Tee-shirt for Religious Freedom

From: modemac@netcom.com (Modemac)

[ Article crossposted from alt.religion.wicca ]
[ Author was Iron Oak ]
[ Posted on 16 Feb 1995 21:20:17 -0500 ]

We are selling tee-shirts to raise money to defend worship in
one's home or yard. If you have not heard about the City of
Palm Bay and it's effort to stop Wiccan religious ceremony, the
account of it is given below. We are trying to raise money to
go to Federal Court and use the Religious Freedom Restoration
Act to prevent Palm Bay and other cities like it from using its
zoning code as a tactic to prevent worship in a residential home
or back yard.

If you want to help us win in Federal Court, then please buy a
shirt or contribute to the defense fund. This in NOT a profit-
making venture. I do not intend to quit being an engineer to
sell shirts! All we want to do is win this case. We need money
for legal costs, transcriptions, affidavits, lawyers and so on.
If we win, other cities will think twice about going after small
religious groups. They do not try this tactic against larger
groups because they have more money. Small Pagan groups and
others have been singled out across the country.

We have just received the new shipment of tee-shirts, and they
are beautiful! The shirt is a high quality, white Hanes Beefy-T
with a Nybor original painting silk-screened. The painting
shows a skyclad woman facing away toward a fire with her arms up
as in evoking the fire itself. Around the outside are the
words: "NEVER AGAIN THE BURNING". Below, in smaller letters:
"Church of Iron Oak Legal Defense Fund". The shirts sell for
$18 (medium, large, x-large), $21 (XXL and XXXL).

If you have a way to access Internet HTTP sites and see
pictures, you can see the tee-shirt art. There are two
addresses (URLs). They are:

(University of Wyoming)

Covenant of the Goddess, home page is http://www.cog.org/cog/

Your local metaphysical shop may also have them, just ask. If
they do not, let us know. We will send them information. You
may also get information from Iron Oak directly at:

The Church of Iron Oak, ATC
Box 060672, Palm Bay, FL 32906-0672
Phone: (407) 722-0291
Fax: (407) 724-9693

In 1994, the City of Palm Bay stated in preliminary hearings in
Federal Court that a resident of the City can be cited for
worshipping in their yard more than once a year. Friends over
for a bar-b-que would be all right so long as there was no
prayer! This incredible statement was entered into testimony by
the City of Palm Bay. On the basis of this reasoning, the City
cited the ministers of the Church of Iron Oak, a Wiccan/Pagan
Church, for having invited guests over to worship at their home.
Neither parking, traffic, number of people or noise was an
issue, only zoning. According to the City, you must have a
church variance to pray with over five people more than once a

Sure, the constitution protects the right to worship, except for
one small problem. The hearing with the City cost more than
$21,000, and the suit against the City will cost another $22,000
or so. A small church will not usually have the funds to
protect their right to worship and this is what city managers
are counting on. The ministers of Iron Oak took out a second
mortgage on their home for legal costs. Now, they are taking
the City to Federal court to set precedent under a new law, the
Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and to win back the
legal costs. To raise money, Iron Oak and others have started
fund raisers across the country, but your help is needed.
Please contribute or buy a tee-shirt and support religious

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