Anonymous asked this question on 3/27/2000:
I am wiccan and my children have been raised wiccan. They have been exposed to the ideology of all major religions so that they may make an informed decision when they are older. The question is, they will be starting school soon and I want to know how to protect them from being spoon fed Christian dogma (10 commandments, etc) and also how to help keep them from being harrased about their religion as I was in school. Also a school here recently suspended a student for wearing a pentagram calling a gang symbol. I would love to send them to private school but all the ones in my area are affiliated with a church.
Fr_Chuck gave this response on 3/28/2000:
you have the same risk that other faiths have sending their children to a public setting, even christians who have beliefs such as purgitory, the rosary and the such are "picked" on also for these funny beliefs, and if we have had to explain confession once we have 100 times to those who thing that and our staute of Mary worshiping some other God.
But if you teach them and tell them properly about the other faiths then they will feel good about comming home and talking about it.
As far as your symbol, my kids ( grown now) have been sent home for wearing a Jesus saves tee shirt, and it was not till I helped with a protest that they could carry in their back packs their bible to read at lunch by their selves
While you know ( and I wish you would put your "handle" on this since that makes it appear you are ashamed of you position) that I strongly disagree with your faith but I also am very scared of the US Governments starting to take away religion's rights
while the episcopal is very open to homosexual's many christians are not, there was one christian church ( many do not call it christian but it was a religion) that during the 60's taught that being black was the mark of Cain, they had to stop teaching that or they would loss their status as a religion in the US,
how would you like your view point declared wrong? and have to change just becaue the governemt said so?
they are starting with popular beliefs, while you I understand support homosexual's you know that many don't , let us say church X for an example, what if the government would come and say, you can not be a church unless you allow homosexual's in, ordain them and marry them, while you surport that, if they can force them to do that, then what down the road can they force you to do?
so in some issues we must work together, we can not take religion out of school but we must allow all religions to be in school
Anonymous asked this follow-up question on 3/29/2000:
The reason I left my name off this one is because I work in the media and live in conservative SC, I don't want to stir things up months before my children start school.
My position basically is that NO religion belongs in school. I'm not saying that you should not be able to wear a pentacle or carry a bible, but I'm concerned about this push in SC to post the 10 commandments in schools in SC. Now mind you, I'm not truly opposed to the 10 commandments but if we are willing to post the religious tenents of only one religion, then I think that is sending the wrong message. If we are going to post religious dogma in schools then why not post the Wiccan Rede, The Buddhist Eight Fold Path, ect. I don't think its a healthy trend to put religion into the schools. And if we only post the 10 commandments in schools then how do the rest of us explain to our children that our government doesn't think our religion is as important as Christainity? The arguement is that posting the 10 C. will make children behave better, and teach them morals, but believe me my children are certainly taught not to steal, kill, to honor their parents, etc and I taught it without the 10 C.
Fr_Chuck gave this response on 3/29/2000:
I have never read the Wiccan Rede, really not sure what it is, but you listed it with other things I do know, while "ok" you know I am not completely open minded but I do read and like to know as much as I can, can you tell me of a web site that lists it, or post it?
Anonymous asked this follow-up question on 3/30/2000:
Fr Chuck- Here's a couple of things that give an idea of our belief system, including the rede. There are so many websites out there (and mine is down) so I figured it would be easier to post them for you here.
Principle of Belief:
We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rythm of life forces marked by the phases of the moon and the seasonal quarters and cross quarters.
We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.
We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than is apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary, it is sometimes called "supernatural" but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.
We conceive of the Creative Power in the Universe as manifesting through polarity-as masculine and feminine-and that this same creative Power lives in all people and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine.We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sexuality as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of Life. and as one of the sources of energies used in Magical practice and religious worship.
We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, the Inner Planes, etc. and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magical exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfilment.
We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of them selves in leadership.
We see religion, magic, and wisdom-in-living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it-a world view and philosophy of life, which we identify as Witchcraft or the Wiccan Way.
Calling oneself "Witch" does not make a Witch-but neither does heredity itself, or the collecting of titles, degrees, and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within him/herself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well, without harm to others and in Harmony with Nature.
We acknowledge that it is the affirmation and fulfillment of life, in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness, that gives meaning to the Universe we know, and to our personal role within it.
Our only animosity toward Christianity, or toward any other religion or philosophy-of-life, is to the extent that it's institutions have claimed to be "the one true right and only way" and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practices and belief.
As American Witches,we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present, and our future.
We do not accept the concept of "absolute evil", nor do we worship any entity known as "Satan" or "the Devil" as defined by Christian Tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor do we accept the concept that personal benefits can only be derived by denial to another.
We work within Nature for that which is contributory to our health and well-being.
The Thirteen Goals of a Witch:
1.Know thyself 2.Know the craft 3.Learn 4.Apply knowledge with wisdom 5.Achieve balance 6.Keep thy words in order 7.Keep thy thoughts in good order 8.Celebrate life 9.Attune with the cycles of the Earth 10.Breathe and eat correctly 11.Exercise the body 12.Meditate 13.Honor the Goddess and the God
The Wiccan Rede
Bide ye Wiccan laws ye must in perfect love and perfect trust Live and let live, fairly take and fairly give Form the circle thrice about to keep all evil spirits out To bind ye spell every time, let ye spell be spake in rhyme Soft of eye, light of touch, speak ye little, listen much Deosil go by the waxing moon, singing out ye Witches' Rune Widdershins go by the waning moon, chanting out ye Baneful Rune When the Lady's moon is new, kiss your hand to her times two Whent the moon rides at her peak, then ye heart's desire seek Heed the North wind's mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss thee on the mouth When the wind blows from the West, departed souls may have no rest When the wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast Nine woods in ye cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow Elder be ye Lady's tree, burn it not or cursed ye'll be When the wheel begins to turn, soon ye Beltane fire'll burn When the wheel hath turned a Yule, light a log the Horned One rules Heed ye flower, bush and tree, by the Lady blessed be Where the rippling waters flow, cast a stone and truth ye'll know When ye have and hold a need, harken not to others greed With a fool no season spend, nor be counted as a friend Merry meet and merry part, bright the cheeks and warm the heart Mind ye threefold law ye should, three times bad and three times good When misfortune is anow, wear the star upon thy brow True in love ye must ever be, lest thy love be false to thee In these eight words the Wicca Rede fulfill, 'An ye harm none, do what ye will.'
Hope this explains our beliefs al little. :)
Anonymous asked this follow-up question on 3/30/2000:
By the way, please keep in mind that the rede is poetry, kind of like Psalms, so the principles of belief is a little easier to understand. Also the last lines refer to the threefold law, this law is that whatever you do will come back to you times three, whether it be good or bad, so most wiccans are very careful to practice only positive magic.
Love and Light
Fr_Chuck gave this response on 3/30/2000:
ok, I will have to re read the rede tomorrow, I am not in a good reading mood today, and I always have trouble with poetry anyway, Must be a boy thing from high school days, but alot of the things reminded me of some of the orential teachings, the positive and negitive and the flow of life forces thought the body, Have you ever studied some of their teachings and if so are there any main or perhaps ( doctrine may not be the right word) in common, Any perhaps common background in the teachings, as in the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish, we all trace our roots back to the same person, ( Abraham )
The average rating for this answer is 3.5.
Anonymous rated this answer a 4.