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.
Of course you cannot do anything in the name of religion, such as killing, raping or stealing. However, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT THESE WICCANS WERE DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL! I defy you to show me otherwise.
Wiccans are NOT Satanists. Two DIFFERENT religions. You may argue that they have the same source, Satan, but they are NOT the same religion. Satanism is more of a dogmatic humanism than a real religion. Once again I defy you to show me different.
You see, in this country, there is a Constitution that provides for religious freedom, and practice of that freedom. However, it seems that in your sad little world, this only applies to people who are Christian.
Yes and no---I think you're referring to zoning laws. Lots of communities have pretty strict zoning laws, others have fairly liberal zoning laws. Some communities call them by another name, but they're still pretty much zoning laws.
That said, local governing boards charged with enforcing the zoning laws have to follow due process, and that allows for petitioning and addressing grievances and so forth. And like all laws---even local ones---zoning laws cannot run afoul of the state constitution and the U.S. Constitution. I'd wager that most states, if not all of them, have incorporated the First Amendment religious protections into their constitutions.
It's all about protection of the minority from the tyranny of the majority.
Actually, I'm from Massachusetts, and that pretty much happenend in my old hometown. A derivative of it also happened in Belmont, home town of former GOP Senatorial candidate Mitt Romney, whose fellow townsmen were all up in arms when Mitt built a beautiful Mormon temple and wanted to put a big gold tower/steeple/whatever on it. In both instances the rights of the different church groups were upheld over the objections of the communities involved---the objections, of course, cloaked in zoning law issues.
How do you know that?
The most offensive thing anyone has seen at the camp according to the article, is glimpsing a nude hiker along a wooded path.
I missed that in the article. Can you point it out?
These are the types of allegations made against the Davidians by the FEDS and we all saw what happened there.
If the Feds come in with tanks I'm on the witches' side.
Honestly, do you think the town if they could have, would have found a much better reason to shut down the camp if one existed?
I don't know why a permit was needed in the first place but that one was much indicates the use was not by right. And being a public nuisance is a good reason for revoking a permit. This camp very well may have been one.
Wholesome activity, by definition, promotes health and well-being; unwholesome activity does the opposite -- it harms people. The Buddhist precepts identify five kinds of unwholesome activity to abstain from: killing any living creature, stealing, sexual misconduct, false speech, and intoxicants.
1) "There is only one G-d". Correct. That's why Jesus isn't divine. To say otherwise is to deny "HaShem Elokeynu, HaShem ekhad", which means "The Lord our G-d, the Lord is One".
2) Christians like you say "Jesus was king of the Jews". No-one else does, not the Jews, not contemporary records, no-one. Jews didn't have a king at that time other than HaKadosh barukh Hu, the Holy One, blessed be He, and hadn't done for many hundreds of years. Jesus was just one of the itinerant teachers with radical ideas who were running around Eretz Yisrael at the time.
3) "[Y]ou can follow man's law but in the end you will answer to God". Jews are bound to keep both sets of laws; we have a complex set of responsa to help us understand what to do where there are conflicts between the two. But we know what the law of G-d is: it is Torah min HaShamayim and Torah sheh'b'al'peh, which we have learnt and studied carefully for thousands of years. If you think we're going to rip it up and start eating pork because you say that Jesus says it's alright now, you've got another think coming. By the way, conflicts frequently arise when some murderous persecuting little sh*ts come along and try to prevent us being true to our faith. Astonishingly enough, the people that have done that the most in the last couple of thousand years have been ... Christians (at least in name). You know, Torquemada, York, etc etc. Where, while your co-religionists burnt us at the stake for refusing to convert and for "killing Jesus", they told us we were going to Hell. So if you can rein in your murderous instincts for just a little while, we can get on with both worshipping G-d as we are supposed to, and (mostly) living useful, productive and law-abiding lives in the countries in which we reside.
I want to make something clear: you are perfectly entitled to believe that you are right and I am wrong and that People Like You are saved while People Like Me will Burn In Hell for rejecting Jesus. But if you tell me any of that in public, I will publicly respond by telling you my beliefs. And you won't like them.
Let's finish with a question: why do you think the US government should be enforcing the laws of your religion? The name for a government that does this is "theocracy". It is not "free republic".
The short answer to your question, Eric, is that Jews believe that the name of G-d should not be written down in full, even in languages other than Hebrew, except in the context of praying. Where it is written in full, the paper on which it is written is treated with extraordinary respect, and damaged or old prayerbooks are never thrown away but actually interred. This all stems from a belief that words and language are extremely important, and none more so than G-d's name. Incidentally, many Jews will also not pronounce G-d's name, including in English, but will use one of a series of nom-de-plumes instead, including "HaShem" (the Name), "haKadosh barukh Hu" (the Holy One, blessed be He), "Ribono shel Olam" (Master of the Universe) and many others. Judaism uses a lot of abbreviations, and this is sometimes done for the English version of these names when they're written, eg HKBH for haKadosh barukh Hu.
For a more in-depth look at the issue, you could try here. A more in-depth look? Judaism *always* has more to say on a subject, no matter what it is. We don't call ourselves the People of the Book for nothing...
That's sort of the stumbling block isn't it? Jesus claimed to be God -- not a prophet -- so he's either telling the truth or a fraud.
If he's not God, how did he rise from the dead? Or command the wind and the waves? You will answer those are fictional accounts. I could ask so where is his body? You will say it was stolen by his disciples -- a statement of faith on your part.
There are tens of millions of people today -- including me -- who can testify to a personal, real experience with Jesus. You can say we are delusional. Or you can say maybe he is divine.
If you believe in an omnipotent God, there is nothing to keep you from believing He was incapable of taking human form out of His love for us to save us from the path to destruction upon which we willfully embarked.
Your statement was well-written, polite and not an iota offensive to anyone.
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