Paganism and the Law Update

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  August 9, 2007 — 1 Comment

A local Wiccan has been successful in getting Caspar, Wyoming to remove its ordinance against fortune telling in the town. The article reveals that unlike some cities who are trying to use (or introduce) such regulations to keep out “undesirable” (ie non-Christian) businesses, in this case the city council didn’t even know the ordinance existed.

“Council Vice President Paul Bertoglio said he had not heard of the law until Forest came to the council for help. He said it was an outdated rule that needed to be repealed. “It’s up to each individual to believe in it or not,” Bertoglio said about fortune telling. “It’s their decision whether they want to pay for it or not.” Jane Sutton, an intuitive consultant in Casper, said this illustrates that the city council is becoming more progressive. She said what she and Forest do is mainstream in most places across the country.”

The sole vote against removing the ordinance claimed that the law protected little old ladies and the credulous from fraud, but fraud and improper business practices can happen anywhere, to single out divination from all other professions in which money changes hands is discriminatory. So while local fortune tellers were never in immediate danger of being cited or arrested (though you never know when unscrupulous officials will attempt such a thing), they can now practice freely knowing they are legally free to do so.

“Both Forest and Sutton were relieved about the repeal. Even though neither one said they had never really been bothered by police, they were glad to have the issue resolved. They were encouraged to see people have more open minds toward their livelihood and religions. ‘No one can say anything,’ Forest said. ‘I am not doing anything illegal. I am free.’”

As I have said previously, as modern Paganism expands and grows, expect more clashes over old antiquated laws and newer morality-driven ordinances against fortune-telling in the future.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Anonymous

    Just a quick note for accuracy’s sake – it’s Casper, Wyoming. Caspar City is in California. :)Love the blog – I subscribe to the feed through my livejournal.