Special 05: Statement from Michelle Morris of Fort Hood, Texas

February 21, 2013 Special Podcasts

My name is Michele and I am Pagan. This is not usually the first thing that I identify as, I am also a mother, I was an Army wife for 17 years, I am a minister, I am college educated and worked in the mental health field. I currently support and minister to a large Wiccan/Pagan community out of Fort Hood, TX.

I am a Distinctive Faith Group Leader, or DFGL, for Fort Hood Open Circle, the first government sanctioned Wiccan/Pagan congregation on a military installation. Our congregation is made up of soldiers, families, retirees, and local civilians who live, and work in the greater Fort Hood and Killeen communities.

In a military community, we are Americans, first and foremost, staunch defenders of free speech and the free and unhindered practice of religion, whatever that may be.  Technically speaking, the statements made by Tucker Carlson and his colleagues in no way hinder my free practice of my religion. However, they are deeply offensive to me and to the community that I am entrusted with.

As a public Pagan figure I would like to go on record as saying that I am not the collection of stereotypes that he described, nor do I appreciate being identified as such. In this county it is not considered acceptable to denigrate any group simply because their private choices are not something you would make, as a collection of public figures on a national news format, Tucker and his colleagues should be held to better standards of integrity.

I also applaud the work done by the University of Missouri and by numerous other colleges, universities and public school systems across the country, to extend respect and understanding to all religions practiced on their campus.

 

 

Editor’s Note: Attached Audio updated on Feb. 25, 2012.¬†