First Amendment not for Pagans?

This morning, a blog post over at The Wild Hunt tells us of news in a long-fought legal battle attempting to get the state of California to remove its “five faiths” requirement on who is allowed to apply to be a prison chaplain. Apparently, the California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation restricts such positions to those of Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Native American faiths. Patrick McCollum has been fighting to get this restriction removed, and has argued that as a Wiccan clergyman he has the standing to file said case. The case is coming up before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and we wish him luck in that case.

Of greater concern, however, is an argument being used in trying to deny him that standing. A conservative activist group called (appropriately enough) Wallbuilders had the National Legal Foundation file a brief on their behalf that claims we Pagans have no First Amendment rights. The Wild Hunt quotes the brief:

“The true historic meaning of “religion” excludes paganism and witchcraft, and thus, does not compel a conclusion that McCollum has state taxpayer standing … paganism and witchcraft were never intended to receive the protections of the Religion Clauses.Thus, in the present case there can be no violation of those clauses … Should this Court conclude that McCollum has taxpayer standing … this Court should at least acknowledge that its conclusion is compelled by Supreme Court precedent, not by history or the intent of the Framers.”

For more details, see the blog post in its entirety.



Dragon's WeaveThis site is the main repository for materials relevant to Dragon’s Weave Wicca. The left, under More About DWW, there are links to pages which will tell something of the history of Dragon’s Weave, materials regarding Craft history, important reading lists and essays, and eventually, the manual of specific practices.