Two tiers of religious freedoms – the elite and the underclass

Is The First Amendment for Monotheists Only?

A case coming before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could end up having major legal ramifications for all religious minorities in the United States. Wiccan chaplain Patrick McCollum has been fighting for years to overturn the State of California’s “five faiths policy”, which limits the hiring of paid chaplains to Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Native American adherents. While McCollum has suffered setbacks in his quest, with a California federal district court ruling in early 2009 that he had no standing to bring his suit, he recently gained support on appeal from several civil and religious rights groups who argue that his case should be heard.


My comment other than what the bloody hell?!?! Note how the Eastern religions "don’t count", either. ETA – I am referring to Hinduism and Buddhism and the like when I write "Eastern".

USA – the land that gave individual freedoms 200-odd years ago and now tries daily to day them away.

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10 comments on “Two tiers of religious freedoms – the elite and the underclass

  1. WTF?!?!?!?!

    That’s just insane.

  2. Yea, that one was very disturbing. We’ll see if the 9th Circuit overturns it or not.

  3. I just don’t understand how *anyone* could mount a ‘some are more equal than others’ argument. Don’t they know *anything* about past civil rights controversies??

  4. They do know. But they believe they are right so it doesn’t matter to them. Throw a bunch of shit at the legal wall and see what sticks. Assholes.

  5. I … do not have energy for this.

    On the one hand, I want to write Posts Of Righteous Blogging Rage. On the other, I want to shrug and say “meh; it’ll all get worked out when it gets to the Supremes.”

    Because really. Snort. The idea of saying “we limit this gov’t-paid job to these 5 religions,” aside from the flat denial of 1st amendment rights, has an insanity that they’re not thinking of.

    What happens if Pat McCollum says, “Okay… I’m a Christian Wiccan?” And if the church that ordained him says “we’re now a Christian Wiccan church–we believe that the Christ Light fills all living beings, and that makes us Christian.”

    Who gets to define what a “real” Christian is? If they define away ChristoPagans, do they also exclude Jehovah’s Witnesses (no trinity) and Mormons (no belief that the OT/NT Bible is the complete Word o’God)? What other groups that call themselves Christian get pushed out?

    THAT is the core issue that keeps judges ruling that religious discrimination isn’t allowed–the awareness that, once you say “X law relates to religions A, B & C, but not religions H and J,” someone has to define those religions.

    Note how the Eastern religions “don’t count”, either.

    Note: Christianity, Judaism and Islam are eastern religions. Middle-east, specifically. Most modern self-claimed Paganisms are western religions. (ADR/ATR’s aren’t, but most of them don’t call themselves “Pagan.”)

  6. Secondary bits, ‘cos I had to go find details. Patrick notes that he met several requirements for legal standing, and the shut-down was a blatant attempt to deny religious rights.

    I expect we can put this one in the same basket with the pentacle headstones… as soon as it gets to a high enough court that someone can’t get away with saying “OMG of course we can’t give Wiccans equal religious rights!” in public, it’ll get fixed.

  7. I was referring to Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. when I used the term “eastern”, not referring to “middle-eastern” religions. So those and a handful of others along with Pagan did not make the cut for “first tier”.

    I hope it does worked out at the Supreme Court level – I expect it to. But I also see the masses who feed only on soundbites as seeing this as a valid way to again discriminate. As if they needed more ammunition.

    I doubt he will turn around and call himself a Xian Wiccan, but I would be very amused if someone else did. *laughs*

  8. I certainly hope so, but I’m tossing some of magical energy the direction of this circumstance anyway to hasten the fix.

  9. This absolutely makes my brain explode. In today’s America, I find it unconscionable.

    I shall step off my soap box before I even begin and save the ranting for when we meet for dinner and good wine.

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