|Moragan la Fey by Anthony Sandys|
Inmates Demand Wiccan Chaplain; from Newsmax (Modern Gnosticism-STM)
Two female inmates in California have filed a lawsuit against the state, claiming the lack of a full-time Wiccan chaplain results in “infringements, violations, and burdens.”
The suit was filed by Caren Hill, an inmate at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, and another convict who has been released since the suit was filed. They assert that the prison pays full-time and part-time chaplains for Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, and Protestant inmates, but not Wiccans, who practice modern pagan witchcraft.
They contend that there are more Wiccan inmates at the prison than Jewish or Muslim inmates.
The lack of a Wiccan chaplain deprives the Wiccans, the suit claims, of “access to clergy, religious services, religious rights, chapel, communal activities with other Wiccans, religious literature and artifacts, available funds for religious activities, time off work for religious holidays and services, and counseling in times of personal crisis.”
The suit was dismissed in 2011 by a district court. But now the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has remanded the decision, forcing the lower court to re-examine the case.
The appeals court ruled that the “prison administration failed to employ any neutral criteria in evaluating whether a growing membership in minority religions warranted a reallocation of resources used in accommodating inmates’ religious exercise needs.”
Patrick McCallum, a Wiccan practitioner, said he feels the prison system does not want to hire Wiccan chaplains because of its perception of the religion, Christian News Network reported.
“People have a lot of misconception about Wiccans,” he stated. “It has nothing to do with Satan.” (Umm, someone is going to be surprised.)
California Deputy Attorney General Kenneth Roost argued on behalf of the prison system that the “Constitution permits prisons to employ chaplains to accommodate inmates’ religions needs, and does not require prisons to hire chaplains representative of all inmates’ religions.”
The Ninth Circuit has the highest percentage of sitting judges appointed by Democratic presidents. Of the 28 sitting judges currently on the court, 19 were appointed by Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama.