1999: Anti-Wiccan campaign led by Rep. Bob Barr

Join with Wiccans, Pagans, Religious Freedom activists, and others concerned about First Amendment rights to counter the anti-Wiccan campaign led by Rep. Bob Barr (7th District Georgia). Although Barr's first attempt at federal anti-Wiccan legislation failed, he publicly proclaims in subsequent media interviews that he will try again. He seeks to outlaw the practice of the Wiccan religion by Wiccans in the US military.

On June 8, a group of anti-diversity "Christian" political groups launched a nationwide anti-Wiccan boycott. They are urging Christians to not enlist and rejoin the US Army until Wiccans in the military are no longer permitted to practice the Wiccan religion at military installations. Others have joined this anti-Wiccan campaign, including South Caroline Senator Strom Thurmond. In late June, presidential candidate Texas Governor George W. Bush, Jr. added his voice by saying that Wicca is not a religion.

In connection with the 4th of July, major Pagan organizations and leaders issued statements and press releases championing First Amendment rights.

Other organizations concerned about preserving constitutional rights have also issued statements including Americans United for Separation for Church & State in a press release, June 28, 1999, "Army should Reject call for ban on Wiccans, says Americans United".

CIRCLE SANCTUARY & US MILITARY

Learn more about Circle Sanctuary support for Wiccans in the US Military over the past 20 years and read the "Wiccan Philosophy Overview" prepared for US Military chaplains at the Pentagon by Selena Fox. In addition, information submitted to the Pentagon by Circle Sanctuary over the years has paved the way for several articles, including the "Wiccan Religious Background Paper of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board" and the Wiccan religion section of the US Army Chaplains Handbook. Some of the recent writings by Selena Fox submitted to the Armed Forces Chaplains Board at the Pentagon are included in the handbook, "Overview of Wicca for the Military Member", published in Spring of 1999 by the Sacred Well Congregation. 

ADVOCATES OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CONFRONT BARR FACE-TO-FACE AND ON-LINE: On July 7, 1999, several persons asked Rep. Barr questions regarding the Wicca controversy, in his on-line Virtual Town Hall Meeting held in the AccessAtlanta chat room.

Wiccan constituents of Barr's districts, including a veteran and a Wiccan presently serving in the US military, attended his public town meeting on May 29, 1999, in Marietta, Georgia. They urged him to uphold first amendment rights for Wiccans in the US military.CIRCLE reporter, Lady Liberty League representative, and Circle Sanctuary Community member Angie Buchanan went to Marietta as press and covered the meeting. She asked Barr several questions during and after the meeting.

Hawk of the Magickal Cauldron reports on Georgia constituents and an honored Naval Corpsman confronting Bob Barr at the first of a series of Town Hall Meetings Saturday, May 29.

NEWS COVERAGE

TIME Magazine: July 5, 1999

I Saluted a Witch

Free!: June 27, 1999
Freedom Forum on-line, Religion section, editorial by Charles C. Hayne
Witches Test Our Religious Tolerance

ABC TV News on-line: June 23, 1999
Witches in Combat Boots

The Washington Post: June 22, 1999
Wiccan Soldiers on-line discussion with Dr. David Oringderff

Art Bell Radio Show: June 14, 1999
Paganism & Wiccans in the Military

US News & World Report magazine, June 14, 1999
A Genuine Witch Hunt

Fort Worth, Texas. Star-Telegram editorial, June 13, 1999
Wicca in Military

Pittsburg Post Gazette: June 11, 1999
Editorial: Witches' brouhaha

National Public Radio: June 9, 1999
All Things Considered news segment: Military-Wicca