a precedent for a Wiccan becoming a military chaplain?

According to an AP report, we may soon be seeing a California prison hiring a chaplain of the Wiccan faith.  here are a couple of excerpts:

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a trial judge’s dismissal of a Wiccan prisoner lawsuit seeking the same rights as the five other religious practices. The appeals court said the Wiccan prisoners make a compelling argument that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation may be unconstitutionally showing preference to the five religions in violation of the 1st Amendment.

. . .

“There are certainly enough Wiccan prisoners to merit their own chaplain,” said Gary Friedman, a spokesman for the American Correctional Chaplains Association. “I hope this leads to the hiring of more chaplains to represent even more minority faith groups.”

Given the long battle Wiccans in the military have been fighting to have a chaplain who shares their belief, this is a case worth watching.

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Filed under chaplains, chaplains, Church-State, First Amendment, military, religion

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