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Austin Cline

Wiccans Move After Harassment, Threats

By February 26, 2004

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Wiccans today enjoy greater freedom and tolerance than at perhaps any other time in American history; at the same time, though, it would be wrong to imagine that discrimination has disappeared entirely. In reality, there is still quite a bit of prejudice against Wiccans - prejudice which, at times, breaks out into threats and harassment.

KXAN in Texas reports on the owners of a Wiccan store that had to move because of discrimination:

"We have been harassed and tormented by a misconception. Until somebody bigoted faces criminal charges, I don't think it's going to stop," Wiccan shop owner Margie Allen said. Allen and her daughters practice Wicca. They owned a small store in Kingsland. Allen says their problem started when unwelcome visitors targeted the store last year. "It was a big commotion, started yelling, 'Satanism, Satanism.' There were four or five of them all together. One was doing the yelling. Trying to get them to stop so I could explain," Allen said. The Wiccans claim this incident led to threatening phone calls and literature.

Federal authorities are investigating, but it is uncertain whether anything will come of it. Luckily the people were able to find a new home where they have been welcomed - the local population is happy to have them. If only every community in America were so tolerant and open.

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