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Taxpayers Should Not Pay for Chaplains

January 13, 2002

Re "Wiccan Chaplain Brews Storm," Jan. 7: Your article on Jamyi Witch, the Wisconsin Wiccan prison chaplain, tried to show two sides of the story: a Wiccan who claims to be just another leader of another religion trying to minister to inmates and those who oppose her because the religion she practices is not a mainstream one.

[There is] a wider, more basic issue: Should any government body in this country employ any religious chaplains at taxpayers' expense? There is absolutely no justification for publicly funded support of any religious ministry, period. Any religious proselytizing or ministering should rightly be sponsored by those faithful who pursue such beliefs. The rest of us should not be coerced into sponsorship of any mystical, irrational ideologies regardless of their proponents' alleged noble purposes.

Luke Knowles

Venice

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It is about time that the big three monotheistic, patriarchal religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) realized they do not have a monopoly on all matters spiritual. As a follower of the Druid path I am familiar with the kind of intense scrutiny faced by the Rev. Witch. It would be nice if we as a society came to the realization and understanding that we do not all follow the same path.

Greg A. Timpany

Arcadia

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