Saturday, October 13, 2007


Our church has a Nursery School for 3 and 4-year-olds. It is a Christian school. I read bible stories to the kids. We teach them prayers and we do so in the name of Christ.

We also state in our mission statement that we welcome all children from any faith, as long as they have no problems with our prayers and overtly Christian teaching.

The other day some of the staff came to me a bit flustered because they had just learned that one of the children's mother is a Wiccan. Is this okay, they wondered? Perhaps more to the point, is this something we can have here, or is this devil worship?

I'm no expert on Wicca, but I know it's not Satan worship, and I know that the school long ago agreed that Christians welcome people of all religions. The best we could do was get online and look up Wicca.

Ever read about it? It's a pretty mundane religion when you think about it. It's not Christian, that's for sure, but it's no more strange or harmful than any other religion we don't buy into. It doesn't encourage violence. It honors creation and calls for the care of the earth. It doesn't have bloody rituals, or deal in curses or poisons or flying brooms.

As best I can figure – and the sources I read mention that Wicca does not have a hard and fast orthodoxy, so their beliefs are a little flexible – Wicca is a duotheistic religion. That is rather than believing in just one God (monotheism) or in many gods (polytheism), Wiccans believe in two gods – one male and one female. Of course, there are subdivisions of Wiccans who believe that one is greater than the other. There are others who believe that there is only one god but one who has two distinct parts.

Their religion is loosely based on the ancient western pre-Christian religions – pagan, if you will (pagan simply means "old" religions not of the Abrahamic traditions). Modern Wicca seems to have been developed over about a 30-year period from the 1920's to the 1950's when it came into its own. The word "witch" comes from the ancient English terms for priest, and in early Christian times witches (Wicce) were hunted down as practitioners of a banned religion.

It was only a matter of time before they came to be seen as practicing supernatural wickedness. Oddly enough, that's not unlike early Christians in Rome – people spread rumors about cannibalism (eating the body and drinking the blood of someone) in their secret rituals. And indeed, the early Christians did worship in secret because they were afraid of being captured and killed. Sadly, we did unto others what was done to us.

Some of the beliefs of Wiccans include reincarnation (not a Christian teaching) and retribution (if you do wrong to another, it will eventually come back at you. Many Christians also believe this, but there is the matter of God's mercy).

You can't go through an entire religion in one little post – that does neither the religion nor the reader justice. For my part, I have no more problem with it than I do with any other religion that differs from mine. So, how do I deal with the child of a Wiccan? Like every other child -- as the Benedictine monks say, we receive each guest as Christ himself.