Debate Magazine

Prisons May Be Forced to Hire Witches

Posted on the 23 February 2013 by Hughvw
A federal appellate court has ruled that prison inmates who practice witchcraft can sue the state that incarcerates them for discrimination because it doesn’t hire a chaplain for them but does for more mainstream religions.  Two women prisoners who practice Wicca, a goddess-worshiping form of witchcraft, sued the state for refusing to hire a Wiccan chaplain. In their complaint the women claim that Wicca has more adherents in their northern California state prison than two of the five religions—including Islam and Judaism—that have state-paid chaplains.
Wiccan inmates have access to a volunteer chaplain, the prisoners claim, but the volunteer is only available every two or three months and the jailed Wiccans need frequent contact with ordained clergy. That’s because clergy is essential to perform “initiations, blessings and ceremonies” in a faith that relies on “an oral tradition of songs and stories.” Read more
[Thanks ECS]


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