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Wicca's New Rights under the Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act

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posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 12:30 AM
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originally posted by: grandmakdw
The Wiccan claim of plural marriage
is as valid as Gay Marriage
one can not defend one
and deny the other because it has religious origins

Once the definition of marraige was changed and opened to interpretation of "love" alone being the criteria.
Then one must recognize plural marriage as valid.


Is that the definition of Marriage officially??? Where is Marriage defined as simply "Love" as the criteria???


Actually, the state has no business in marriage, the state long ago abandoned any interest in the family unit when it declared that welfare could only be given to the unmarried and split up families, thus negating interest in the family unit remaining intact.


I don't see how that applies. How welfare applies to someone doesn't mean the Government has no interest in the family unit. What you're saying is that the Gov. in trying to keep people single by giving them welfare, right??? That seems like you're stretching to try and connect those two things and then apply some reasoning for it based only on conjecture or opinion.

Besides, aren't their assistance programs available and benefits for Married Couples too??


Marriage was in the past simply a religious precept.
The state only took interest because it felt that the state had an interest in preserving the family unit.
The state no longer holds the view that it is in anyone's interest to preserve the family unit.
Therefore, the state should remove itself from deciding or making legal/illegal marriage in any form.
It would certainly remove the problem of divorce and the legal entanglements.
Custody of children would not change, as unmarried couples fight over custody all the time.
Unmarried and divorced parents also take care of medical insurance without a partner.
Perhaps, it would be best if the state no longer defined marriage, sanctioned marriage, or recognized marriage.
All the reasons for doing so in the past are long gone.


I think the State still has interest in marriage though beyond just preserving the family unit. I think it has much more to do with division of property and stuff like that though. I don't have an issue with Marriage being only Religious either. But it would also not have any meaning to anyone outside that specific Religion either. A Christian Marriage would only be valid to the Christian Organization under which it was done. The same would go for all other Religions and their Marriages also. The State at that point wouldn't recognize any of them nor would they have to recognize each other. At that point I doubt Marriage would mean much to anyone other than themselves.


Let it be simply a religious ceremony
or personal ceremony indicating
a decision to share living space
or simply a personal decision between those involved
leaving out church, ceremony and state entirely.


That seems fine with me too. I think we can already do that anyway. Nothing is stopping me from calling someone my wife and her calling me her husband. Us having a private wedding and then following whatever we have established for our partnership. It wouldn't have any meaning for others either. That would be fine since nobody is obligated to anything other than those involved.

The only problem then would be establishing benefits and property and stuff like that if the couple splits or one dies and they never established what was supposed to happen. Or who was allowed authority for medial decisions and things of that nature. That is why the State is involved now. If someone dies and didn't establish what would happen with his property or wealth how would you establish what would happen. Would it just be up for grabs??? Or go back to the State?? With nobody legally responsible or in charge, then what??


It hurts no one how one defines marriage. It interferes in no one else's rights. If it is part of their religion and harms no one, interferes in no one else's rights, then why not.


I agree.

I also agree with the rest of what you said but didn't bother quoting it.
edit on 16-3-2015 by mOjOm because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 12:43 AM
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originally posted by: defcon5
Thus, the Court had held that religious beliefs did not excuse people from complying with laws forbidding polygamy labor laws, Sunday closing laws, laws requiring citizens to register for Selective Service, and laws requiring the payment of Social Security taxes.


So how is it being used to excuse people from having to follow anti-Discrimination laws or laws dealing with health care???

If those laws apply to all equally also then what's the difference???



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 02:22 AM
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a reply to: defcon5

1. Of course you're still talking about "opinions" ... whether yours or those of the attorneys you consulted. The matter is not settled until tried in a court of law, and pursued to the full extent of the justice system.

2. "My specific law" (that is, the Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was just passed) is patently NOT identical to the law you posted from Florida however, it does in many ways just basically restate the 1993 Federal law (RFRA) in much of it's language ALTHOUGH NOT ALL. The Georgia statute does add definitions particularly to the meaning of "Exercise of Religion" that are NOT present in RFRA 1993 as pointed out ... particularly in its reference to the Georgia Constitution's Bill of Rights which adds the unique provisions stated earlier.

3. No issues on citing the wrong case about the Rastafarians; we all make mistakes. However, I'm afraid you're still mistken in your new assertion ... your new point cites a decision "Employment Division Versus Smith" made in 1990 by the SCOTUS ... and we're discussing laws made in 1993 and 2015 respectively, which have not, to my knowledge, yet faced the same legal challenges, but RFRA has been cited affirmitively in two cases: Holt v. Hobbs, authored by Justice Samuel Alito who also authored Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

In fact, Alito's argument in Holt specifically addresses negates your point:



RFRA was enacted three years after our decision in Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Ore. v. Smith, 494 U. S. 872 (1990), which held that neutral, generally applicable laws that incidentally burden the exercise of religion usually do not violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Id., at 878–882. Smith largely repudiated the method of analysis used in prior free exercise cases like Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U. S. 205 (1972), and Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U. S. 398 (1963). In those cases, we employed a balancing test that considered whether a challenged government action that substantially burdened the exercise of religion was necessary to further a compelling state interest. See Yoder, supra, at 214, 219; Sherbert, supra, at 403, 406.


These laws, particularly with the support of the conservative Robert's Court (SCOTUS) have already QUITE literally redefined the supremacy of religion and religious faith vis-a-vis over and above other established, written law.


THUS, I still submit, that Georgia is in for some interesting times as different religious groups decide to legally try on their "newfound" freedom to ignore established law.
edit on 2Mon, 16 Mar 2015 02:31:18 -050015p022015366 by Gryphon66 because: Small corrections



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 02:24 AM
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originally posted by: beezzer

originally posted by: nonspecific
Wicca is a relativley new "religion"

Polygamous relationships should be seperated from so called religious views and left to those involved in my opinion.

Having to use a so called religion to make a lifestlye choice seems desperate.


I was under the impression that Wicca was @10,000 years old. Cuervo might know better since that is his area of faith.

As for the rest?

Individual rights should be paramount, at least in my humble opinion.



I'm flattered but I think we actually have a few Trad Wiccans in our ATS memberships (if I remember correctly) who can probably answer better than I.

Short answer: Wicca is a new religion in the same way that Christian denominations are new religions. It's a repackaging of ancient traditions and beliefs. Paganism in general predates most major religions (certainly all Abrahamic ones) but there are several reconstructions of it due to a habit of Abrahamic faiths trying to snuff it out.

Some modern traditions potentially go back thousands of years but it's debatable. It also depends on your pantheon. If you worship deities from the Paleolithic era but do it under the tradition of Wicca... how old is your religion then?



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 02:29 AM
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a reply to: Cuervo

I await the different legal proofs of "my God is more real than your Goddess (and God)" in court.

Among other items.

Thanks for weighing in Cuervo!

EDIT: Nonspecific (member) has started a thread particularly intended to discuss Wiccan origins: How old is Wicca?
edit on 2Mon, 16 Mar 2015 02:44:09 -050015p022015366 by Gryphon66 because: Noted



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 02:38 AM
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I find it absolutely fascinating that some fundamentalists would literally rather give up the legal protections of marriage rather than letting all freely and equally participate in it.

In a tangent with our topic here, it seems that Oklahoma has taken their "defense" of marriage in another direction ...



On Wednesday, the Oklahoma state house passed H.B. 1125, a Republican-backed bill which has raised concerns for potentially violating the U.S. Constitution. The sponsor of the bill, state Rep. Todd Russ (R), said the proposed law was designed with two goals in mind: remove government from the business of issuing marriage licenses by requiring clergy who officiate weddings to file “certificates of marriage” on their own, and preventing judges who disapprove of marriage equality from having to officiate same-sex weddings, which are legal in the state.

“The point of my legislation is to take the state out of the process and leave marriage in the hands of the clergy,” Russ told the Oklahoman.


Weird Bill Intended To Block Marriage Equality In Oklahoma May Totally Backfiret



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 03:15 AM
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originally posted by: Gryphon66
I find it absolutely fascinating that some fundamentalists would literally rather give up the legal protections of marriage rather than letting all freely and equally participate in it.

In a tangent with our topic here, it seems that Oklahoma has taken their "defense" of marriage in another direction ...



On Wednesday, the Oklahoma state house passed H.B. 1125, a Republican-backed bill which has raised concerns for potentially violating the U.S. Constitution. The sponsor of the bill, state Rep. Todd Russ (R), said the proposed law was designed with two goals in mind: remove government from the business of issuing marriage licenses by requiring clergy who officiate weddings to file “certificates of marriage” on their own, and preventing judges who disapprove of marriage equality from having to officiate same-sex weddings, which are legal in the state.

“The point of my legislation is to take the state out of the process and leave marriage in the hands of the clergy,” Russ told the Oklahoman.


Weird Bill Intended To Block Marriage Equality In Oklahoma May Totally Backfiret



Oh yeah, that one.

Atheists will have to go to clergys to get married.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 08:01 AM
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a reply to: Annee

Not only that, but these bills (and the current argument handed down) strip marriage away from a matter of government ENTIRELY, because some people have finally realized that they aren't going to be able to discriminate any longer in matters of governmental law.

Now, suddenly (and predictably) the state should "get out of marriage" and reduce it to a religious matter.

Then of course, they pass laws like the one in Georgia which sets up a special religious class of citizen that is not subject to the laws of the land.

Of course restricting marriage to a religious ritual or group is unconstitutional; some folks only care about the Constitution when they're twisting it to favor their cause.

This is also called "cutting off your nose to spite your face."

Being neither a personal advocate of religion nor marriage for myself ... I think the gyrations and machinations are ludicrous.
edit on 8Mon, 16 Mar 2015 08:04:23 -050015p082015366 by Gryphon66 because: Formatting



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 09:16 AM
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a reply to: Gryphon66

From your link:



As pressure mounted on Russ to kill the legislation, however, something strange happened: instead of pulling the bill, Russ simply amended it, re-inserting a clause that allowed judges to officiate weddings. The change was initially welcomed by LGBT advocates such as Stevenson, but also caused confusion, because it defeated the bill’s aim of fully removing government officials from marriages services. In fact, without the clergy-only provision, some Democrats noted that the bill was arguably pro-LGBT, since it does not define marriage specifically as a union between a man and a woman, effectively re-affirming the legitimacy of same-sex unions in the state. Other lawmakers also pointed out that, since Russ’ bill requires the government to simply file marriage certificates, it removes the state’s ability to prevent instances bigamy or polygamy.


BIG backfire...

So, the Republicans in the state have voted for bigger government and the untended consequences are that not only gay people can get married, but it's very possible that polygamy can move forward!



But this only tweaks some aspects of how government interacts with the beginning of the marriage process — it doesn’t change the fact that marriages are still legal entities recognized by the state.


LOL! It's absolutely hilarious to see people wriggle and squirm to prevent two people who love each other from getting married!



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 11:05 AM
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originally posted by: Gryphon66
a reply to: Annee

Not only that, but these bills (and the current argument handed down) strip marriage away from a matter of government ENTIRELY, because some people have finally realized that they aren't going to be able to discriminate any longer in matters of governmental law.



There are a bunch of these "desperation" bills in the works.

All for one purpose ---- stop LGBT equal rights. In disguise as Religious Freedom.

Our USSC better not do Stupid.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 11:14 AM
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Monogamy is a relatively "novel" or new evolutionary concept for humans. For most of human existence we sort of mindlessly wandered around in tribal groups having sex with whoever, and not understanding the connection between sex and children. Humans never knew who's kid was who's.

It wasn't until fairly recently in human history that people began to become possessive over their mates (among other things) and realize that if they had sex with that woman, she would bear HIS offspring.

This all sort of coincided with the advent of agriculture and the domestication of animal. People could amass more of something than someone else. This in turn lead to people staying in one spot with more free time to notice things.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 11:41 AM
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Not to mention, in most of the Muslim world polygamy (one man having several wives) is both legal and common.

Islam is also a recognized religion in this country.

These laws not only open new doors to polygamy, plural marriage, public nudity, etc., but also to the implementation of other provisions of the "dreaded" Sharia law codes.

Again, unintended consequences.

Shoulda just let us buy our cakes.


Within two years, I predict that the Christian majority that was blindly thinking these laws would let them "have their way" will find that, in actuality, the Founders were VERY WISE in establishing a clear and clean separation between church and state.

I hope that realization doesn't come "too late."



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 11:46 AM
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From a purely rational point of view a polygamous relationship would have certain real world benifits.

Less house work for a start, not to mention a greater household income



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 11:51 AM
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originally posted by: nonspecific
Less house work for a start, not to mention a greater household income


Hey! As the homemaker in this household, this sounds like a fantastic idea! More money and less housework? I'm in!



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: nonspecific

One of my favorite science-fiction writers (Heinlein) included "polyamorous" relationships and marriages in his fiction as far back as the late 1960s, and I read those books voraciously in my formative years as well as Asimov, Bradbury, et. al.

Creating a "family corporation" actually makes a lot more legal sense than all of the silliness associated with the ritualistic remnants of standard marriage, which was in the not too distant past, more of an economic relationship between families (that is when it wasn't basic commercialization of the female body).

Of course, the personal and cultural freedom of the 60s and 70s got shanghaied along the way by the greed and religiosity of the 1980s ... but I digress.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: nonspecific

Polyamory and plural marriage families certainly conform more closely to what I know of primate troupe behavior ... not to mention human tribal behavior ... not to mention ...

... well, you get the idea.

Perhaps the more we advance, the more we return to our beginnings.

edit on 12Mon, 16 Mar 2015 12:20:55 -050015p122015366 by Gryphon66 because: Spelling



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 12:43 PM
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originally posted by: Gryphon66
a reply to: nonspecific

Polyamory and plural marriage families certainly conform more closely to what I know of primate troupe behavior ... not to mention human tribal behavior ... not to mention ...

... well, you get the idea.

Perhaps the more we advance, the more we return to our beginnings.


It sure makes a lot more sense to me.

I personally think the single family is harmful.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 12:53 PM
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a reply to: Gryphon66

Unfortunately, we know this is not going to wash with the right-wingers in these states, these laws are intended to do one thing and that's place CHRISTIANS above all others as a "master race" of citizens.

Another state (I forget which) after passing this new law giving Christians authoritarian rule has now begun implementing another law to force all businesses to comply with their bigotry.

They passed this law there to allow Christians to discriminate against others, then the citizens started putting posters up saying they welcomed all LGBT people to their business, the Christian bigots then complained that they were abusing the law to steal business from them, and submitted the bill to ban the advertising of being non-bigots!

These Christian nutters will ultimately fail in all their attempts, because the public has already proven several times that they do not accept this bigotry. The federal government will eventually have to step in and put a stop to this nonsense, as it's all against the constitution.

The Constitution clearly states that no law shall be implemented which allows a religious group to dictate to the rest of society. These laws are clearly against this fundamental principle of the Constitution.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 01:00 PM
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originally posted by: Gryphon66
a reply to: Cuervo

I await the different legal proofs of "my God is more real than your Goddess (and God)" in court.


I firmly believe that if anyone comes into a court claiming that their actions are based on the teachings of a Holy Book, they should be made to pick that book out, then be asked to prove that they comply with all instructions within that book.

So, if a Christian claims that it's against their religious beliefs to serve a same-sex couple, they should then be asked if they conform to all other rules and imagined instructions in that book. For example, do they eat shellfish? Do they cut their hair? Do they wear clothes woven from more than one fabric? Have they refused to serve any divorced people?

If they have breached any of these other instructions, they clearly cannot claim to be following the rules of their religion, and their excuse is just that, nothing more than an excuse for bigotry and intolerance. This would immediately remove all the nonsense religious time-wasters from the legal system.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 01:36 PM
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a reply to: Gryphon66


So, what do you think ATS? Are the Wiccans within their (new) religious rights?


Oh HELL YES! This is great!!



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