07 September 2005

Intolerant Ramah Colorado

The people of the front range hamlet of Ramah are very worked up over the fact that a Wiccan coven is trying to organize a fundraiser for a children's hospital on Halloween at the local American Legion Hall.

A Baptist minister tried to rally the town board to stop the gathering, and one woman is circulating a petition demanding that the festival be stopped. . . . Annette Manchego . . . said, “I do not want it in our town or anywhere around our town.” . . . . The Rev. Tim Tucker of Ramah Baptist Fellowship asked the town board to meet about the matter, and Town Clerk Cindy Tompkins scheduled a workshop Aug. 25 at Town Hall. . . . Doucette-Johnson [the organizer] said some residents thought the pagans would slaughter animals and one man said he didn’t want the pagans pushing their religion down his throat. He then asked whether she would be open to a Ku Klux Klan meeting in her front yard, she said.

“That to me was like a threat,” Doucette-Johnson said.

The same man also said he could organize a cattle drive through the area to ruin the festival, Allen said. . . . Now Manchego is circulating a petition asking the American Legion Hall not to allow the rental. She said she’s collected more than 100 signatures from residents in the area and plans to present the petition to the American Legion. If that fails, Manchego said, she’ll hold a protest Oct. 29. She said pagans have the right to practice and gather privately, but shouldn’t do so in public.

“We have vulnerable young people that don’t need this put upon them,” she said. “The festival is a pulling to get people in. Then they can work with the devil himself, which they worship. It is powerful, believe me. They can brainwash you, and before you know it, you’re staying for the midnight ritual.”

Disgusting. I'm ashamed that my state is home to such intolerance. There is a religion whose scriptures call for religious gatherings to be held in private. Perhaps Rev. Tucker is familiar with the passage:

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men....when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret....

Matthew 6:5-6.


Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

This blog does a nice job of discussing the case.

Anonymous said...

I live in a small community where such attitudes are also common and it's very sad. You do a great job of writing.