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Wiccans say Indiana religious freedom law opens the door to polyamory, nude rituals at the Capitol

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Young pagan Slavic girl with fern leaf (Shutterstock)

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence last week has found support from a most unusual source — practicing Wiccans.

The Daily Beast‘s David Freedlander spoke to Dusty Dionne, a High Priest and High Summoner of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, who confessed that while he believes “these bills are horrible,” they do provide a unique opportunity for practitioners of his faith.

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“If they are going to up this can of worms,” he said, “we are going to shove it right in their face.” For example, he explained, many Wiccans believe “that love is the law,” so while polyamorous marriages are not a tenet of Wiccan theology, “whatever we want to do with marriage we can do. Carte blanche. If I want to marry a horse, I can marry a horse.”

Wiccans would also legally be able to refuse drug tests in states with religious freedom laws, because “natural” substances like marijuana and hallucinogens are “herbs” used to enhance experience at officially sanctioned religious ceremonies. Moreover, Dionne explained, giving the blood or urine samples required for such tests would run contrary to their belief that the “body is a temple,” and “if you come for a piece of my temple, I can say no.”

They would also be free to dance naked on state Capitol steps so long as the moon was full, as a Wiccan holy text — “The Charge of the Goddess” — sanctions the practice.

But Heather Greene, an editor at Wild Hunt — a website that offers news and political analysis from “A Modern Pagan Perspective” — told Freedlander that while she supports legislation that allows those in marginal religions to practice freely, she shares with the mainstream doubts about the efficacy of the Indiana bill.

“The concern,” she said, “is that recent RFRA language is so broad that it will ultimately lead to both religious and LGBTQ discrimination.”

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Dionne, however, remains undeterred. “We are the fifth-largest religion in America,” he said, “and we are the fastest growing. If they pass these laws, we are going to beat a fucking drum.”


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