Target: Iowa State Representative Liz Bennett
Goal: Thank the Iowa legislature for embracing religious pluralism.
A Wiccan has been invited to host Iowa’s House of Representative’s opening invocation, marking a first in American history. This is a significant victory for religious pluralism and diversity. Applaud the legislature for achieving this historic milestone.
In 2014, the Supreme Court refused to revoke the right of legislative bodies to begin their work days with a short sectarian prayer, with the stipulation that the prayer be inclusive of all people. Ever since, the vast majority of these invocations have been made by Christian leaders, however, and many attempts to bring people from other religious backgrounds in to host the brief ceremony are met with controversy and condemnation from conservative politicians—often enough to dissuade the given religious leader from hosting altogether.
In a bid to fight against this tendency and accurately reflect the religious diversity of Iowa and the broader United States, State Representative Liz Bennett invited Deborah Maynard, the leader of a local Wiccan congregation, to host the Iowan House of Representatives invocation. Wicca is a modern pagan religion practiced by at least 350,000 Americans, and this is the first time in the history of the country that one of its representatives will be given the opportunity to host one of these invocations.
America was founded on religious pluralism and freedom. Our government should embrace that ethic, not shut it down. Sign the petition below to applaud Representative Bennett for highlighting and celebrating America’s religious diversity.
Dear Representative Bennett,
I am writing you today regarding your invitation to Wiccan priestess Deborah Maynard to host the April 9th invocation at your state’s House of Representatives. This is a significant victory for American religious pluralism, and I wanted take the time to thank you for bringing it about.
The United States was founded, in part, on the basis of religious freedom. That fact is too often forgotten these days, taken to mean that America is a fundamentally Christian nation rather than a nation where all people of all religious backgrounds—or lack thereof—should be able to live their lives with their beliefs respected by both their fellow Americans and their government. This is what makes America great, and it something we should embrace and elevate. The diversity of belief in this country is a beautiful thing, and something we should be proud of.
A Wiccan state legislature invocation, the first of its kind in all of American history, is a wonderful celebration of this diversity. I applaud you for making it happen, and urge you to continue to highlight the religious diversity of both your state and the country as a whole.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Midnightblueowl via Wikimedia Commons