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Wicca

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Christian - Wiccan conflict

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Quotations:

bullet" '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.]
bulletDo "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.

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Overview:

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 friction that have occurred in recent years between Wiccans and Christians. However, they may give some indication of the 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 ocurred during 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:

bulletMany 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.
bulletSome 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.
bulletWicca 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.

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Topic covered in this section:

bulletHistory and sources of the conflict in the U.S.
 
bulletWhy are conservative Christians primarily involved?
 
bulletThe potential for future conflict
 
bulletExamples of recent conflicts

bulletChristian-Wiccan conflict within a family

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Related essays on this web site:

bulletRecent news items about Wicca in the media
bulletThe burning times: The extermination of Witches and other heretics
bulletAre all Witches equal? The Harry Potter books, and public confusion about "witches" & "witchcraft"
bulletSatanic ritual abuse
bulletRecovered memory therapy
bulletDemons and evil spirits
bulletAttitudes towards other religions:
bulletBy Christians
bulletBy Americans
bulletBy Roman Catholics

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Reference:

  1. R. L. Maginnis, "Brewing up trouble: Wicca and the U.S. Military," Family Research Council at: http://www.frc.org/papers/milred/ 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.

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Site navigation:

Home > World religions > Wicca > here

Home > Christianity > Comparison to other faiths > here

Home > Religious conflict > Specific conflicts > here

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Copyright © 2000 & 2003 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2000-OCT-13
Latest update: 2003-AUG-18
Author: B.A. Robinson

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Go to the previous page, or to the Wiccan menu, or to the "comparison of religions" menu, or to the "specific religious conflicts" menu, or choose:

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