Does Indiana's 'Religious Freedom' Bill Allow Naked Dancing in Public?


Guess the Satanists are an inspiration across many faiths, because one Wiccan is claiming Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act has implications beyond Christian florists, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.

Via Raw Story, The Daily Beast spoke to the High Priest and High Summoner of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Washington State, Dusty Dionne, who called this sort of bill “horrible” but promised, “if they are going to open up this can of worms, we are going to shove it right in their face.” Basically he wants to troll these laws into submission. How would the good people of Indiana like some celebratory nude dancing?

Should a Wiccan be found to dancing naked under the light of a full moon in Terre Haute, they would be immune from prosecution merely by citing “The Charge of the Goddess,” a Wiccan holy scripture: “Whenever you have need of anything, once a month, and better it be when the moon is full, you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me Who is Queen of all the Wise. You shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that you be free you shall be naked in your rites. Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My Presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and Mine also is joy on earth.”

And more weddings:

“Many of us believe that love is the law. Though it is not a quote-unquote Wiccan tenet to have polyamorous marriages, it is under Wiccan law that love is the law,” he said. “Whatever we want to do with marriage we can do. Carte Blanche. If I want to marry a horse, I can marry a horse.”

While we’re at it, say goodbye to DNA and Breathalyzer tests, too:

“We believe in internal magic. We believe that we carry our essence within ourselves, our bodies, so we won’t for example drink from a cup of a person we don’t know or, clip our nails in the house of someone we don’t know, because if someone with ill intent has a part of our internal essence, they can hold a power over us. My body is a temple. If you come for a piece of my temple, I can say no.”

I’m no jurist so I can’t tell you whether any of these arguments hold water; I very much doubt the authorities of Indiana would cooperate without pitching a huge shit fit. And Dionne certainly doesn’t speak for all Wiccans, some of whom have more conventional objections to these laws. For instance, Wild Hunt editor Heather Greene would like to see more religious protections for practicing Wiccans but says that “the concern is that recent RFRA language is so broad that it will ultimately only lead to both religious and LGBTQ discrimination.” You can read an interesting, thoughtful parsing of the issue and various arguments within Wicca here, at Wild Hunt.

But I’d sure love to see this play out in the courts.

Photo via Getty.

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