Oklahoma Pagan family targeted for religious beliefs

Cara Schulz —  April 12, 2016 — 148 Comments

ANADARKO, Okla. – Two months ago Pagan practitioner Angel Hawks moved with her two children from Texas to the small town of Anadarko, Oklahoma. She was looking for an opportunity to start over after a break-up with her long-term girlfriend and a storm left her home heavily damaged. However, within weeks of moving into her new apartment in Anadarko, Hawks began experiencing repeated vandalism and the hostility of neighbors and teachers. She said that people are targeting her due to her religion.

[Courtesy Photo]

[Courtesy Photo]

“We don’t deny our faith nor blast it either,” said Ms. Hawks, adding that she lives a normal life. She works at a local store and her children, ages 12 and 14, attend the local public middle school.

Although she doesn’t “blast her faith,” Hawks does perform some practices that are very common in Pagan religions. She meditates.

Hawks said that she and her children meditate under a tree most every day: “My upstairs neighbors yelled from the window ‘devil worshippers’ and said they are calling [Child Welfare].”

Those same neighbors now believe Hawks’ son put a curse on their son and caused him to become ill.

Both of Hawks’ children attend Anadarko Middle School, and she claims that, on Mar. 31, her children were offered Bibles during school hours by agriculture teacher Mr. Edmund. It was reportedly part of a community religious observance called Revival Week. When her children refused the Bibles, Hawks said that she was called into the school.

“It was horrible I was called to school because my son and daughter refused them. My daughter being very proud said she does not need words made up of man. She trusts in what she feels. She didn’t deny god, just the hate [and] the spew,” explained Hawks.

[Courtesy Anadarko Middle School]

[Courtesy Anadarko Middle School]

When contacted, Cindy Hackney, Superintendent of Anadarko Public Schools said, “I have been unable to confirm that Bibles were distributed at Anadarko Middle School by any school employee nor have I received any complaints from any parents or employees about any such activity. I am unsure of the reference to Revival Week activities as there were no school activities related to any form of revival.”

Hawks said the vandalism started soon after that incident. On Apr. 5, she noticed the porch light was broken, leaving her walkway leading to her apartment door in the dark. On the following morning, she saw that someone had spray painted “witch” with a cross on the wall facing her front door. Then, on Saturday, Apr. 9, her apartment was egged.

She called police to report the vandalism, but didn’t feel that they had taken her seriously. “They don’t care,” she said. “Oh no not at all. [It was] more like I bothered them. Told me: ‘Darn kids.’ ” Ms. Hawks added that she doesn’t believe the police took down a formal report.

Hawks also described other ways in which the townspeople are letting her family know that they aren’t welcome due to their religion. Her son is unable to join boys scouts, and the family was told that they could no longer volunteer at the local food bank.

“I was helping out until someone told the Pastor I was a witch,” said Hawks. It was at that point that the pastor of Grace Church said her help was no longer needed.  

The family plans to leave Anadarko as soon as they can save the money to move. Hawks said that most of her extended family is gone; it’s just her and her children. Although she’s on an extremely tight budget, she hopes to save enough money to move within a few months. Until then, they are stuck in a community in which they are feeling increasingly concerned for their safety.

Hawks added, “If I had money and means I would be gone today. I would almost rather be homeless living in a tent then all this hate.” The family is asking for blessings from the Pagan community.

*    *    *

Update and Additional Information 4/12 4:00 pm ET: The Wild Hunt has attempted to contact both the Police and the Agriculture Teacher. Neither has responded to our calls. Additionally, Ms. Hawks has stated that she only wants community blessings and is not accepting money.

Cara Schulz

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Cara Schulz is a journalist and author living in Minnesota with her husband and cat. She has previously written for PAGAN+politics, PNC-Minnesota, and Patheos. Her work has appeared in several books by Bibliotheca Alexandrina and she's the author of Martinis & Marshmallows: A Field Guide to Luxury Tent Camping and (Almost) Foolproof Mead Making. She loves red wine, camping, and has no tattoos.
  • Vision_From_Afar

    Cara, can we set up any kind of fundraiser for this family?

    • Cara Schulz

      I had asked her if she needed help, as readers often do want to help, and she said she’d appreciate just blessings.

      • jkscoot

        Tell her to come to Omaha, NE. People here are pretty nice and there’s even a strong Pagan community.

        • Cara Schulz

          GO BIG RED!

        • Duane M Hulbert

          I concur! Omaha is beautiful. There is a diverse culture and the community is very accepting. Plus there is much to do for the family and children.

        • Friday

          May as well move to a free state, …being a lesbian with kids, why gamble in a state without civil rights protecting your family?

      • Firefishe

        I don’t understand. She needs funds to move, yet will only accept “blessings.” ($20K would be quite a “blessing” right now, and if I had it to send to her family, I would.)

        I guess someone willing to help her relocate, with a moving van, or something, may have to do?

        *Blessings* (In The Needed Form As Dictated By The Intelligent Universal Energies Surrounding The Family) Sent!

        *Bow*
        Namaste

        • Andy Sprouse

          she needs to fight back with legal action. the harassment needs to stop

          • Firefishe

            Yes, especially if the child welfare authority is used to put pressure on the family. (Which has been been done before to pagan families.)

            However, as local law enforcement seems complicitous, and lackadaisical, relative to the vandalism, and the rest of the community seems to be involved in low-brow ostracization tactics, sometimes it’s better to just let the bigots have their narrow mindedness, and move someplace more inviting, and accepting, of people’s differences.

            I lived in Oklahoma for a short time. It’s flat, hot, nothing but red clay as far as the eye can see, lacks greenery, brown ‘lakes,’ and is full of judgemental fundamentalists that think only their type of nominal religion is the proper way.

            That said, many people are also accepting, and polite, so maybe just moving out of Anadarko will suffice.

            Since moving to a more northerly clime from Missouri, I feel as if I can breathe more easily.

            Generally, I find that the more northward one travels (in the US), the more intelligent people become.

            Though not always. Perhaps a better way to intone it, would be to say that the farther north one goes north of the Mason-Dixon line, the more common sense seems to be prevalent, rather than in the more Southern parts of the country.

            However, this could also be construed as a stereotype. I think what Anadarko really needs to learn, is that accepting and loving everyone, and learning from them, is more genteel way to pursue the understanding of differences.

          • Anna Beylenn

            I hate to ask, but as someone who has grown up here practically her whole life…. What part of Oklahoma did you live in? Because that’s not the Oklahoma I’ve ever been familiar with in 26 years of my life- 15 of which have been spent openly as a Pagan….

          • Loreanne Cowan

            I agree. Anadarko should be ashamed. Oklahomans are not all like that.

          • Elizabeth Martin

            This entire story is a lie. The children are surrounded by caring teachers and have many friends at the middle school. I know the scout leaders and they’ve never been contacted to join. And why would they want to join a faith based organization where “God and Country” are part of each meeting? Shame on YOU people for believing a load of lies on face value.

          • Anna Beylenn

            I can’t comment on whether or not the story is a lie (nor do I really care to refute or agree with any claims until more evidence comes to light)… But as a Pagan, maybe I can address this question that you pose: “why would they want to join a faith based organization where “God and Country” are part of each meeting?”

            The answer to that is pretty simple: The Boy Scouts is ultimately a good Organization that teaches incredibly useful skills regardless of whether or not it is a Christian organization… The fact that something is funded by and oriented towards a religion that is not your own should have little impact on the ultimate value that you see in it; it does not and should not negate the value and worth that it has as an organization.

            “But why have no problem with the Boy Scouts and yet have a problem with someone handing Bibles out to their Children at school?” You might further ask… And the answer to that is simple as well.

            Because the Boy Scouts is a privately funded organization which has all rights (legally and otherwise) to involve their religious beliefs, practices, and philosophies in their curriculum and materials. The public school, however, is not; in the United States we are supposed to have a separation of church and state when it comes to public sector, government funded programs- including our educational ones.

            There is a bit of a difference in whether or not you want to willingly enroll your child in an organization that is faith based and legally able to involve their faith… And having a faith forced on your children in a program where faith is not supposed to (legally or otherwise) be a part of anything.

          • George Shiflett

            As a Pagans we are taught to be tolerant of all religions , and to accept the blessings of others , if they want to bless me with their gods blessings , thank you very much , we wish to coexsist , I find alternate religion in this country are both tolerated and chastised, it depends on whether they are rich evangelical nut balls or trailer trash evangelical nut balls

          • I genuinely want to know where on Earth they were living in Oklahoma- predominantly because not even their topographical / environmental description of Oklahoma was accurate.

            Unless you’re out West… If that’s the case then I could see it because yeah. The western portions of the state out past Enid do get pretty barren the closer you get to New Mexico. And some small areas to the east of Oklahoma City and Stillwater are often called Red Dirt Country for good reason… But that’s not really indicative of Oklahoma as a whole.

            In fact, the rest of Oklahoma is pretty much the opposite of “flat, with no greenery and brown lakes”. Suffice to say that there’s a reason we call the majority of the state “Green Country”- and unless you’re here in the dead of summer (where, yeah, temperatures can get up to the 110’s frequently), the majority of our state certainly lives up to its name.

          • Debbie Morgan

            The only problem I can see is that her kids will be harassed in school. I would hate for her to have to feel the need to move again but it seems like. I just wished those that label themselves a Christian would just act like it and not hurt others.

      • Thomas Blackfeather

        tell her to come to Vermont! it’s very safe for pagans both open and in the broom closet still. we have public rituals on all the high days and they’re always fun and aggressively family and community oriented.. and in some parts it’s very affordable

        • Margo Howland

          Yes, I agree. Come to Vermont.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    Dear Ms Hawks: You asked for the blessings of the Pagan community. You have mine, to wit: Contact the Lady Liberty League. When institutions like the school district and the police department go limp on you, there’s no restraint on the bigots with paint brushes. LLL might, if asked, mount interventions with the Superintendent and the Chief of Police.

    • Marishka Noyb

      Good info for ALL if true

    • Friday

      Also I’m so sorry we haven’t done better by now.

  • Daniel

    Sorry but as a gay person I’ve seen so many acts of hate actually be nothing but victims actually crying for attention or money that I don’t buy stories blindly. If this person was vandalized then there should be records of the vandalism with police. The school matter is probable but still it would be easy to prove. I find it hard to believe being from even rural GA that OK is worse than the Bible Belt. Most people will leave you alone as a witch no matter your religion if you are an adult. Kids target other kids that is a fact.

    Witches just like any other minority shouldn’t have a knee-jerk response. That is how people end up being taken advantage of.

    • I’m not sure why being gay means it’s OK to blame victims here. Of all the “knee-jerk responses” there are, assuming this is a cry for attention or money, when we were asked for our blessings, strikes me as rather mean-spirited.

      I’m sorry that was your instinct, Daniel. And I very sincerely hope the Hawks family doesn’t allow it to bring them down.

      • Daniel

        Great claims require great evidence. Over the years I have watched many cases of hate crimes be nothing more than ways for people to exploit attention. The problem with witches just like with many in the gay community is to have a knee-jerk reaction and accept any claim as truth. If this person could not even file a police report. Why should any of their claims be taken with an iota of credibility?

        The author of this piece is not a great journalist. A real journalist would look for evidence. There seems to be none other than hearsay.

        • Autumn wolf

          Daniel, are you willing to ask the police department in question if they took the report that Ms. Hawks said that was unfilled? Also the journalist went to the superintendent for collaboration. Another point is Ms. Hawks personal information or the information of her children was not divulged. So, unless you are implicating the journalist inaqick money scene aswell maybe be less quick to judge.

          • Daniel

            I didn’t write the article. That isn’t my job. A good journalist looks for evidence. They do not take things at face value. So do not come for me. Most of this is taught early on when it comes to dealing with legal and public claims.

            If you want to be taken advantage of then by all means take every person at their word. Make sure you feel that their words are gospel.

            Most rational people will require evidence and not hearsay. It is amazing to me the amount of people who do not require evidence. They are also the very people who become victims of fraud and pay for it in the end. So as a reader be critical of claims because sloppy journalist don’t always tell the truth. Or they inflate experiences to generate page traffic.

          • Franklin_Evans

            Your skepticism is reasonable, and I have some sympathy for you bringing your experience as a gay man as a comparison point. I do not, however, condone your IMO knee-jerk criticism of Ms. Schulz’ journalism. She worded and phrased her report quite clearly as to the source of the allegations and attempted to corroborate them with institutional sources.

            I join you in cautioning all to wait for verification of the facts and allegations before rushing to bring money into this. In the meantime, it is quite possible for you to be critical without being caustic.

            Be well.

          • Daniel

            When you wish to believe any note of criticism will seem caustic. So like I said it was not my job to write the article. However, evidence is needed. Also I fully expected to get raked over the coals by true believers. Funny how Pagans can wish away their rationality just like many Christians. There are people who are oppressed in this world. However, not every person crying oppression is telling the truth.

            Also in the short time I have commented numerous people are calling for setting up accounts to fund their needs. That is exactly how exploitive people use sympathy to their advantage and cheat the good natured.

          • jeux999

            It’s like…are you an idiot? Can you not research things for yourself? Never heard of Google, eh? Rather than admit your caustic tone undermined your basic & unnecessary statement, you decided to impugn the author AND the victim. Good job.

          • Cara Schulz

            As of press time, the police have not responded to my inquiries. The school superintendent did. The actual school and teacher listed refused comment. I can try to corroborate, but I can’t force people or institutions to comment.

      • Daniel

        Also not an hr ago someone posted about wanting to set up an account to fund help for them. That is 100% how people get taken advantage of.

      • Franklin_Evans

        I am aware of several instances here in Philadelphia of gays and lesbians fabricating stories and incidents. Many attempted to justify their actions by claiming that the “real stuff” was being ignored, as if volume was what was needed instead of raising awareness of the realities being bad enough already.

        I don’t condone Daniel’s caustic tone. I do agree that caution is required, and I disagree that it’s valid to dismiss his remarks as blaming the victims.

        • Franklin, the family is asking for blessings. Just how much verification is needed before we’re willing to bless someone? We are not in law enforcement, and we are not finders of fact, we’re religious community. There is no reason to presume deception here, and I continue to think it is mean-spirited to do so.

          • Franklin_Evans

            I agree with you completely on the blessings. I do regret not being clear that my intention was to respond to Daniel’s self-description of being gay, and your objection to that being phrased to suggest he was blaming the victims.

            I see you up-voted my comment about his deleted posts. That is my main point and purpose, to focus on his unwarranted criticisms while attempting to constructively understand his motivations.

            My intuition was screaming alarm bells that he is deeply angry. Given my close ties to the local LGBT community, I couldn’t join in the argument against him without acknowledging that.

            I should note that personally I see no reason to doubt the story. I would maintain the caution about sending money to them, but that’s moot anyway with Cara’s update that Ms. Hawks explicitly wants no such contribution.

          • Yeah–this sounds like the Franklin I know. It didn’t come through in the earlier post, but fits with your overall generosity of spirit. *smiling* (Color me unsurprised about that.)

          • Franklin_Evans

            Smiling and blushing.

    • Michael Adams

      really? As the former Oklahoma state director for Pagan Awareness League, and Pagans in Action, Council for Truth, I can absolutely confirm that Oklahoma in general has a very low tolerance for those of any religious belief other than fundamentalist Christianity. Now, as I’ve just heard about it, I have no knowledge of the validity of this report, and I’ve dealt with liars before as well, claiming discrimination when none existed. But the general attitude here certainly makes it possible, even likely.
      Heck, just about a year and a half ago a Christian beheaded his college roommate for practicing Witchcraft here in Oklahoma. Didn’t get the press coverage it should have.

      • Daniel

        Evidence is required before people start throwing their money at a situation.

        • Michael Adams

          and on that I totally agree, seen too many fake claims over the years, the one that stands out in my memory was a husband and wife, both fired both claiming it was due to their being Pagan. His having child porn on his work computer, and her being a schoolteacher handing out her website address to students, a website that had nude photos of her, supposedly had nothing to do with it, needless to say, that cause wasn’t taken up by ANY of the national groups at that time. as the saying goes Trust, but verify. I’ll give people the benefit of the doubt as far as sympathy goes, but cash, phone calls, legal action, I need proof.

          • Jesse Rayleigh

            The incident you describe here sounds a lot like something that occurred in Scotland County, NC, in 2000. Teacher was suspended with pay, front page news story, quarter-page ad announcing a ‘town meeting’ at a local Baptist Church for all ‘Bible-believing Christians’ who did not want her teaching their kids. Her husband was a co-worker of mine – he got fired first. Witchcraft posters in his cubicle, came to work (an automotive factory) wearing a big black cloak, and talked to people like they were plebs at a military academy, He had the name of the company in a caption beside a nude picture of himself on the Members page of his website, which is what he was fired for. When he lost his job I held my breath, thinking it may happen to me too even though I didn’t ruffle as many feathers, but I didn’t get the axe, just a lot of jokes – especially after they went through his computer and saw what he had been downloading on the job.
            So unsettling to have that happen right where I work.

          • Michael Adams

            This particular incident was a few years prior to that, and not in NC.

      • Oh my gosh, I cannot believe people would do that. Beheading.

      • Marishka Noyb

        wow unbelievable how some Christians act….so unchristianly

  • Ms. Hawks, you asked for blessings… you have mine, and my fervent wish that your next home be among welcoming people, of whatever religion. May you and your children find a place to flourish.

    So mote it be.

    • Brandi Pickens

      So mote it Be. <3

  • Jessie Olson

    I’m amazed that this is still happening, and yet, I’ve experienced it myself. I lived in GA for almost 6 years as an out and proud Pagan in the 90s and never experienced bigotry or any issues surrounding my religion. It wasn’t until coming back home to CA that I experienced it for the first time and that was only a few short years ago. I’ve been a Pagan since 1991.

  • Joshua Owens

    I wished I had more means to give the Hawks family, but all can do is spread the word. I am so sorry for the way your family has been treated. You are in my thoughts and may the blessings of the Gods rain down upon you Ms. Hawks.

  • Shawn Durante

    Stay strong little Sis, many blessings to you and yours…..

  • Brandi Pickens

    Intentions and protection for them.
    My the Lord and Lady wrap them protectively in their embrace.
    As I will it, so mote it be.

  • Shawnee Tye

    Go fund me for this family?

    • Marishka Noyb

      Good idea

      • mainer_d

        The article says clearly they only want blessings.

    • mainer_d

      The article specifically states they want only blessings.

  • Franklin_Evans

    One of the benefits of following Baruch’s recommendation is that Lady Liberty will exercise due diligence in verifying the allegations. That is an excellent first-step for many reasons.

  • Ailim Hazel

    I’ve lived in NY all my life, one of the bluest states in the country. I taught school in an urban area for over ten years and have had multiple problems with religion. I’ve had an administrator tell me to lie to kids when they ask, to keep it to myself. I’ve had parents storm a school board meeting like it was 1692 and demand I be fired for my religion. I had students sing hymns at me in class, violent threats, etc. And I couldn’t do anything to stop it or prove I was fired for religious discimination because there was no paper trail. Write ups disappeared and witnesses evaporated. If this kind of thing happened recently in a liberal state, I totally believe this and worst can and has happened in a rural red state. I really feel for this woman and her kids. It is the worst nightmare of a parent to send their kids to school, trusting those adults to protect them and do their job in educating them only to find out that abuse and discrimination is occurring. The beaurocracy that is the modern education system has learned how to erase paper trails and spin/twist what’s actually happening behind those doors. You can’t install cameras or recorders legally in your kids classroom. If it weren’t for monetary concerns like poverty, even more parents would home school. It’s really the only way to keep your kids safe in a situation like this. I worry for my own when she gets to middle school.

  • Charles Cosimano

    Last time I remember Oklahoma was tornado country. The solution should be obvious.

    • areawoman

      i like the cut of your jib.

  • Jacob Hugart

    The Boy Scouts shouldn’t be a barrier. There are two things which should help:

    First, the membership requirement centers around a “duty to god,” but that isn’t defined, and given the wide variety of accepted religious emblems recognized (see http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Awards/ReligiousAwards.aspx to get to the list), it certainly isn’t just the Judeo-Christian God, and any council that tries to force that should be reported to the National council. My council, Northern Star in central Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin, helped a Wiccan practioner in our Cub Scout pack work out a program for her son to earn a religious emblem related to their practice.

    Second, if the troops or packs in her area are being biased about her son joining, she can opt to use the Lone Scout program. This covers various situations; see http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/GuideToAdvancement/SpecialConsiderations.aspx and scroll down to view information on the Lone Scout program. Again, if local troops/packs are discriminating against her son, they should be reported to the local council or the national council.

  • Nichele Jeanne Riddle

    My thoughts are with you my sister. ..I feel your pain….I am sorry there are so many closed minded people in this world. ..

  • Mick Wessels

    uneducated morons… blessed be…

  • Franklin_Evans

    I’m not asking (let alone demanding) to know why Daniel’s posts have been deleted. Having read them and responded to a couple of them, I simply don’t see why they are gone.

    • Heather Greene

      That is an excellent question. One that I was actually trying to figure out myself.

    • Heather Greene

      Franklin, to respond to you directly, they seem to have been deleted by him. If I find otherwise, I will restore them. But they were not deleted by us.

      • I’m not Franklin, but I am glad to hear that.

        I wouldn’t want to think that the Wild Hunt was deleting posts like those.

  • Debbie Morgan

    any Christians that reads the bible, know we are not to judge at all. Not in the least. It even says that is we judge we will surly be judge by God in the same manner. It so hurts any religion that teaches hate. Hate is not a religion it’s a disease!!!

    I am not perfect. There have been times when I’ve wanted to judge and convict especially when it comes to harsher realities in life. Jesus died to save us from the judgment of God. God is that holy and can not (not just does not want to) but can’t tolerate sin. There is so so so much more to that statement then I can go into here. The thing is that because God is who it is Jesus had to die for us. To allow us all to be saved by his blood. Thing is who the heck are we to point fingers at each other and say what is wrong what is right. That is totally for Jesus.. Plus when he was dying on the cross it was not pointing fingers for who he was dying for. He did it for ALL of us.

    • Melanie Silver

      quit proslityzing. no one wants to hear it.

      • Debbie Morgan

        Melanie I was in no way nor did I wish it in any way to be Proselytizing a religion. What I was hoping to get across that Christians are not supposed to finger point at anyone. Nor are we to judge others for anything or any reason and I’m truly sorry if it came across that I was trying to make you believe in a religion of any kind.

        • Melanie Silver

          jesus isnt my god, or any pagans god, if he even existed and there are many gods that pagan believe in. so when someone says jesus died for us and to allow us to be saved, that is Proselytizing. i have become a lot more intolerant of having religion shoved at me and other non christians. i have christian and jewish family and none of them do this.

          • Elfwitch

            I have been Wiccan for 30 years and Melanie you need to really grow up take that chip off your shoulder. Debbie was talking about her faith and why it is wrong for Christians to judge she was not trying to convert you.

          • Karin Alberga

            But they do, all the time. The fact that she is trying to explain it away is an insult.

            If people REALLY took living like Jesus as seriously as they claim, there would be a lot more liberal-minded people in this world and a lot LESS conservative fundamentalists.

          • Elfwitch

            “They do it all the time” There are million of Christians in the world they all do not do this. And what you are saying makes you a bigot don’t think so then how this sound ” Those black people are all thugs” “Muslims are all terrorist”

            I have meet many pagans over the years and some can’t not see that labeling an entire group for what some do makes them as bad as they people they don’t like or feel have wronged them.

            I am Wiccan my partner of 37 years is Christian she is open minded, non judgmental and a good person.

            I am 58 years old and I have found that every group has good people and bad people in it.

        • Karin Alberga

          Bull. Christians aren’t “supposed to” but they do, all the time. And some of us are getting pretty damn sick of it. And then to make matters worse, they try to cry “persecution” because the Church isn’t anywhere near as influential in American life and laws as it was several generations ago. I say it’s high time that happened. There is a saying, “turn-about is fair play.” Now they know how the very people they used to gang up on feel now that those people are finally getting their hard-fought-for rights.

    • kenofken

      If your arguing for a tolerant Christianity, you’re preaching to the wrong crowd. It’s your co-religionists who need convincing. I would like to believe that oppression by Christians rooted in Christian theology is a freak or rare anomaly, our own life experiences and 15 centuries or so of history do not support that contention. Quite the opposite, in fact. Violence and intolerance of other religions is a core feature, not a bug of Christianity. It is the direction in which Christian social and political momentum moves unless checked by mitigating factors.

      It arises from the core of Christian theology, which asserts exclusive claims about universal spiritual truth binding upon all of humanity paired with a divine mandate to evangelize. There is simply no scenario in which a religion (or any other movement) driven by such forces naturally leads to benevolent outcomes and tolerance. What progress has been made in the Christianized West has happened in spite of, not because of Christian theology. Since the Enlightenment and Late Middle Age, religious zeal has been tempered by greater education and literacy (and exposure to competing ideas), by a more diverse, mobile and cosmopolitan society, by modern economic forces and growing secularism in government and society.

      In every region and locality within the United States where those forces are minimal and where Christian identity and demographic strength are high, we see the sort of bullying experienced by the Hawks family and calculated campaigns to marginalize and harm LGBT citizens and anyone else who lives outside of the narrow lines of evangelical Christianity. Once you declare that someone’s spirituality is dead wrong, and that their error threatens everyone’s eternal life, the inevitable conclusion is that “something” must be done to either correct or neutralize the offending people.

      • Karin Alberga

        “…exclusive claims about universal spiritual truth binding upon all of humanity paired with a divine mandate to evangelize.”

        THIS!!!!! The fact that the Bible-thumping fundies claim ALL other religions to be “false” while theirs is the Only True Religion is a perfect example of that. The fact is that they can only claim it is the only true religion FOR THEMSELVES. To have the brass to try to make that claim for everyone else in the world is why they are becoming so disliked in many sectors in this country.

      • zormpas

        As is Islam – what is it about monotheistic belief systems?

    • Wolfsbane

      Christianity isn’t a real religion. It’s nothing but ritualized mockery
      of Judaism. Just an anti-Semitic hate cult with delusions of grandeur.

      Only a fool would believe that a tribal god cares one wit about
      anyone but the people of his tribe. If he can even understand the words
      of other peoples, he laughs at the sheer stupidity of fools groveling
      before a god with whom they have nothing but an imagined connection.

      Yeshua Ben Yosef was born, lived and died a Jew. He was a rabbi, not a prophet to the world. His teachings were meant exclusively for the Jewish
      people but they were taken by sick and depraved corrupt power mongers,
      twisted into something hideous, given a sword and sent out to destroy
      the Jews and the other spiritual traditions of the world to the detriment of all humanity.If Christianity were a government, it’s crimes against humanity would eclipse those perpetrated by all the Fascist and Communist dictatorships combined. And it’s crimes are still being actively committed today.

      • Really? After all we’ve been through as a community, we’re going to play the “X isn’t a ‘real religion'” game?

        If you don’t care for a religion, don’t practice it. If someone is an ass in the name of their religion, treat them as you would anyone who is an ass. But putting anyone on trial for collective guilt and thought crimes rather than individual deeds is absurd at best… and appointing ourselves as judges of whole religions implies that it’s legitimate for an outsider to judge others’ religions in that manner.

        As people who have suffered intensely from slurs against our religions, you’d think we Pagans would be smarter than to even imply that crap is legit.

    • Damiana

      Debbie – this isn’t about you.

    • Debbie Morgan

      I wrote this hoping to just say that it’s frustrating for me as a Christian seeing others that say they are do something horrible and hurt others. I was not trying to sell Jesus to anyone or hurt or upset anyone. This family needs support from all sides as a people.

  • Danny Clark

    Dear Hawks’ Family,

    On behalf of our local coven, Temple of the Celtic Wiccans in Newton, NC, I’d like to extend my deepest sympathies and heartfelt blessings to your family. I can’t think of anything worse to live with than the constant uneasiness of being surrounded by hypocritical bigots bent on chastising your beliefs hoping you’ll either move or join their club. Stay strong sister, stand your ground and above all KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. You are protected by the US Constitution just as they are, and no one, no matter who they pray to, has the right to treat you like this. I’m sharing this article on our fb page in the effort to spread the word that the discrimination and persecution of pagans across this country is not only morally wrong but unlawful and unconstitutional. Many blessings and loving support are being sent to you and your family and may the Lady and Lord strengthen you and guide you through this awful situation. Blessed Be!! ) O (

  • Shanna Sortor LeBlanc

    Being a pagan from the south I can understand what you are going through. I know you originally lived in Texas, but I’m from Alabama so yeah, I feel your pain. I am here for you if you ever want to rant. My blessings are also sent to you will the utmost care and love. Maybe the goddess watch over you and keep you in these trying times. Blessed Be!

    P.S. I’m also ex military so maybe one of these days I can come be a body guard for you! <3

  • Heather Greene

    For those of you talking with a reader named “Daniel,” his comments were *not* deleted by The Wild Hunt. In fact, I was personally responding to one when they all disappeared. I am investigating why this happened. But at this point, it does seem that he made the deletions himself. If we find that they were deleted by some glitch in the system, we will restore them right away. Thanks.

    • Verity

      I did not see Daniel’s comments, but from the context I suspect Daniel was ashamed or realised his comments were not defensible, so he deleted them. A lot of people shoot off comments they later wish they could erase not only from the message board but from everyone’s memory; but once it is out there it is hard to UN-say it.

      I don’t post too often but I’ve been here for years and have never seen the Wild Hunt delete something unless it devolved into nothing but mudslinging to the point of being bullying and abusive and nothing else, or was outright hate speech. It’s just not the way WH operates. But I thank you for clarifying the matter for those who might be unsure.

  • Corinne Stoops

    Blessings and our love from Australia )o(

  • Gina Blazewing

    Do we have a fundraising link available that we can spread? I will post it to all of my social media outlets as well as my blog.

    I would also be very interested in contact with Angel Hawks in order to chat about the current situation.

    Blessings from Edmonton Alberta.

    • DeeDee

      The article specifically states that she does not want funds, she wants blessings.

  • ChristopherBlackwell

    Sorry to hear of such outrageous behavior against a family, Pagan or not.

  • Kristen M. Berry

    We are in OKC and would be more than willing to help her and her children!!!

  • Swan Ninja

    The same people who claim they want religious freedom still put down others freedom for not sharing their beliefs. These are some petty people.

  • Kalib Butler

    I live in SE Oklahoma. As a Gay Pagan, it can be hard…

    • Michael Adams

      I’m in Eastern Oklahoma myself, while I’m not gay, Yep, it can be hard in this part of the country. I’m near Ft. Smith AR

      • areawoman

        greetings from colorado! my partner and i often pass through your lovely town when we’re on our way to Points South and, while we’ve always felt welcomed there (we are hetero allies and usually stop by that nice little gay bar your have in your downtown), i don’t know if i’d have the intestinal fortitude to live there. ^_^ stay strong, friends.

  • Christine Calnin

    Ms. Hawks, I live in south central Wisconsin in a very small town. Ten years ago I started cultivating my online business, Wonderfully Witchy, and have just recently moved from a click and mortar to a brick and mortar location in our small downtown. Half of my shop is dedicated to metaphysical graphic tees, candles, divination, Healing Touch Therapy, etc. and supplies and the other half is dedicated to my screen printing and vinyl graphics business of another more ambiguous name. I have had incredible support in both endeavors.

    For many years, I was very quiet about my Wonderfully Witchy shop but when I finally started letting people know about it, no one really gave a hoot. If anything, they were interested! Right around the corner from me, is a wonderful lady that does acupressure, yoga, Reiki, and more and she’s also had an amazing reception in town. I always thought that my little rural area was very anal and conservative but that’s not really true. Montello has a place for loving and kind people who care. We can always use volunteers. Move north, friend. The seasons are beautiful here and people are generally tolerant and progressive. We dumped Trump and choose Bernie. On Wisconsin!

    ~ Chris

  • Jennifer

    I’m a pagan living in Myrtle Beach SC. We have a great pagan community. I have not been harassed or mistreated. My children had no problems in school either. Maybe she may want to think about moving here. Plus the beach is AWESOME,that’s my church.

  • David Lewis

    if those residents are christian then they know that there is no possibility of a curse being put on anyone as long as their faith is paramount in their lives…

  • Lisa Rowe

    Bind and banish. We are witches. We don’t need to stand by and idly be bullied by anyone. Also, take the legal route. If these people are harrasing, get a civil restraining order, take video, document etc. We have rights like anyone else!

  • Natalie River Smith

    According to the Boy Scouts of America charter, her children cannot be denied membership. The faith requirement states belief in a higher power. That’s it.

  • Vonni Hill

    I am very sorry that you are dealing with the ugliness of small minded people. I wish that you would allow the community, YOUR community to help you with this struggle financially via a GoFundMe account. It might not amount to a whole lot of money (or it might), but most importantly it just might be enough to get you away from there. I am normally not one to back down from a fight but at the same time, there are times where no amount of reasoning and education is going to change folks. I think that this might be one of those times. I see a lot of this Christian hierarchy mentality after moving from the Northwest here to Texas a few years ago. It’s all over the place in the public schools here in North Texas too. What’s most important right now is the well being of you and your children. This is affecting your safety, your family’s health, their education, your livelihood, your financial future, each of your peer relationships and so much more. Find your people honey. Find your Tribe. We are out here, ready to wrap you up, to help you to figure it out and to protect you. That’s how our community rolls.
    Look for me on FB if you like.

  • Lisa Blake

    Christians, sick little bastards aren’t they? They hate everyone who isn’t like them.

  • Katmandu2

    If she and her kids didn’t broadcast their faith, how did anyone find out? Meditation under a tree could be done by anyone of any faith (or lack thereof).

    • Rose Searcy

      Even if she did broadcast it it does not give the Christians the right to do this crap to her and her family. We should not have to live in the shadows as we have done up until now. We have rights just like any one else, it is up to the Christians to learn that they truly are not that special and we are here to stay and we will not go back to hiding in the shadows out of fear of the christians

    • Michael Adams

      Believe me, in this part of the country it doesn’t take much, I began wearing a quartz crystal, wrapped it in wire myself, and instantly began being accused of being a devil worshipper in this small town. granted that was back during the great Satanic Panic. still, that’s all it took, at the time I was deeply in the broom closet, had never even hinted at my religious beliefs, kept those views and my practices completely hidden. The crystal was all it took.

    • Karin Alberga

      The article mentions her kids being being given Bibles in school and they rejected them.

      If you’ve been on any Christian message boards where there are threads talking about yoga or meditation, you would know that most fundies consider both of those activities to open up pathways for demonic influence (yeah, I know….). Some say the same about the Martial Arts, as that is both a spiritual exercise as well as a physical one.

  • Will

    I would love to help a little if yall set a fund up the God and goddess will see yall thru blessed be

    • mainer_d

      The article specifically states they do not want monetary help, only blessings.

  • Monica V Lucas

    Sending courage, healing and love energy to the Hawks family, as well as love and enlightenment to those who see the beliefs of others as somehow subhuman or evil. Paganism is a beautiful thing, a wondrous embrace of Nature, that who/which nurtures us all. To degrade and belittle, and harm those who follow this wise path, is a scary, regressive thing to do. We need better education in the states that is inclusive, not divisive! Take care, and I hope you get out of that mean-spirited town as soon as possible. Live and Let Live.

  • Kerridwyn Sister Fire

    I am the founder of the #IWillProtectYou movement and a Witch. I got yer back Sister. You’re welcome here in Denver.

  • Segomâros Widugeni

    Ms. Hawks,

    Boudios wer te eti wer ton ueniin. Segos wer te eti wer ton ueniin. Nertos wer te eti wer ton ueniin. Duci biieto.

    Victory/ Prosperity upon you and upon your family. Victory/Power upon you and upon your family. Strength/Power upon you and upon your family. So mote it be.

  • Marishka Noyb

    We need to do a phone call thing to this towns Police & School administration and complain for her.It’s worked for others.They don’t like unwanted publicity.We need names and numbers.A few curse threats might work too Salt….for protection.

  • Verity

    Strength and protection to you and your family my dear.

  • Janet Armentani

    Come to Arizona. There are plenty of us here that welcome you. Blessed be sister!

  • Aoekae

    She should move to St Louis, Missouri. We have a big pagan community and even most of the jehovah’s witnesses are polite to pagans and don’t come back once you tell them you’re pagan (instead of trying to pressure you to join their church and such)

  • Timothy Michael Walser

    Blessed be Hawks Family love and light coming your way.

  • Wiccan & Proud

    Thank you for reporting. It’s sad that people are so cruel. Religion is a very personal subject and people should focus on themselves before casting their stones. Blessed Be to this wonderful family.
    ) O (

  • Deborah Wooden

    May the gods bless you, and your family through all of your hardships. Blessed be.

  • Timothy James Solomon

    you have my blessings

    )0( Blessed Be )0(

  • GSD4EVER

    Oregon would be very welcoming to her and her family.. so many pagans here it is not funny. I would say come to the Newport Area.. lots of witch’s on the coast here:) and even over in the Valley in Eugene, Springfield areas 😀

  • Allan John McKim

    My parents are trying to tell me that this is only one side of the story but my body says this is the true story

  • Emily Mills

    You have my blessings for you and your family. I know the feeling of dealing with the hate of bigotry in the heart of bible country. My own step-family claimed I was giving my soul to the devil and would all but force me to church twice a week thinking it would “cure” me. I live in New York now and this small town has shown me that hope is not lost. We have a wonderful little shop here that hosts circles and events every week. Tomorrow we are having a group discussion about Pagan Rights, and your story will definitely be one I share with everyone and send you even more blessings!

  • These small, one-loo towns are fecking disgraceful and ignorant. I hope she can move away from the shitty place before they hurt her or her children.

  • Teffee_88

    I do not believe in blessings or that prayers will do any good, but this article has been shared with my peers with The Satanic Temple and the United Aspects of Satan via FaceBook. If and when you choose to create a fundraiser or would like to request legal assistance, please contact me, and I will share your information in the respective communities to try to get you additional help.

  • Saundra Lambert

    For a country which was founded on the freedom of religion this action is shameful. We will accept the beliefs of other nations but not from the ancestors. To the Hawks Family, may the powers of the universe aid you, guide you and protect you. Blessed Be.

  • Franklin_Evans

    For those who didn’t see the deleted posts, my personal opinion: the writer was, by my reading and a gut feeling, very angry. I saw no reason to tolerate that anger being misplaced upon Cara, and every reason to validate his anger and what were the apparent reasons behind it.

    Towards another “theme” on this thread: I am intimately acquainted with Pagans who suffered emotionally and physically from their Christian upbringing and/or their Christian families when they learned of their Pagan path. There is a time and a place for such things, so I offer this as I’ve offered it to them, with love and compassion: the members of a religion do not define the value of that religion. It either stands on its own merits or it falls on their lack. Christians impose the same fallacy upon us, as if mere numbers is the first requirement to be a “real religion”. Christians point to the few aberrations amongst our number, and insist that they represent all of us.

    Pagans turning that tactic back upon an entire religion is not something I will agree to or stay silent about.

  • Thomas Slater

    I hope there’s a positive resolution, and I will certainly be thinking of them. It sickens me that people can get away with this and hopefully the justice that’s due is eventually served.

  • Nita Whaley Irvine

    I dont understand why they are being like this with her since half of Anadarko are witches and have satanic cults there anyway!!! I used to live there years ago and know this for a fact !!!!!

  • joeboken

    These townsfolk are ignorant. This is the United States, this woman has a Constitutional right to practice whatever religion she chooses, and those who would threaten her are acting outside their own religion, and also the law. Unfortunately, in this country, there are too many ignorant people, just look at the popularity of Donald Trump. Some Christians are not happy just practicing their religion, they are pariahs on the rest of us with their notion that theirs is the only “real” religion, and that everyone else is on a level lower than themselves, how confused can one be?

  • Lady_Biker

    Hi could you tell her She & her family are welcome to come to Wichita Kansas. I own a small WITCHY store & would be delighted in helping her & her family . I am a witch myself, I too, understand the hatred (which is caused by fear).
    Not all Christian People don’t get it… HATE BEGOTS HATE
    Blessings from the Goddess I ask for her in love and light. Blessed Be.

  • Sarah Beaudry

    This is just despicable.
    She hasn’t done anything wrong. Witches promote peace, and are creatures and children of the earth.
    People need to stop judging and fearing what they don’t understand, and instead have the decency to learn about it, instead.
    I am a witch, and my husband has converted as he feels a strong dislike for the Christian faith.
    I’ve never experiences these kinds of actions towards my family, and I hope to never will.
    I just hope this woman and her beautiful children can find happiness and safety and acceptance on their next endeavour.
    Love andight to her and her family.

    Blessed be and Namaste )o(

  • Shannon

    It’s Oklahoma, one of the most inbred states next to Kentucky. If you’re not christian, you’re doomed. Sad thing is, those so-called “christians” aren’t christian at all; they just call themselves that in order to justify their bigotry and hate and their bullying. To me, the only good christian is a dead one.

    • Michael Adams

      No, Oklahoma is not an inbred state, you’re thinking of Arkansas. 🙂
      I’ve told quite a few people I’m not qualified to be a Arkansan, as my parents weren’t related. LOL.

  • Govannon Thunorwulf

    Prayers sent.

  • Kellee Kramer Byrd

    Many blessings to this family. I will be sending blessings and positive energy, love and light from Rio Rancho, NM and Blessed Be!

  • Loreanne Cowan

    Love and light to my pagan sister and her family. )0(

  • Jessy Hummel

    This is so sad. People can be so cruel. What’s worse is these are, most likely, the same people demanding that their religion be respected.

    Your welcome to move to Southern Oregon. We’re a little more open-minded here. And no one thinks meditation is worshipping the devil.

  • Martitta Limon Maldonado

    Im live here in Anadarko my whole life, our community is a community of faith but we are a very open-minded community…we would never force another religion upon anyone nor degrade their religious beliefs…as for the harassment within your apartment I have live out there (not any longer) and seen you doing your meditation (at that time I didn’t know what you were doing) indisturbed. You have to realize you live in the worse neighborhood in Anadarko and just like all other neighborhoods in the world it has its little thugs that will egg your house and what not.
    My children, nieces and nephews attend school at Anadarko public school and I’m pretty sure they would have come home showing me their new bibles they received from school.
    The pastor at Grace would never turn down volunteer work no matter what religion, grace is a non-denomination church.
    But I pray you get the blessing you need to uproot and move because of you are unhappy somewhere you should never stay in that place.
    Peace and love to all

    • Damiana

      So you’re calling her a liar?

  • Linn

    Ms. Hawks, it is with deep sorrow that I say, stay strong, Sister. I am so sorry this has happened and that you and your children have had such a struggle. Bless you and yours.

  • Kobi Dash

    It is sad to see in today’s world that this is still going on. I myself grew up in a christian home, went to church, and in high school a christian school. That was torment. Being the only pagan in the family and trust me it came as natural as breathing and knowing and seeing things at preschool level made me so different and even an out cast. I know her pain. But here is what I don’t understand after all these yrs. How can someone or a group of people call themselves christians when they themselves don’t even understand what it is to be Christ like or christ minded. It would be foolish for anyone of us to deny that christ existed but for me it was more of a great teacher/master like Buddha. To evolve our spirituality. Again yes i am pagan but not stupid. Even these spiritual teachers/masters showed better respect and hung out with the low lives, pagans, lepers and so forth. It is able to raise our vibrations high enough to evolve and to become our true spiritual selves. each path is so different. there really isn’t any right or wrong. However, with that said, it is a shame that these people who claim to be christian are not being very christian at all. they cannot claim to be something they themselves don’t understand or can’t even walk. They claim oh god will forgive me. There is a loop hole if any. we can do and act as we please cause we will be forgiven. there is something wrong with that flaw. Karma is a bitch. We have almost the same rules as christians….just worded a bit different. they say do unto others as you have done unto you. we say do what thou will which is the whole of the law and ye harmeth none. pretty close. So I say to Hawk family, hang in there. they know not what they do. continue to rise above them, blessing them. you are right where you need to be. to help them and to teach this community a very very important spiritual lesson. As hard as it is and at times you feel discouraged keep going. plant your feet, trust in the goddess, universe. you will prevail. And if you can help just one person or plant a seed in one person to help them grow as a spiritual being then your work is done. i know how hard it is and how it will get. know that the Goddess is there for you, your fellow pagans and witches are there for you. we are all reaching out to you touching you with our strength, our honor, our protection. and a personal message from the goddess. Call on me, my daughter, ask of me of what you will. Know that I surround you with my love, my light, my power. I shall walk with you, be by your side and I will become your strength. I have a plan for you something far better. Know that they speak and act out of fear and ignorance. Teach them that their spirituality is not what they are claiming to be nor walking. Not just by words but by your actions. Know that you are truly blessed and something much better is on its way.
    Blessed be my daughter,

    Goddess

  • Damiana

    A Pagan, gay, lower income single mom without close family wants to get the heck out of there, but won’t let community help fund that? Please, rethink that. Your kids and you deserve concrete assistance and the funds to relocate.

  • Amanda Wilkinson-Bonnett

    I wish she’d come back to Texas! I’d help her get into Scouts, as my pagan son and his father are very active here, and my town has quite the large pagan population!
    All my blessings to you and yours, lady. Goddess bless!

  • emily

    I send all my blessings to you and yours, sister. Be strong, know that your tribe is with you in spirit if not if in person and that we sincerely want to help you in any way we can. If that means blessings and prayers to show that you aren’t alone, fine, but if the situation feels like it’s brcoming dangerous or just too toxic, please let us help you get the means to leave that place.

    May the scales of Justice be balanced
    May those act without honor be paid back in full
    May the strength and protection of your brothers and sisters find their way to you
    So Mote it Be

  • Stormie

    How disgraceful that these so called christian people are behaving like common thieves and vandals. I am pretty damn sure it says in the bible ‘love thy neighbour’ …..it does not, as i recall state ‘unless you do not like their relgion’. My thoughts, love and blessings to this lady and her children, I do with all my heart hope the townspeople realise how inappropriately they are behaving and knock it the hell off!

  • WYNEMA GONZAGOWSKI

    Come to Albuquerque, not perfect but a fine Pagan and Wiccan community…

  • Fairburn Cirrus

    Many blessings to her and her children, may the Goddess and the Astral bring you all that you need to overcome this struggle brought to you by hatred and small-mindedness.

  • Nicole Swenson

    Maine may be a long way away, but our Pagan community is strong and welcoming. my son (a Pagan like his parents) is working on his Eagle for Scouts. You can call National to complain that the boy scout unit would not take your son, they will make sure that the local troop and pack understand that Boy Scouts is open to all boys (and ventures is available to all girls and boys aged 14-21) no matter their religion.

  • Steve Pugh

    As a Member of my Fb group the Family has the support of almost 40k members..Stay strong, Stay safe

  • Denise

    She should start a go fund me, and attach it to the police and school. Telling them if they want her gone, fund it. People are so closed minded,,,, Its sad