Skip to comments.Camp for Nude Witches Fights Closing
Posted on 11/28/2001 5:56:58 AM PST by Cagey
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Reuters) - A Kansas retreat that caters to witches and pagan rituals is fighting for survival amid community talk that naked witches may be weaving magical spells in the moonlight.
The owners of the Gaea Retreat Center, a 168-acre camp west of Kansas City that is home to such annual events as the Gaea Goddess Gathering and a "Heartland Pagan Spiritual event" filed suit on Monday in Leavenworth County District Court after county commissioners effectively put the retreat out of business by denying it a renewal of its land use permit.
"They say they're afraid of us, what we do here, the sound of drums. ... They don't know how lucky they are to have us as their neighbors," caretaker Wanda Roths said. "We're very quiet, very peaceful. There has never been any trouble out here."
The Leavenworth County commissioners denied the renewal for the permit, issued six years ago, in late October after a community petition raised accusations that the retreat fostered public nudity, pedophilia, and illegal drug and alcohol use. Neighbors also expressed concern about devil worship.
The suit claims the commissioners' denial is illegal and unconstitutional, as well as violating laws protecting freedom of religious expression and practice.
Lawyers for the county declined to comment.
The retreat denies any illegal activity, and county officials say there is no evidence of any.
Roths said there are "clothing optional" locations on the retreat grounds, and witches, Wiccans and other pagans do sometimes hold nighttime meetings around bonfires. But the retreat at times also attracts more traditional religious followers, she said.
Gaea, which means "Mother Earth," offers sanctuary to a variety of alternative religions and lifestyles, according to Roths. "We accept anybody," she said.
Before its current incarnation, the sprawling site was a church camp.
Second, what you appear to be saying is that "we'll allow religious freedom of thought, so long as it's not too different from us". I don't see why you think the Jews should be given a free pass on this basis, when we don't believe in Christ as Messiah or Son of God.
If your religion calls for running around naked in the moonlight, fine by me. If it calls for handling snakes, go for it. If it calls for begging for money while wearing a 1200 Armani suit on tv, have a great time.
Well said, sir.
Go to your room.
You're going to try to convince me that nudity isn't commonly associated with sex? Tell me, do you have any children? If so, how?
Secondly, I was commenting on historical fact. Until recently, religious freedom was defined in terms of traditional religion. That included both Jews and Christians. It does not offend me that Israel was founded as a Jewish nation. It should not offend anyone that America was in fact established as a Christian nation. Read some history, for pity's sake.
This is a pretty big generalization that I can't agree with. For one thing it would be impossible to prove or disprove. I don't find the rule/precept in the bible which really makes me doubtful.
many people who attack the WOD and opposes some forms of censorship do not because they are all smut freaks, sex mad or drug addicts, but because they understand that what you ask a government to do to others eventually the government will do to you
Yes that is very true regarding peoples motivation for defending weed and smut. It is like the anti-gun people going after one type of gun after another, but only those with very small followings. But I won't be fooled into supporting, for example, a bunch of gays who decide to call themselves a religion, no matter how it seems that they are being treated unfairly. The fact remains that they are sodomites and I will not fight for their freedom to sodomize. I think people have a right to be witches also but so often I find that it is not as spiritual and deep as I would like to think. It is often just a mask for sexual perversion.
If a group wants to hold black masses and renounce everything that is in the bible, then they are free to do that and they should be. But I won't go out of my way to support them because fundamentally, they are wrong in their beliefs. I also would never want the to be forced to claim to believe something they are not. Then they wind up teaching your kids sunday school.
Wiccans are pagans, not Satanists. Stop obfuscating this issue by making stuff up about people you dont like.
Don't the people of the community have the right to do their own will too?
No. They dont.
even in a free country there are limitations as to what religious freedom buys you.
Those limits are too be determined by the courts, not by you or the good people of the Leavenworth Zoning committee.
You may not like people who practice different religions, but you do have to live in the same nation. When you use the coercive powers of the state to suppress them, you undermine our polity. When you undermine our polity you destabilize our government. An unstable government is not something I want about now. How about you?
Yes. If a gay bathhouse is in your town and sodomites flock to it, a community should be able to get rid of it. Are you saying that the people have no rights at all in a situation like this?
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