He Was Surprised By The Intensity Of The Pagan Backlash
Message #10818 - Metaphysical (Magicknet)
Date : 25-Oct-90 06:38
From : Thomas Frost
To : All Subject : S.j. Mercury News Article (2 Of 3)
The Witching Hour
By Joan Connell
Mercury News Religion & Ethics Editor
San Jose Mercury News - Sat. Oct. 20 1990
Planning for trouble
Christian's group has taken defensive action in the pending holy war, hiring security police to keep out any Bible-wielding Christian soldiers.
But other pagan groups are on the offensive, planning counterdemonstrations outside the Civic Auditorium and threatening guerrilla actions to disrupt Lea's crusade.
"Larry Lea's going to find out that there are more of us than he can handle," ways Eric Pryor, high priest of the New Earth Temple, a San Francisco group of Wiccans and other pagans. Pryor is marshalling a show of spiritual force at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Civic Center Park, calling together New Age religionists, Hindus, Buddhists, humanists and other non-mainstream faiths to form a prayer circle to counteract the Lea crusade.
Pryor, who says he has repeatedly challenged Lea to public debate but never received an answer, has called off the annual Hallow Mass ritual at his temple Halloween night to attend Lea's crusade in disguise, disrupt the service and force a confrontation.
"We're not a bunch of uneducated dingbats running around in robes waving wands," Pryor says. "We're intellegent, purposeful people who have chosen a particular spiritual path. We have a right in this country to practice any religion we choose." No reliable statistics exist on the number of practicing pagans in the Bay Area, but estimates range from
30,000 to 50,000.
Lea, who arrived in San Francisco Wednesday to prepare for the crusade says he was surprised by the intensity of the pagan backlash, which has not been evident in similar campains in Anaheim, Miami, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Entreaties from several religious denominations to avoid confrontation - including the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco - convinced Lea to cancel plans for his spiritual warriors to march through the cith on Halloween night. Instead, Lea says, they will keep a low profile inside the Civic Auditorium.
The right to disagree
"I love people. I love all people. I think we have been misinterpreted;
we don't want to be seen as confrontational," Lea says. "Every person has the right to believe what they want to believe. But I have the freedom to stand up and say they're wrong. To me, there are only two kinds of people in the world: Those who have found Christ and those who haven't found him yet."
The Rev. Dick Bernall, pastor of Jubilee Christian Center in San Jose is disappointed that the prayer warriors will not be a visible presence on the streets of San Francisco. Many of Jubilee's 5,000 congregants are expected to take part in the Lea crusade. Bernal's not a complete spoilsport about Halloween: Jubilee kids might not go trick-or-treating, but they do get to dress up as Bible characters for a party at church.
Article Source [wicca.com]