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.
It is not illegal to be gay, but I won't defend someone's right to do it. It is not illegal to celebrate a black mass and drink pig blood but I still won't stand by someone to defend his right to do it. Ditto for Dancing naked under the moon around a May Pole with your children and fellow pagans. I won't won't support any punishment for it but I won't defend it in anyway and if someone is inconvenienced, a very little, I will look the other way.
Nor should you, nor should the government be compelled to aid you in the practice of your religion in any way. But neither should the government deny you the ability to practice your religion.
Neither did anyone in the Bible, and usually they got the opposite. You read like someone who thinks life is fair and impartial and no one ever gets a raw deal. The bible calls our court system, "the courts of the unjust" so go ahead and defend it all you want. But not to me.
Aw, boo hoo. So now you're calling our court system unfair? Why in the world would you say that, and still argue the position you're arguing in this thread?
If that were a fact, it might be offensive. It is not, so there's nothing to be offended about.
Read some history, for pity's sake.
I'd strongly suggest you take your own advice.
I've heard of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. Can you tell me more about Charismatic Catholocism?
Serious inquiry here. Answer via FReepmail if you want to take it off thread.
It's funny how people try to bring up slavery when they are presented with uncomfortable facts about our founding. By your logic, we could then say that the constitution is irellevant because of slavery. Do you want to go down that road?
Don't look to me. I'm on your side on this one.
The article didn't say it was the religious right, though. I suspect it was, but I'm surprised that the press didn't trumpet it out the wazoo. Is it possible that the local churches had nothing to do with this?
I'm not asking if it's likely, just if it's possible.
You need a license? Dang. Will the government never stop encroaching on my personal business? OK, now where do I go to apply.
Oh, wait. I don't practice stupidity any more. I'm already good at it.
And you have the brass to bitch about the ACLU/NEA earlier in this thread. You ever wonder why no one answers the call when you cry out for help?
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