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Debate: Recognizing Wicca as a religion

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*'''Many US court rulings have confirmed Wicca as a religion.''' Military Courts of Justice in the U.S. have also found Wicca to be a valid religion. The U.S. Army's Religious Handbook for Chaplains descibes Wicca as a Army accepted religion. Wiccan groups are allowed tax exempt status as religous groups in the U.S. and Canada. Wiccan clergy have been given the privilege of performing marriages as well as access to penitentiaries in both countries. *'''Many US court rulings have confirmed Wicca as a religion.''' Military Courts of Justice in the U.S. have also found Wicca to be a valid religion. The U.S. Army's Religious Handbook for Chaplains descibes Wicca as a Army accepted religion. Wiccan groups are allowed tax exempt status as religous groups in the U.S. and Canada. Wiccan clergy have been given the privilege of performing marriages as well as access to penitentiaries in both countries.
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*'''Wiccans believe in magic just like Christian believe in prayer.''' This valid comparison makes any argument against the belief of magic invalid. How could it be any less valid that a belief in prayer? *'''Wiccans believe in magic just like Christian believe in prayer.''' This valid comparison makes any argument against the belief of magic invalid. How could it be any less valid that a belief in prayer?
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====No==== ====No====
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*'''Wiccan clergy can not preform legally binding marriages.''' Wiccan clergy cannot perform legally binding marriages. This is, on some level, a defining characteristic of a religion. *'''Wiccan clergy can not preform legally binding marriages.''' Wiccan clergy cannot perform legally binding marriages. This is, on some level, a defining characteristic of a religion.
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====No==== ====No====
--Mind altering substances are BANNED in most if not all covens. In some, this includes caffeine in soda pop before a ritual! +*'''Mind altering substances are banned in most (if not all) covens.'''' In some, this includes caffeine in soda pop before a ritual!
--In a sacred Wiccan text called "Charge of the Goddess" the goddess states "nor to I demand aught in sacrifice" Our gods don't want sacrifice and Wiccans wouldn't want to either way(see Wiccan Rede). +*'''No sacrifices.''' In a sacred Wiccan text called "Charge of the Goddess" the goddess states "nor to I demand aught in sacrifice" Our gods don't want sacrifice and Wiccans wouldn't want to either way(see Wiccan Rede).
--Wiccans have a high respect for Nature.+*'''Wiccans have a high respect for Nature.'''
-Wiccans have strong beliefs against sex based discrimination one way or another (including gender, orientation, ect...) -Wiccans have strong beliefs against sex based discrimination one way or another (including gender, orientation, ect...)
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-Attractive Wiccan religous supplies can cause Wiccans to spend money on non-esential things for living or have envy for thoughs items. -Attractive Wiccan religous supplies can cause Wiccans to spend money on non-esential things for living or have envy for thoughs items.
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-Wicca requires a lot of self-motivated education to get past a basic knowledge of the religion. Information past that can be hard to find. -Wicca requires a lot of self-motivated education to get past a basic knowledge of the religion. Information past that can be hard to find.
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====Yes==== ====Yes====
''Click on the pencil icon and research and write arguments here'' ''Click on the pencil icon and research and write arguments here''
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====No==== ====No====
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==External links and resources:== ==External links and resources:==
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*[http://www.convinceme.net/colDebate.php?dib=2886 ConvinceMe. "Wicca in America"] *[http://www.convinceme.net/colDebate.php?dib=2886 ConvinceMe. "Wicca in America"]
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*http://www.religioustolerance.org/witchcra.htm *http://www.religioustolerance.org/witchcra.htm
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*http://wicca.timerift.net/wicca101/index.shtml *http://wicca.timerift.net/wicca101/index.shtml

Revision as of 11:23, 3 August 2010

Should Wicca be recognized as a religion?

Background and context

The word "religion" in North America is often associated with a centralized organization, local religious buildings, a minister preaching to a congregation, a single male deity, an extensive creed, etc. These factors are not really present within Wicca. This causes some people to conclude that Wicca/Witchcraft is not a religion. Being founded on beliefs and practices of a pre-Christian aboriginal religion, Wicca simply does not have a similar structure to more conventional religions. It bears many more points of similarity to Native American Spirituality and to Santeria than to Christianity, Islam or Judaism.

Is Wicca a religion?

Yes

  • Many US court rulings have confirmed Wicca as a religion. Military Courts of Justice in the U.S. have also found Wicca to be a valid religion. The U.S. Army's Religious Handbook for Chaplains descibes Wicca as a Army accepted religion. Wiccan groups are allowed tax exempt status as religous groups in the U.S. and Canada. Wiccan clergy have been given the privilege of performing marriages as well as access to penitentiaries in both countries.
  • Wiccan clergy can perform legal marriages. This is so long as they fill the same requirements as other clergy.
  • Wiccans believe magic is part of nature. They do not believe that it is against the laws of nature.
  • Wiccans believe in magic just like Christian believe in prayer. This valid comparison makes any argument against the belief of magic invalid. How could it be any less valid that a belief in prayer?

No

  • Wiccan clergy can not preform legally binding marriages. Wiccan clergy cannot perform legally binding marriages. This is, on some level, a defining characteristic of a religion.

Is Wicca a bad thing?

No

  • Mind altering substances are banned in most (if not all) covens.' In some, this includes caffeine in soda pop before a ritual!
  • No sacrifices. In a sacred Wiccan text called "Charge of the Goddess" the goddess states "nor to I demand aught in sacrifice" Our gods don't want sacrifice and Wiccans wouldn't want to either way(see Wiccan Rede).
  • Wiccans have a high respect for Nature.

-Wiccans have strong beliefs against sex based discrimination one way or another (including gender, orientation, ect...)

-Wiccans have strong beliefs against recruiting or discriminating against the beliefs of others.

-Wicca doesn't require initiation into any particular group.

-Wicca is not a dangerous and controlling cult. It has no single leader, has no restrictions to other people and requires no money.

-Wiccans don't believe in manipulation including that of magic especially when directed towards human will.

-Wiccans believe in the rede "An it harm none, do what ye will" meaning that people should be allowed to do what ever they want as long as they harm anyone or anything as least as possible (physically, mentally, emotionally).

-Their prime symbol is the exact opposite to the symbol used by Satanists. It is the upright pentagram -- a 5-pointed star with two points downward and one up. Sometimes it is enclosed by a circle to form a pentacle.

-Satan is a figure within Abrahamic religions and is not present within the religion of Wicca.

Yes

-Attractive Wiccan religous supplies can cause Wiccans to spend money on non-esential things for living or have envy for thoughs items.

-Discrimination against Wiccans can cause Wiccans to be sad, secretive and sometimes bitter.

-Wicca requires a lot of self-motivated education to get past a basic knowledge of the religion. Information past that can be hard to find.

Is the bible against Wicca?

No

-The religion of Wicca is sometimes called "witchcraft" but the terms "witch" and "witchcraft" have many interpretaions. Any referance to a term that may be translated into "witch" or "witchcraft" in the Old Testiment can't be refering to the religion of Wicca since Wicca can only be traced back to the 1920s a.d.

-Revelation 21:8 In Greek "sorcerers" is translated into those practicing evil magic, the key word being evil. The verse defines another group of victims as consisting of "unbelievers" (apparently those who follow a non-Christian religion or no religion at all) and this will involved more than two thirds of the human race.

-Galatians 5:19-20 The reference to adultery was not present in the earliest manuscripts. The origional manuscript was in Greek. The Greek word "pharmakia" from which the English words "pharmacy" "pharmaceuticals," and "pharmacology" are derived is interpreted in the above English translations it has been called witchcraft. "Pharmakia" literally refers to the practice of preparing poisonous potions to harm or kill others. The most likely meaning is poisoner.

- Deuteronomy 18:10-11 These verses would seem to prohibit a number of usually reasonable activities: knot magic (tying and untying knots while cursing someone), foretelling the future by studying nature and snake charming. The definition for the origional Hebrew word chover chavar is use of knot-tying to perform magic. Though these do list many things that are commonlly dne by many Wiccans so do with this one what you will.

-Exodus 22:18 In the original Hebrew manuscript, the author used the word m'khashepah to describe the person who should be killed. The word means a woman who uses spoken spells to harm others - e.g. causing their death or loss of property. Clearly "evil sorceress" or "woman who does evil magic" would be the most accurate phrases in today's English usage for this verse.


Yes

-Revelations 21:8 This verse describes various groups who will automatically be relegated to Hell. One of these groups of people is stated in King James Version of the bible to be "sorcerers".

-Galatians 5:19-20 (King James Version) Various translations of the Christian Scriptures render this verse as a list of "acts of the sinful nature", or "works of the flesh" and specify the following practices: "immoral, filthy and indecent actions; in worship of idols and witchcraft..."

- Deuteronomy 18:10-11 (King James Version) There shall not be found among you anyone ....that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

-Exodus 22:18 (King James Version) Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.


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Yes

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No

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Yes

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No

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See also

External links and resources:

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