Church and State: October 2004 Archives

October 25, 2004

The Devil and the deep blue sea

United Kingdom: An Edinburgh-born sailor has been granted the same rights as any other religious sailor to practice his religion on board ship and Ann Widdicombe is upset because Ldg Hand Chris Cranmer is a Satanist. After years of trying to impose her religious beliefs on others when she was a government minister, she has now decided it's a private matter which should be kept in the home.

I am utterly shocked by this, Miss Widdecombe said.

Satanism is wrong. Obviously the private beliefs of individuals anywhere including the Armed Forces are their own affair but I hope it doesn't spread.

There should be no question whatsoever of allowing Satanist rituals on board any ship in Her Majesty's Royal Navy.

What they believe and do in their own home is one thing, what they do at work is the business of their employer.

The Navy should not permit Satanist practices on board its ships.

God himself gives free will, but I would like to think that if somebody applied to the Navy and said they were a Satanist today it would raise its eyebrows somewhat.

British law does not permit employers to discriminate against someone on grounds of religion.

Widdecombe horror at navy Satanist - The Guardian, 24th October 2004.

October 21, 2004

Hallowe'en 'offensive to witches'

United States: A Washington State school district has cancelled Hallowe'en celebrations in case the festival is offensive to Wiccans.

The district said Halloween celebrations and children dressed in Halloween costumes might be offensive to real witches.

Witches with pointy noses and things like that are not respective symbols of the Wiccan religion and so we want to be respectful of that, Hansen said.

The Wiccan, or Pagan, religion is said to be growing in the United States and there are Wiccan groups in Puyallup.

On the district's list of guidelines related to holidays and celebrations is an item that reads: Use of derogatory stereotypes is prohibited, such as the traditional image of a witch, which is offensive to members of the Wiccan religion.

School Says Halloween Disrespectful to Witchesabc News, 21st October 2004.

Christian claims cross not religious symbol

United States: A judge has rejected a lawsuit from a Christian who opposed the removal of a cross from the Los Angeles County seal. Ernesto Vasquez made contradictory complaints that the symbol wasn't actually religious, but that removing it would be discriminating against Christians.

According to the plaintiff, the cross only represents the historic 'influence of the church and the mission of California,' [U.S. District Judge S. James] Otero wrote. Yet plaintiff maintains L.A. County is conveying a message of hostility to religious groups by removing the symbol from the seal.

A representation of the goddess Pomona is also due to be removed, and replaced with a picture of a Native American woman, but Vasquez appears not to be concerned about that.

Judge Dismisses L.A. County Seal Lawsuit - The Guardian, 21st October 2004.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Church and State category from October 2004.

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