Saturday, February 20, 2010
"Five Faiths" Prison Chaplain Policy: Developments
A while ago, we reported about Patrick McCollum's legal stuggle for recognition by CDCR as a paid Chaplain for the Wiccan inmate community. The Pagan blog The Wild Hunt, which is closely following the proceedings, offers a rather useful summary of the developments in the case, including some links to documents. One notable new development is this amicus brief by the right-wing Christian organization Wallbuilders, which argues that the Founders' original intent would not have included Paganism or Witchcraft as a religion in its own right, and therefore, McCollum cannot be awarded standing for representing Pagan taxpayers. This seems to be a rather dated argument, especially in light of developments such as the Department of Veteran Affairs agreement (after a legal struggle) to allow the pentagram, a Wiccan symbol, as a marker on soldiers' graves. Constitutional law enthusiasts might be interested in following this case when it gets to the 9th Circuit.