This blog post is going to be me pointing out the differences and similarities between Christianity and Wicca. The fact that Wicca is a religion may be a surprise to many of you. A lot of people have misconceptions about Wiccans and Wicca in general.

Disclaimer: I am neither Wiccan nor Christian.

Differences:

The people:
Christians are about as varied as they come. I know Christians that are the kindest, most gentle people you'll ever meet, never angry, always happy.
Then, you have people like Fred Phelps, who is a hate-monger.
You have them in every political affiliation... every idea... there's probably few things that aren't touched by a Christian at some point.

I have read articles written by Wiccans and I've read about what they stand for, and what they do. I've read very few news articles about them, and that usually is from a Wiccan being discriminated against. The impression that I get of them is that they're just ordinary people, but, above all, they're kind and compassionate, about nature, and about people. Morality and nature are fundamental aspects of their beliefs, and they are very important to them.

Discrimination:

Christianity discriminates (in general) against those not of a 'straight' orientation, Wicca does not. Wicca is one of the more accepting religions, allowing any gender and any sexual orientation, with equality for all practitioners.

Most of the hate-mongering against Wicca has been from Christians, mainly due to stuff like:
"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

The Wiccans typically view Christians in a mixed light - while they just want to be left alone(as far as religion goes), some Christians try to convert them. They have good intentions when they try to convert them, and many Wiccans realize this, but, they go about it the wrong way. Usually, they're armed with horrible misconceptions (see: ), and try to scare them with hell.

Wiccans have no concept of sin or original sin - if you do something wrong, you need to atone for it personally, not ask a deity for forgiveness.

The attempts at guilt-tripping and fear conversion typically fail from the Wiccan point of view - there is no sin to be saved from, and you're responsible for what you do, not some eternal struggle between two forces.

Afterlife:
Christians believe in heaven, and most believe in hell (exception: Catholics believe in purgatory).

Wiccans tend to believe in reincarnation. They do not believe in any ultimate embodiment of evil, and do not believe in heaven or hell. They believe the concept of Satan to be a cop-out for human actions.

Deities:

The Christians believe, typically, in the trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The most prayed to is the Son.

Wicca is a polytheistic religion - they believe in multiple gods, some of them devoting themselves to a single deity. There are many paths that can be followed. Sometimes, the deity worshiped changes depending on season and circumstance.

Similarities:

Rituals:
Christians and Wiccans both pray.

Some Christians pray with a sort of ritual - a candle or such. Christians call this prayer, Wiccans call it magick.

Magick for Wiccans is essentially a ritual prayer - that is, a ritual with the purpose to pray.

Ideas:
"Love thy neighbor."
"Do no harm."
"Thou shalt not kill."

Which of these is the Wiccan idea? The second. Wicca has several rules in place - the three-fold law* and the Wiccan rede mentions the "Do no harm" bit.

The fundamental cores to the Wiccan religion are the and Three-Fold law*.

Both religions, at least, nowadays(for Christians), have a humanist approach to life.

*:The idea is that, if you do good, you will be repaid three-fold, if you do bad, you will be repaid three-fold. Not all Wiccans believe in this, but, most do.

Misconceptions:
Some people have some horrible misconceptions about Wicca:

"The military should rethink their position. That's not a religion." G.W. Bush, governor of Texas, referring to the Wiccan religion.

Contrary to what GW thinks, Wicca IS a religion, and certainly a more reasonable one, in my eyes, than his.


Both the Lincoln Journal-Star and the Omaha World-Herald reported that Governor Johanns said that he would sign similar proclamations [allowing marches] for some other religions: "I wouldn't hesitate to sign a proclamation for the Jewish faith, Hinduism, whatever....so long as it doesn't require me to sign something I personally don't agree with."

Reporter Fred Napp then asked a hypothetical question: "How about [a proclamation supporting] Wicca?" Johanns is reported as saying: "What's that"? The Omaha World-Herald wrote that "When he learned that Wicca was an earth-based pagan religion that comes from the old English word for witch, Johanns said there would be no Wiccan proclamation." "Nope," he allegedly said. "Something that I personally disagree with, I'm not going to sign it."

Contrary to what this guy thinks, this IS horrible discrimination.


U.S. Representative Bob Barr (GA-7) has been a United States Attorney, and currently serves on the House Judiciary, Government Reform and Banking committees.

On 1999-MAY-13, he issued a press release titled:

"BARR: CAUSES OF YOUTH VIOLENCE FOUND IN ADULT CULTURE."

He lists as one of the causes of youth violence the practice by the U.S. military to permit Wiccan personnel to observe their religious faith. Wicca is a benign, earth-centered religion, which is somewhat similar to Native American Spirituality. A second source of youth violence that he cites is the increasing acceptance by university students of humanism, a secular, non-theistic philosophy with a strong ethical component.

On 1999-MAY-18, he issued a second press release. Copies were delivered to military and congressional leaders. Recipients included Army Secretary Louis Caldera and Lt. Gen. Leon S. LaPorte, commander of Fort Hood, TX. It is titled:

"BARR DEMANDS END TO TAXPAYER-FUNDED WITCHCRAFT ON AMERICAN MILITARY BASES."

He is reported as having viewed a report on The O'Reilly Factor, a program on Fox News. It featured vernal equinox ceremonies by soldiers at Fort Hood, TX. He had heard that military chaplains at Fort Hood, and other bases "are sanctioning, if not supporting the practice of witchcraft as a 'religion' by soldiers on military bases."

Rep Barr continues: "What's next? Will armored divisions be forced to travel with sacrificial animals for Satanic rituals? Will Rastafarians demand the inclusion of ritualistic marijuana cigarettes in their rations?..."

This man makes baseless claims with no evidence backing him up, other than hearsay. His type of propaganda is one of the worst - not only is it horrible to say such things, he is spreading lies and misinformation, with no basis, but with full 'authority'.


Spoiler: Addendum to that

It is unclear exactly how the toleration of Wicca (a.k.a. Witchcraft) and other minority religions are taxpayer-funded. Large armed forces bases frequently have one or more Protestant ministers, Roman Catholic priests, and a Jewish rabbis on staff. The Christian and Jewish soldiers' religious needs are met at some taxpayer expense. The military pays clergy salaries, provides chaplains with offices and support staff, etc. In a hypothetical case of an army base with 5,000 soldiers, and 3 chaplains at $75,000 per year each, the government allocates $45 per year for the spiritual support of each Christian or Jewish soldier. But there are, to our knowledge, no Wiccan Priests, Priestesses, or chaplain office at any base in America. Wiccans are expected to fend for themselves, and provide their own priests and priestesses from within their own membership. The cost per Wiccan for spiritual support is essentially nothing. Some news sources stated that the Army had increased security at Fort Hood "in order to deter members of Christian groups from intimidating the witches, who meet in campgrounds..." The army would certainly incur costs due to the need for this increased security. However, that is not the fault of the Wiccans. It is caused by perceived threats from some Christian sources.

Religious Satanists do not engage in the ritual sacrifice of animals. Teenage dabblers in Satanism sometimes have been known to kill a dog or cat or small animal; but this is quite rare. Whether Rastafarians should be allowed exemption from drug laws is a matter for the courts to decide. Some Native Americans have been allowed to consume peyote as part of their religious services -- they follow a tradition which dates back millennia. Roman Catholics are permitted to consume wine during Mass. Allowing Rastafarians to use marijuana in their religious rituals may be similarly guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. constitution. Only a court case would tell for certain.




Sources: Religioustolerance.org, Wicca.org and Witchvox.com

There is quite a bit more that could be pointed out, however, that's all that I could think of ATM.