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.
BTW, "occasional glimpses" of nudity might still constitute a public nuisance depending on circumstances. If you walk around butt naked in your backyard you will likely find yourself before a judge.
Now for something really radical: Hasidic thought teaches that G-d is not really omnipotent, at least not in the Western meaning of the word. It even teaches that there was a problem that occurred during the process of creation. That is, in some ways, the starting point for the concept of tikkun olam, repairing the world (you may have heard the term "klipot", shells, bandied about by dabbling Kabbalists). I say this by way of demonstrating that we are a very long way apart in terms of our basic assumptions about theology and how the world works.
Well, you could put it in the "whosoever has the ears to hear let them hear" category. Or you could read this:.
In Philippians 2:6, Paul tells us that Christ Jesus "[w]ho, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped."
Also significant are passages which apply the title "the First and the Last" to Jesus. This is one of the Old Testament titles of Yahweh: "Thus says Yahweh, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, Yahweh of armies: 'I am the First and I am the Last; besides me there is no god" (Is. 44:6; cf. 41:4, 48:12).
This title is directly applied to Jesus three times in the book of Revelation: "When I saw him [Christ], I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, 'Fear not, I am the First and the Last'" (Rev. 1:17). "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: 'The words of the First and the Last, who died and came to life'" (Rev. 2:8). "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (Rev. 22:12-13).
How could I have not seen that? How have the Catholic Church and all the biblical scholars throughout the years missed that? Thank you sir, for enlightening all of us!
It's basic Catholic theology. The above was cut and pasted from http://www.catholic.com/answers/tracts/_divinty.htm.
You do it articulately and you spell better than me.
My faith is a matter of my own making.
But God is not. Mad Magazine once described Jesus as a nice Jewish boy who went into his father's business. That's not a bad way of looking at it.
I say this by way of demonstrating that we are a very long way apart in terms of our basic assumptions about theology and how the world works.
Of course we are. But, and this is important, our values are almost exactly the same. If the Jews were to take over entirely and impose Judaic law and Jewish values on this country and I suspect I could still live her quite happily although I guess that would depend on how much of a prohibition there would be for me to witness. I suspect there wouldn't be.
Now if the Druids took over and I was subject to their law (Druidaic law?) I would not feel that way. Which may be why I might be seem a tad intolerant to the new age, postmodern types.
Regardless, law should be applied equally no matter what one's religion is.
Be careful of making definitive statements. All we got to go by is a newspaper report from which I infer they are in trouble because of their behavior. Of course, if you act like a pagan your behavior will get you in trouble almost by definition.
Their morals and practices, although not in line with mine, are not for you and I to judge as long as it does not break a law.
No, their souls or their intrinsic value as human beings are not for us to judge. Feel perfectly free to hold negative opinions about another based on what they say and do. Didn't you express a judgement about classygreeneyedblonde a little bit ago? Would that make you a hypocrite according to the position you just expressed?
They have not, so they should not be treated as if they have
The truth is -- assuming the article is accurate -- they aren't being treated as lawbreakers. This is something I kind of picked up on after reading that story for the second or third time.
The town is not kicking them out i.e. revoking the permit, changing zoning etc.
The town is declining to renew their permit. I don't know why the camp needed a permit in the first place -- but it is clear they did and clear that it wasn't permanent. There is a world of difference between not renewing a permit and a criminal prosecution.
That depends on their religous beliefs. Think about that.
Now, to return to the issue of the camp: Suppose that were a "Christian" camp and neighbors had made consistant and varied complaints to authorities of persons walking naked and loud noises late at night. If the local goverment decided against renewing their permit to operate upon its expiration, would you object?
On that, if not religion, we can agree. Thank you for a courteous and interesting interchange, and happy holidays!
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