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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Discrimination alert

Passing this along...

Call to action! Fifteen year old Rachel Sura, a Wiccan, is being forced to attend church services and has been denied access to religous material by Francis Townsdin of Hoisington Youth Home. The Kansas Courts have refused to get involved, stating that "the court cannot order Hoisington Youth Home to accomodate these requests. The court suggests that Rachel Sura request only one or two books at a time and only those dealing with her religion and suggests that she request private time to meditate." Jean Sura, mother, and Paula Hofaker, attorney at law, have appealed the decision of the Kansas court system. The Kansas chapter of the Pagan Unity Campaign and Pagans United, in a joint motion, would like to remind the Kansas Courts that Wicca is a federally recognized and protected religion and that it is the courts place to get involved when the child's religious freedoms are being impeded upon by the group home in question. We would also like to remind Kansas Child Protective Services that it is their duty to protect the rights of children to the fullest extent of the law. By allowing Francis Townsdin and Hoisington Youth Home to force Rachel Sura to attend church service, and to deny her access to religious materials, they have neglected their duty to the child, and to the state of Kansas.

Furthermore, we would like to offer our full support to Jean and Rachel Sura as they appeal the decision of the Courts. Both Kansas PUC and Pagans United will exhaust all possible resources available to us in our fight for Rachel Sura.

"The right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any person be compelled to attend or support any form of worship; nor shall any control of or interference with the rights of conscience be permitted, nor any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship. No religious test or property qualification shall be required for any office of public
trust, nor for any vote at any elections, nor shall any person be incompetent to testify on account of religious belief."
Kansas Bill of Rights,
Article 7


"To be a bona fide religious belief entitled to protection under either the First Amendment or Title VII, a belief must be sincerely held, and within the believer's own scheme of things religious."
USCA Const. Amend 1: Civil Rights Act 1964 701 et
seq., 717 as amended 42 USCA 2000-16


"Wicca is a Federally recognized religion. Even the military recognizes this and provides space on military installations and ships for Wiccans to practice their religion. The people involved in this case are clearly in the wrong and need to review the law and the U.S. Constitution before they make any further decisions in this case."
Laura Wandrie, Pagans United President, June 2004


"There were no stipulation placed in the Constitution about "once you are old enough" or "as long as you believe such", the right to freedom of religion should apply to all
ages and all faiths. Rachel Sura has been let down by the very state, agencies, and court system which are supposed to be in place to protect her. Those involved should rethink their positions and place themselves back in accordance with the laws they are supposed
to uphold."
Angie Mae, Kansas Pagan Unity Campaign State Chair, June 2004


The Kansas chapter of the Pagan Unity Campaign and Pagans United would like to encourage Pagan citizens to get involved by writing to both the courts and CPS to remind them of their responsibility to protect the rights of Rachel Sura by putting a stop to Hoisington Youth Home violation's of her basic rights. We ask you to support and defend the rights of Jean and Rachel Sura's claim with any and all legal means available to you. You can contact
CPS at: Children and Family Services
915 S.W. Harrison, Room 551-S
Topeka, KS 66612-1570
Information: (785) 296-4653
Fax: (785) 368-8159


posted by Kimber at 9:01 PM :: ~#~
(13) comments

13 Comments:

Oh no they did not!!!!I am writing a letter. This is a step back into the Stone Ages. I thought they all had grown up by now!!!

By shadowdancer, at 7:27 PM  

This is an outrage and is prejudice against this poor girl. She is 15 years old which is old enough to know what her beliefs are. She should not be held back from their and be forced to practice someone else's beliefs. This has got to stop.

Crystal Cougar

By Anonymous, at 8:50 AM  

This was posted on a website. The part about Wiccans really ticked me off.

If Your Child is a Gothic, Reform Through the Lord!
Listed below are some warning signs to indicate if your
child may have gone astray from the Lord.

Gothic (or goth) is a very obscure and often dangerous
culture that young teenagers are prone to participating in. The gothic culture leads young, susceptible minds into an imagined world of evil,darkness, and violence. Please seek immediate attention through counselling, prayer,
and parental guidance to rid your child of Satan's temptations if five or more of the following are applicable to your child:



-Frequently wears black clothing.
-Wears band and/or rock t-shirts.
-Wears excessive black eye makeup, lipstick or nailpolish.
-Wears any odd, silver jewelry or symbols. Some of these include:
reversed crosses, pentagrams, pentacles, ankhs or various
other Satanic worshipping symbols.
-Shows an interest in piercings or tattoos.
-Listens to gothic or any other anti-social genres of
music. (Marilyn Manson claims to be the anti-Christ, and publicly speaks
against the Lord. Please discard any such albums IMMEDIATELY.)
-Associates with other people that dress, act or speak
eccentrically.
-Shows a declining interest in wholesome activities, such
as: the Bible, prayer, church or sports.
-Shows an increasing interest in death, vampires, magic,
the occult, witchcraft or anything else that involves Satan.
-Takes drugs.
-Drinks alcohol.
-Is suicidal and/or depressed.
-Cuts, burns or partakes in any other method of self-mutilation. (This is a Satanic ritual that uses pain to detract from the light of God and
His love. Please seek immediate attention for this at your local mental health center.)
-Complains of boredom.
-Sleeps too excessively or too little.
-Is excessively awake during the night.
-Dislikes sunlight or any other form of light. (This pertains to
vampires promoting the idea that His light is of no use.)
-Demands an unusual amount of privacy.
-Spends large amounts of time alone.
-Requests time alone and quietness. (This is so that your child may speak to evil sprits.)
-Insists on spending time with friends while unaccompanied by an adult.
-Disregards authority figures; teachers, priests, nuns and
elders are but a few examples of this.
-Misbehaves at school.
-Misbehaves at home.
-Eats excessively or too little.
-Eats goth-related foods. Count Chocula cereal is an example of this. (COUNT CHOCULA CEREAL MEANS YOU COMMUNICATE WITH THE DEVIL)
-Drinks blood or expresses an interest in drinking blood.
(Vampires believe this is how to attain Satan. This act is very dangerous and should be stopped immediately.)
-Watches cable television or any other corrupted media
sources. (Ask your local church for proper programs that your child may watch.)
-Plays videos games that contains violence or role-playing nature.
-Uses the internet excessively and frequently makes time for the computer.
-Makes Satanic symbols and/or violently shakes head to music.
-Dances to music in a provocative manner.
-Is homosexual and/or bisexual.
-Pursues dangerous cult religions. Such include: Satanism, Scientology, Philosophy, Paganism, Wicca, Hinduism and Buddhism.
-Wears pins, stickers or anything else that contains these various phrases: "I'm so gothic, I'm dead", "woe is me", "I'm a goth".
-Claims to be a goth.

If five or more of these apply to your child, please intervene immediately. The gothic culture is dangerous and Satan thrives within it. If any of these problems persist, enlist your child into your local mental health center.

By Anonymous, at 5:46 PM  

This was posted on a website. The part about Wiccans really ticked me off.

If Your Child is a Gothic, Reform Through the Lord!
Listed below are some warning signs to indicate if your
child may have gone astray from the Lord.

Gothic (or goth) is a very obscure and often dangerous
culture that young teenagers are prone to participating in. The gothic culture leads young, susceptible minds into an imagined world of evil,darkness, and violence. Please seek immediate attention through counselling, prayer,
and parental guidance to rid your child of Satan's temptations if five or more of the following are applicable to your child:



-Frequently wears black clothing.
-Wears band and/or rock t-shirts.
-Wears excessive black eye makeup, lipstick or nailpolish.
-Wears any odd, silver jewelry or symbols. Some of these include:
reversed crosses, pentagrams, pentacles, ankhs or various
other Satanic worshipping symbols.
-Shows an interest in piercings or tattoos.
-Listens to gothic or any other anti-social genres of
music. (Marilyn Manson claims to be the anti-Christ, and publicly speaks
against the Lord. Please discard any such albums IMMEDIATELY.)
-Associates with other people that dress, act or speak
eccentrically.
-Shows a declining interest in wholesome activities, such
as: the Bible, prayer, church or sports.
-Shows an increasing interest in death, vampires, magic,
the occult, witchcraft or anything else that involves Satan.
-Takes drugs.
-Drinks alcohol.
-Is suicidal and/or depressed.
-Cuts, burns or partakes in any other method of self-mutilation. (This is a Satanic ritual that uses pain to detract from the light of God and
His love. Please seek immediate attention for this at your local mental health center.)
-Complains of boredom.
-Sleeps too excessively or too little.
-Is excessively awake during the night.
-Dislikes sunlight or any other form of light. (This pertains to
vampires promoting the idea that His light is of no use.)
-Demands an unusual amount of privacy.
-Spends large amounts of time alone.
-Requests time alone and quietness. (This is so that your child may speak to evil sprits.)
-Insists on spending time with friends while unaccompanied by an adult.
-Disregards authority figures; teachers, priests, nuns and
elders are but a few examples of this.
-Misbehaves at school.
-Misbehaves at home.
-Eats excessively or too little.
-Eats goth-related foods. Count Chocula cereal is an example of this. (COUNT CHOCULA CEREAL MEANS YOU COMMUNICATE WITH THE DEVIL)
-Drinks blood or expresses an interest in drinking blood.
(Vampires believe this is how to attain Satan. This act is very dangerous and should be stopped immediately.)
-Watches cable television or any other corrupted media
sources. (Ask your local church for proper programs that your child may watch.)
-Plays videos games that contains violence or role-playing nature.
-Uses the internet excessively and frequently makes time for the computer.
-Makes Satanic symbols and/or violently shakes head to music.
-Dances to music in a provocative manner.
-Is homosexual and/or bisexual.
-Pursues dangerous cult religions. Such include: Satanism, Scientology, Philosophy, Paganism, Wicca, Hinduism and Buddhism.
-Wears pins, stickers or anything else that contains these various phrases: "I'm so gothic, I'm dead", "woe is me", "I'm a goth".
-Claims to be a goth.

If five or more of these apply to your child, please intervene immediately. The gothic culture is dangerous and Satan thrives within it. If any of these problems persist, enlist your child into your local mental health center.

By Anonymous, at 5:56 PM  

OH MY GODDESS. Yes, that's godDESS. I'm wiccan, and I think what you're saying is effin' crap. Count Chocula?! Are you kidding me? It's a cereal! It's just a clever marketing scheme you nut! The devil does not speak to children through chocolate! Nor do I believe the devil exists at all, but if he did, don't you think he'd find them somewhere they're sure to be, like school? And the whole "alone time" thing, might be because they've got nutty parents! They're teenagers for goodness sake, there are hormones coursing through their bodies! As for the pentacles, pentagrams, paganism, wicca, Buddhism, ect... I think you're disgusting. Disrespectful. Doesn't your bible teach you love? Forgivness? Acceptance? Maybe you just missed that day in church huh? Paganism and all it's branches is about NATURE WORSHIP. We worship the earth and her beauty. We pray to many gods who have specialties, instead of just one. Call them experts if you want. We DO NOT call on Satan, nor do most pagans even believe he exists. The way I see it and learned, was that the god and goddess were two beings on an empty earth. They wanted to create something beautiful, so the god blew his breath and created trees, grass, flowers and the earth. The goddess started dancing and water flowed like the beat she danced to, and the sky above was created. Then they both made animals, and people. The people were the keepers of the earth, the guardians. Then, so they could watch over, the God became the sun and the Goddess became the moon. Basically, they take shifts. They are loving, not evil. And as for the black clothing and such, I wear it too. Do you think Sears must be a bunch of satanists just 'cause they produce black clothing? What if God's beard is black, eh? What about people with natural black hair. Man was created in the image of god, right? So why would he give them "evil" hair? hmm...seems to me like God is contradicting himself...or maybe it's just you making assumptions. And being kinda nuts. Complains of boredom? Now what kind of statement is that? SOMETIMES PEOPLES MINDS REFUSE TO BE STIMULATED! IT HAPPENS! Oh, piercings and tattoos...hm, have you not ever seem a person with Jesus' face tattooed on their arm? A cross? God's name? 'Cause I have. Obviously the devil didn't possess them to do this, why would he want God's name on them? hm. Doesn't make sense does it. And piercings? Well gee, lots of Christians seem to have their ears pierced...is that okay? God must have his ears pierced too, right? otherwise man shouldn't be allowed to. 'Cause man is created in his image and all. Marilyn Manson? I think he's a genius! Did you know that he's qualified to be a lawyer and a doctor? Not a stupid man that one, he just happens to have a different idea of art. And religion. People are allowed to have that right? Different ideas? Unless you're a communist, but I guess not 'cause that would automatically make you an atheist. Hm. Geez...not many of these "goth indications" seem to be making much sense huh? Well I could ramble on for some time more, but you're probably so set in your [closed] christian mind that there's no point. By the way, in case you've been wondering what kind of person is talking to you, my name is Paulina (WATCH OUT, that's an unusual name, I might be the devil), I go to a private catholic girls school ("what?" you say. "but she's not catholic?!" uh oh.), I like to sing, dance, canoe, and I'm WICCAN. I like to modify my body. I like to wear fun (even eccentric!) clothing, and black clothes too. I'm 15 years old. DO I SOUND EVIL TO YOU?

By Anonymous, at 7:43 PM  

Ok, sweetheart, chill out. That goofy thing has made the rounds of all the pagan mailing lists. It's a joke mail the best we can figure out. It's not something that any of us take seriously. We just tend to ignore it.

By Kimber, at 8:56 PM  

Ok, ya, that one joke mail thing, i qualify as a goth, because their are like 36 points in their, and i constantly do 28 of them. I would say, probably about 99% of the population is gothic if that were true.

But yes, thos problem with the court system is horrible. I think that people should understand that wicca is a religion, just like any other one. How would people start feeling if we started to bash Christians or Jews (not say I would or anything) but they have to understand that people do worship differant things and they should learn to accept it!

By Lamaya, worshiper of Wind, at 1:17 AM  

I find it pathetic how people can't accept people for what they truly believe. I myself get harassed in schools because I practice wicca.

I ever tried to get people to understand it better. I did a project on it in my Christian Ethics class (yes, I am a senior in a christian high school) and the people in my CE class understood it and began to accept it. Though that was only about 30 people out of the entire 800 students in my school.

I just wish that people would stop making assumptions that I worship the devil and that I beleive that everyone who doesn't beleive in what I beleive will go to hell. Ya, hello, I don't beleive in Hevan or Hell. I beleive in a summerland where we wait to be judged and reincarnated.

Though sadly, there will always be discrimination in the world, and there is very little that we can do.

By Wind worshiper, at 3:33 PM  

Well, I'm just kind of in shock right now. I mean, this IS America, right? In the 21st century? Or is it the Dark Ages again when a person is defined by his/her outlook of the world? Wow, just, wow. There are a couple girls in my coven that are behind the girl who's being forced to go to church. This is worse than the Fort Hood incident, surprisingly. lastly, I am proud to be a Wiccan where we do NOT judge a person by his/her religion.

By Anonymous, at 6:28 PM  

Oh good greif does everyone have any sence of dignity left within them hnnnn well i can't say
i havn't been where the girl got forced to do to church one day... I have it's not right not a total part of da religion I follow. necromancy and all we have our discromination just like the Wiccan
do and it is very unfair it's a culture and it is respected as some like the Government here in canada accepts HELL the arm accepts it !!!!

why not just let it become accemtable that all religions r equal some of these people have a lot of nerve

By zerobeat necromancer in training, at 1:01 PM  

Ok, I completly understand where everyone is coming from.

I have this site up where I have actually admited to being Wiccan, and of course i stuck in a guestbook. But ever since that happened, I keep getting hate messages. People keep not only me, but some of my friends as well. On my site, i put a picture of a few of my frineds during Samhain where we had all coincidently *spelling?* dressed up in witch costumes. We took a picture of everyone in the feild behind our school and i put it up. I really just think it is disgusting how people can't accept people for what they beleive in and for what they look like.

But anyway, that artical is very horrible. I mean, i thought we were making progress in this new age of ours! Argh!! I really hope people start to wise up on how to treat people who beleive in somthing differant. Goddess, i really can't beleive how badly things have gotten... next thing you know, they are going to start up again with the Salem Witch burnings again... goddess, i don't want our religion to go through that again...

By Treasurer for the Coven Predico, at 4:45 PM  

I am one of the many people who practice satanism, but unlike you other people, i am accepted at my school because i scare the living shit outta people. but i have also started a movement against discrimination in my school and it worked. they now accept it as a true religion like cristianity. you just have to give them the facts about your religion and theyll most likely leave you alone or respect you for your decisions.

By Anonymous, at 11:14 AM  

!st of all they stopped freedom of speach in 1972 ans 2nd of all if you were a true Wiccan you would not bitch about other people or their religion. I do not believe in unified religion where there is a preacher throwin shit down your throat I believe in suceing yourself in the religion you were meant to follow. I am 42< lost a man of 19 yrs to an ugly fuck and he cant explain why/ I studied Solitary Wiccan for 10 yrs but only now feel that my life is at a point that I can truely except and expand my knowledge in this field.Harm none and blessed be
Dana

By Dana, at 3:32 AM  

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