Will She Wynne Again?

It looks like the people of Great Falls, SC will be taking their court battle over public prayer straight to the Supreme Court.

The case in a nutshell, Wynne a practitioner of Wicca moves to Great Falls and attends the city council for help with drug dealers who were harassing her.

“This home put me on the other side of town and I had to learn a new way to get where I was going. I began to have to stop at this stop sign on a daily basis to get to and from work. At this stop sign, stood 3 crack dealers that every day asked me if I wanted to buy crack and when I said no, they then would get vulgar and tell me they wanted to shove 12 inches up my butt. After about a month or so, they began to drive by my house as well to make these rude comments to me when they would catch me outside working in the yard or cleaning my vehicle. “

Darla Wynne

Instead of helping they make an issue of her religion and become hostile to her.

“I went into the council meeting, I prayed with them and then my turn came to talk about the crack dealers at the stop sign. I got a single sentence out and then the topic changed over to my bumper stickers and I was asked about my religion. Keep in mind, that during all 6 of these meetings I was questioned about my faith and my bumper stickers, told they were offensive and even asked to remove them, but I still prayed with them and still attempted to handle my situation with the drug dealers. even though prayers such as “may all the residents of our town find Christ our Savior before their keeper in hell takes them down for ever,” which I felt were directed at me. The scene of the meetings are getting more and more church like as

I continued to go there.”

Finally after going to meetings for months Wynne decides to no longer bow her head in Church..I mean city council.

“Now keep in mind, I am still going to the meetings and dealing with their nonsense over my bumper stickers. Then one day, I stop bowing my head and the council waits for me to bow my head. They point out that some people won’t participate in the prayer and of course, everyone turns to look at me and comments are made such as, “Satanist. If you don’t like things the way they are leave. We don’t want your kind here.”‘

Finally, after constant community harassment (dead cats, threats, intimidation) and after her attempts to ask for a rotating prayer or a generic one failed Wynne took the case to court and won, and kept winning up to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit who also ruled in her favor and barred the council from saying anything other than generic prayers.

But now it is going to the highest court in the land. Will Bush get the chance to appoint one or even two Supreme Court justices by then? If so how will that affect this case and other cases like it? The next couple years will most likely see at least two cases that directly affect the rights of modern Pagans, this one and the case over the religious rights of prisoners that involves an Asatru and a Satanist.

In any case it will be important to watch for the outcome of both these cases, and to constantly advocate for our rights in a society that mocks and sometimes fears us.

Jason Pitzl-Waters