiccan who was to deliver a single invocation before city council.
Information in this section has come from the media, reference books, the
Internet etc. They may not be a representative sample of the
cases of inter-religious
have occurred in recent years between Wiccans and Christians. However, they may give some indication
seriousness of the situation.
It must be remembered that only a small minority of Christians take exception
to the enjoyment of religious freedom, assembly, and speech by Wiccans.
Conflicts between Christians and Wiccans (and other Neopagans) seem to be
largely unidirectional. Wiccans appear to have little or no concern about the religious
beliefs, practices or activities of Christians, except when it involves
oppression of fellow Neopagans or of other faith groups. Where animosity
of Christians is expressed by Wiccans, it seems to be a reaction to previous
oppression by Christians of Wiccans.
Driven by many factors, the frequency of Christina-Wiccan conflicts became
much more frequent in the very late 1990s. The triggering event might have
1999-MAY-18 when a newscast covered Wiccan rituals at a Texas army base. Rep. Barr
subsequently attacked the religious
freedom of Wiccans on army bases. A contributing factor might have been the subsequent
conservative Christian boycott of army recruitment until the religious
rights of Wiccan soldiers were terminated. 1 The boycott was
ultimately unsuccessful and eventually fizzled out.
We were concerned in the late 1990s that oppression and violence might have
continued to increase,
for a variety of reasons:
||Many lies and much misinformation are still circulated among some
Christian sources about Wiccans. Neopagans, including Wiccans, are often
accused of being Satanists, engaging in degenerate sexual practices and
child abuse. Such accusations have circulated for millennia against
religious minorities (including Christians themselves). However, for
Wiccans today, the untruths did not seem to be dissipating.
||Some Christians may feel threatened because of the increased
religious diversity in the U.S. and Canada, and by the gradual reduction
in the percentage of adults who consider themselves Christian. That
percentage has been dropping almost one
percentage point per year.
||Wicca is growing rapidly. It is doubling is size about every 30
months. This greatly increases the opportunity for inter-religious conflict.
Fortunately, this did not come to pass. Instead the attacks on Wicca dropped
steadily through the first years of the 21st century. We suspect that the main
cause was that Wiccans became increasingly more public with their religious
identity, their beliefs, and practices. Many TV documentaries on Wicca were
shown. The public realized that Wicca was simply another religion among the
diverse faiths in the U.S.
Topic covered in this section:
Related essays on this web site:
R. L. Maginnis, "Brewing up trouble: Wicca and the
U.S. Military," Family Research Council at:
Printed copies of the essay can be requested from the Family Research
Council at (800) 225-4008. This is a toll-free number accessible from
the U.S. and Canada.
Copyright © 2000 & 2003 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2000-OCT-13
Latest update: 2003-AUG-18
Author: B.A. Robinson