Neo Panganism and environmentalism

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The twentieth century was a time of great resurgence of pagan-inspired faiths throughout North America. Although many observers have described this movement as a revival of m Army Wiccan Policy W Attacked

In 1999, three hundred years after the resolution of the Salem witch trials, a controversy arose at Fort Hood, Texas, a U.S. Army base known for tolerance of Wiccan soldiers. The controversy started when the press covered a Wiccan vernal equinox celebration in March 1999 and hate mail began flooding into the camp. Wiccans were called "Satan worshipers," and many soldiers were physically assaulted. The following May, a U.S Congressman from Texas tried to amend a defense authorization bill to prohibit the practice of Wicca at any Defense Department facility, but the bill was promptly dismissed on procedural grounds. In June 1999 thirteen conservative religious groups issued a statement in which they urged their members not to pay taxes or let their children enlist in the military because of the army's tolerance of Wicca. Several other conservative religious groups stepped into the debate and defended both the military and the right of Wiccans to practice their beliefs. The American Freedom Institute made a direct connection between the anti-Wicca campaign and the Salem witch trials, decrying the use of the "freedom for me but not for thee" approach of the coalition.

ancient tradition mixed with modern practices, others view Neo-Paganism as an entirely new belief system. Much like traditional healers during the Middle Ages (see Chapter 1), however, Neo-Pagan groups are frequently targeted for being different. Yet according to Margot Adler, author of Drawing Down the Moon (1979), a study of Neo-Paganism, they are essentially "Fueled by romantic vision, fantasy, and visionary activities, empowered by a sense of planetary crisis and the idea that such a nature vision may be drowned in an ecocidal nightmare" or ecological destruction. By the 1980s Neo-Paganists were increasingly being identified with other movements such as environmentalism, which attempts to preserve the natural world, and to reestablish the link between humans and nature.

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