Religion & Beliefs

Wicca and Other Fake Religions

There’s a really amazing story at the Washington Post today, about an army chaplain who was, until last year, a Pentecostal Christian Minister at Camp Anaconda. But then, in his own words…  I realized so many innocent people are dying … Read More

By / February 19, 2007

There’s a really amazing story at the Washington Post today, about an army chaplain who was, until last year, a Pentecostal Christian Minister at Camp Anaconda. But then, in his own words… 

I realized so many innocent people are dying again in the name of God…When you think back over the Catholic-Protestant conflict, how the Jews have suffered, how some Christians justified slavery, the Crusades, and now the fighting between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, I just decided I’m done. . . . I will not be part of any church that unleashes its clergy to preach that particular individuals or faith groups are damned.

So what’d he do? He became a Wiccan! Obvious next step…

Guess what happened after that:

On July 6, he applied to become the first Wiccan chaplain in the U.S. armed forces, setting off an extraordinary chain of events. By year’s end, his superiors not only denied his request but also withdrew him from Iraq and removed him from the chaplain corps, despite an unblemished service record.

If you read the story, you may find yourself thinking this guy is a nut. Wearing RenFest garb and speaking in tongues, converting first from Catholicism to Pentecostal, and then to Wicca… but it’s a really interesting story.

Because it makes me think about my own predjudice. I admit I tend to giggle at the mention of new-agey faiths. In theory, I’m all for them, but deep in my gut, I think I may have some respect issues with them. And I think that in part, that connects to my Judaism.

In my head, Judaism is a “real” faith. It’s old and stuff. Like Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, Hinduism and Buddhism. You know, “real” religions. And the newer religions (however deep its roots, Wicca was only organized recently) just don’t feel as serious to me.

I can’t help wondering if anyone else has this same nasty streak. Is it just me? Is there any legitimacy to it? Please understand… I’m NOT saying that my own impulse is okay. I’m only confessing it here, considering it… and wondering what you think of the story…