One of our greatest hopes is to help local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies of the United States understand Earth based religions otherwise known as pagan religions. Pagan religions come in all different forms including Wicca, Druidism, Satanism, and so many more. We want to demonstrate to the media, Christian churches, and law enforcement agencies that “satanic rituals” and psychotic episodes have nothing to do with these life-affirming religions.
In changing attitudes towards these religions we also hope it will stop religious right extremists from using them to scare the public to serve their purposes.
Despite the fact that several of these religions are federally recognized and have organizations that spread information about them there is no resource geared towards law enforcement. Organizations like the Witchcraft Anti-Defamation Leagues or Earth Religion Legal Assistance are far too focused on educating the public.
Currently the only group educating law enforcement about is the Religious Freedom Coalition of the Southeast (RFCSE). They have put together a small overview of pagan religions like Wicca that includes common misunderstandings for law enforcement agencies. Its certainly a step in the right direction but there is still much to be done before we can erase prejudice towards these Earth religions.
The best way to wipe out that prejudice is by increasing education of law enforcement at every level across the nation. Teaching them what is and isn’t common among pagan religions would be a big step towards wiping out prejudice in the rest of society. The only question is what is the best way to make this dream a reality.
Similar to any dream or project like this, the first step towards making it a reality is gathering resources. To the uninitiated Wicca and other Earth religions can be terribly confusing with odd terms and rituals. No law enforcement agency has the time to compile all of the information they need on these religions into one coherent resource. If Witches and Druids want law enforcement agencies to understand them they will have to do this themselves.
That means several of the large Earth religion defense groups will have to come together to create one concise resource for agencies. One that contains only the most vital information law enforcement needs such as common rituals, core beliefs, and common misconceptions. A resource like this would go a long ways towards teach officials what to be on the look out for.
That way the next time they were called in a “satanic ritual” they would know the difference between a true pagan rite and a high school prank. Thankfully there is already an overwhelming number of books and treatises available to help this move right along. Using information written by the foremost experts on Wicca and other pagan religions would make creating a guide far easier than starting from scratch.
Of course that knowledge will be useless if law enforcement agencies are not willing to use it. Sadly, because of how Earth religions like Wicca are currently viewed in the US that will be the most difficult step.
The greatest strength that Earth religion defense groups have to conquer this issue is that Druidism and Wicca are nationally recognized religions. Information they can use to press law enforcement agencies into listening to them. Hopefully without having to make it a court issue to force law enforcement agencies to listen. Either way it’s vital to start a dialogue between pagan groups and defenders of the peace.
Within this dialogue we can show the Police officers of many regions that Pagans, Wiccans, Druids, and those who fall under these categories are in fact not a dangerous people. We can bring real attention to what it is a very large issue within the community. Wiccans, Pagans, Druids, and Hippies alike are almost all nature lovers, tree huggers, dirt worshipers, and all around non violent peoples. There are always those within any sect of any religion or creed that are uneducated or just do not care about the lives of others. Those who are within the occult sects are not exempt from from this sad truth of life.