Almost $10,000 in two days!!

Dear Friends,

The Earthquake in Japan hits home for me, in some ways literally.

I was born in Fairbanks and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, USA, aka  Earthquake Country.  The Tsunami had mellowed to a few feet by the time it reached Alaska, only a few feet from what my brother told me.   At the same time having grown up with pictures of, and hearing the living memories of, the 1964 Good Friday Quake.   Having grown up with earthquake drills in school as a kid.  Realizing as a teen that while it might help protect you in an earthquake hiding under a desk or table or standing in a doorway might also just make it easier for them to find your body in the rubble.  Knowing that the Anchorage area sees a major quake roughly every 20 years according to recorded seismic data and that the next big one is well over due, knowing that it could very well be my hometown and my family… Earthquakes always hit home for me.

My heart goes out to the People of Japan.

I was heartened when I read at The Wild Hunt about Peter Dybing’s observations and efforts to coordinate a Pagan community response.

(At the same time I am not thrilled that the chosen symbol for the thing was a pentacle, because of course for many of the Pagan faiths the pentacle has little or no personal or spiritual meaning… but I accept that sometimes in an interfaith community there will be growing pains and we will find a way on this issue as on others.)

I am so very happy to report that in the two days of its’ existence the Pagan Community Doctors Without Borders page at First Giving, established by Covenant of the Goddess First Officer Peter Dybing on March 14th is already nearly $10,000  towards their $30,000 goal.

Think about that.  $10,000 in two days… with mostly $20 here and $50 to $100 there….

This is inspiring, not just to know that one of the groups I tend to think of as my people, are doing good in the world… I’ve known that for a while now… but that we are doing it visibly!

There are those who will whinge that you should do charity simply for charities sake, but I say make every penny count.   I am fiercely glad, not only that people will be able to say it took them this short time to reach $30,000; I am glad that they will have a rough count of our numbers or at least of those participating who left a name…. because of course our friends and family members can participate to and support their family and friends in the Pagan community in doing good.  I am glad based on even the low estimates of how many Pagans there are in the U.S. that if each of us gave as we were able we could well overshoot the $30,000 mark!

I am too damn proud for words of Peter Dybing’s remarks on his blog

“Pagans from all over the country have donated and stepped forward to endorse the project. We received donations from individuals as well as organizations. To all those who stepped forward THANK YOU. We still have been unable to generate significant numbers of small donations. It continues to be the goal of this project to engage the entire Pagan community in a unified effort. If you are concerned that you do not have the funds to donate consider just a few dollars. Each of us can only do so much in these tough economic times. What is important is participation not the donation amount.”

Think about it…

The estimates of the number of Pagans (..and Witches, and Heathens, and Hellenics, and Druids, and Religio Romana, oh my…) in the United States ranges from 200,000 to 1 million.  What if ~each~ of us really did give as we could give to this one cause and this one venue…. if the lowest population estimate is right we’d raise 1 million dollars for Japan if each of us gave $5!

How delicious would that be?  What if “Pagan Community Donates a Million Dollars to Japanese Disaster Relief” made the news?  What if that were to replace the latest local wand-waving weirdo as the public’s image of Pagans?

Just think about it…



…and what are you actually DOING about that?

Dear Friends,

I have unilaterally decided that there is entirely to much anger and fist shaking and fear and fear-mongering in the world.  I see blog posts and Facebook status messages full of woe and inevitably, when asked, the only thing a lot of these folks do with their outrage is vent it on their friends on FB or on their blog or what-not.  If you ask them about how they spend their free-time trying to make the world a better place and to improve the social/political/cultural ill or situation that they’ve railed against; inevariably there is a litany of reasons why they couldn’t possibly spend time on this or that or the other.

I am going to start calling people on it.

For the record, I currently do what I can where I can to do good in the world. Sometimes that is sharing information, sometimes that is volunteering time to my U.U. faith community, sometimes that is blogging about practice and work, sometimes it is work at the Pagan Newswire Collective, sometimes it is engaging in religious and spiritual fellowship in support of some of my friends and fellow Pagans and U.U.’s – either in person or online.

When I have money, and as an adult who has lived at or bellow the poverty line his entire adult life and who may have to work till the day I die just to get by that is all to infrequently, I give to causes I believe in.  When my jobs allow me I volunteer my time working for causes I believe in, at least I used too… I kind of lost my way for a few years on that score, and lost sight of my self along the way, but I am getting back together on that score….

For now, I am content to hold myself together in balance and seek Spirit. I am content, for now, to lend my hand or voice to another in need of reassurance or nurturing.  I am content to do these things as I look for ways to do more, hoping… to lend or inspire in many others the strength to change a world that seems so off the rails to me.

For now, I seek to stabilize and improve my own situation.

For now.

And for now, I am going to start calling people on spewing rage or mongering fear whilst assuming their own helplessness.

I would appreciate your prayers, your thoughts and words of encouragement, and what blessings you may give.



A few Choice Words for the People of Egypt, and their critics…

Dear People of Egypt, and President Barack Obama

For over 234 years, We of the United States of America have struggled and worked and fought and prayed and agitated and protested for the ideas and ideals and principles and values outlined in our founding documents the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and The Bill of Rights.

They are Aspirational documents. We have not always lived up to their ideals.  We have gone through a lot of pain and toil and even a Civil War, as a people and a nation trying to live up to them, struggling  and striving towards that “more perfect Union”.

I hope and I pray for the most peaceful, and just, resolution to the current protests and turmoil in Egypt.

As a tax paying, voting, U.S. citizen I hope that the United States Government, which is supposed to support and uphold the U.S. Ideals, will find a way to support the People of Egypt in their struggle for true democratic change in their nation.

Thank you,

Geoffrey D. Stewart

(From the U.S. Declaration of Independence)

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


(From the U.S. Constitution)

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,


So I posted this to my facebook as a note, and tagged, among others. The U.S. President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and the leaders of both Party Caucuses in the Congress….

They Said Forward as Appropriate…

“Please forward as appropriate.

Avalon Cares will be collecting money to help a Pagan family this holiday season. One family brought to our attention are hard working army veterans with four children. They have no money for the holidays and three of the four children struggle with chronic health problems. We plan to give them gift cards to help them through this difficult time. Please consider donating whatever you can – $5, $10, $25 or more. It adds up quickly and we can make a real difference for this family.

You can donate via paypal by visiting our website at
(or send a direct paypal payment to


via post mail to :
Officers of Avalon
PO Box 22
Baraboo, WI 53913
attn: Avalon Cares

Thank you for your consideration and generosity.

Kimberley “Windwalker” Long-Ewing
Preceptor General
Officers of Avalon “

and so I did…

More Resources…and seeking input on the OPR page.

Dear Friends,
So I am researching Brighid, as I am working on an Imbolc ritual… although being in Florida I am unsure how to incorporate honoring the cycles of nature around me with the themes of the Holy Day… I will work on that… anyhow I have found a couple of Celtic spirituality and information sites that are going into the Pagan Resources section of the Online Pagan Resources page…

Celtic Well

This is the website of the Celtic Well, an e-mail mailing list for those interested in studying the evidence for ancient, medieval, and modern Celtic religious practices and beliefs.   In addition to links to their yahoo-group/mailing list, there are articles of interest.

Jones’ Celtic Encyclopedia

An online Celtic encyclopedia of information seeking to catalogue all possible elements of Celtic culture, from its origins in central Europe in the Bronze Age, through the 21st century.  Created and maintained by Mary Jones


In the course of my researches I have also found a form of Paganism new to me, Brythonic Paganism… they are being added to the Online Pagan Resources page under Brythonic Paganism..

Dun Brython

A group blog and resources site aiming “To research, recover and redistribute to the best of our knowledge and wisdom the native British pre-Christian Spirituality, as evidenced by historical sources and personal experiences, to trace its influence and expression into later times and to explore its application and relevance to life in the modern world”

The White Boar

An site with information and essays by one of the Pagans involved in this path.


Now comes the request for input,  I would like to ask some of my dear readers to take a look at the categories and sites listed on the Online Pagan Resources Page and if you see a site or a section that A) needs to be added or B) You feel is unclear or somehow lacking.  Please let me know in the comments to this post.


Pax / Geoffrey Stewart

Stand up for justice, please…

Dear Friends,

I recently came across an article about an elderly gay couple Harold and Clay, who shared a life together for 20 years, who were forcibly separated from one another by the State of California when one of them fell ill.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling.

Without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold’s possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold’s lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home.

Now given that the State of California and the County of Sonoma completely ignored the perfectly legal and well defined paperwork that these men had already filled out, including end of life directives and surviving power of attorney, it is probable that had they been married or civilly partnered those too would have simply been ignored in this inexplicable tragedy.

Please follow the link, spread the word, and do what you can to support GLBT and Elder rights in your area.



New Charity added to the Online Pagan Resources Charity Section!

Hey folks,

Iam adding a charity to the Online Pagan Resources page, in part in response to this news story from NPR, wherein a grieving father of a fallen soldier is being required to pay the Westborough Baptist Church’s court costs in a lawsuit where the father challenged their freedom of speech to demonstrate with signs such as “God hates Fags”, “Thank God for Every Dead Soldier”, and “God Hates America” (they feel that the death of U.S. Soldiers is their God’s way of judging the U.S. for GLBT Civil Rights) outside his son’s funeral.  He was putting forth his families rights to privacy against the protestor’s freedom of religion and speech, although I would think that the father’s family freedom of religion would also enter into it.

Anyhow since the Charities section lists both Pagan Specific and Non-Pagan Specific charities, I have decided to add The Patriot Guard Riders.


Supporting Pagan organizations and institutions:Officers of Avalon

Dear Friends and Pagani and U.U.’s,

So like any self respecting member of the online contingent of the Pagan community I am signed up for a nigh-ridiculous number of lists and newsletters and things.  A lot of times I let these connections lay dormant and focus on a few well worn paths in this World Wide Web Between the Worlds…

Recently however I received some very interesting news from an organization I’d like to highlight, the Officers of Avalon.

Officers of Avalon

An international organization for Pagan Law Officers and Emergency Workers

Avalon Cares

The charitable works arm of the Officers of Avalon, they have done some great work and are worth checking out!

~taken from the Chrysalis Online Pagan Resources Page…

That is the short version, their own website says more…

“The Officers of Avalon is a fraternal, educational, and charitable organization. We seek to provide a community and network for Pagan first responders and to serve as a voice for them. We seek to provide accurate information and improve public perception about Pagan spirituality through education. We seek to defend followers of Pagan spirituality by working against misinformation, discrimination, defamation, harassment and intimidation. We are an outreach to Pagans in the Emergency Services. We also seek to demonstrate that Pagans are a charitable people. To that end, we work on the collection and distribution of donations to communities in need for natural disaster relief. Join us today as an Officer of Avalon or a Friend of Avalon.” ~from the Officers of Avalon site, accessed 11:16 am 2/23/10

OoA is one of the few Pagan Professional organizations founded in the 1990’s to still be going and growing strong.  This alone is worthy of some praise, the fact that they have expanded beyond merely advocacy and support for their own community but have sought to do good in the wider world through non-profit charitable work is doubly praiseworthy.

Avalon Cares is the charitable wing of the OoA and, last I looked into it, they were working on their 501c status (legal/tax code designation for non-profit status, and thus freedom from taxes, here in the U.S.).  They trucked in disaster aid to a small town in Louisianna after Katrina, they paid for and shipped new uniforms for members of the New Orleans Police dept., they worked to raise funds for disaster relief after the California Wildfires a few years ago, and the brush fires in Australia last year.  They are now establishing a fund for aid in the face of the ongoing disaster in Haiti!

Avalon Cares Update
Avalon Cares, the charitable branch of Officers of Avalon,
is accepting donations for Earthquake Relief and
rebuilding in Haiti. Our goal is to help communities recover
as quickly as possible and to fill in needs not met
by larger organizations. In the short term, we will make
donations to Doctors without Borders on behalf of our
membership and Pagan communities in general. We
also plan to look into ways to support the first responders
already there, particularly in the military, with care
packages. It will take years to rebuild Haiti. In the long
run, we plan to support like-minded groups going in to
do direct relief work by providing supplies, volunteering,
and assistance with shipping and travel. We will
partner with one or more groups to help with rebuilding
in the months to come.
There are many ways to help us help others. 100% of all
direct cash donations earmarked for Haiti will be used
exclusively for relief work. Consider doing a fundraiser
for Avalon Cares. Set out a jar at a gathering and send
us a check for the proceeds. Those quarters, dimes, and
dollars add up quickly. Donate items for our upcoming
charity auction. Finally, join us on Facebook (group
name Officers of Avalon) or ask to subscribe to our
announcement list ( and
watch for opportunities to volunteer your time.
Please donate $5, $10, $25, or more via PayPal (http:// or postal mail
Officers of Avalon
PO Box 22
Baraboo, WI 53913″

~accessed from their Feb 2010 newsletter on 2/23/10 at 11:26 am

Membership as a “Friend of Avalon” is only $15 dollars and the money goes to support this organizations work.
Why support them?  Well in Paganism and the Pagan movement and our many faiths and communities we face an uphill battle in a society where our numbers and motives are often called into question.

In supporting an organization like Officers of Avalon we can not only do good in the world, we can not only stand up for our beliefs and for the values we hold dear, we can also stand up and show the larger world who Pagans really are and what we are really about!  Even if our numbers are small we can have an incredible impact for good in the world, but by supporting some of the few extant Pagan specific charitable organizations we can empower them, and our community and the next generation of Paganism as a network of World Religions.



(Friend of Avalon as of his next paycheck and the response time from OoA)

Hazards to U.S. Freedom of Religions

Dear Friends, Pagani, and U.U.’s,

Patrick McCollum, Wiccan prison Chaplain and respected Pagan Elder is in the news lately (summary of some of the stories at The Wild Hunt) because of a lawsuit in federal court to fight for religious freedom in the California Prison System.

“In 1997, after the settlement of a case involving a Wiccan inmate, the California Attorney General’s Office asked Rev. McCollum to serve as a Wiccan chaplain, making him the first government-recognized Wiccan chaplain. [3]. Subsequently, he has served as a statewide correctional chaplain for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. According to the Finding of Fact by the U.S. District Court[13] in McCollum, et al. v. CDCR, et al.,

“Plaintiff Patrick McCollum is a Wiccan [footnote omitted] clergyman who became a volunteer chaplain at the California Corrections Institution (“CCI”) Tehachapi in January 1998. By February 2000, McCollum served as a volunteer, non-salaried Wiccan chaplain for all 33 CDCR correctional institutions.”

He is currently engaged in litigation in the US 9th Circuit Court (McCollum, et al. v. CDCR, et al., C 04-03339 CRB) challenging the California Department of Corrections’ “Five Faiths” policy [4] which recognizes only five major world religions for inclusion in California’s prison chaplaincy program. A summary judgment was filed on February 23, 2009 [5], claiming that Rev. McCollum did not have proper standing in the case, and is currently under appeal[6]. Appellants’ brief was filed on November 19, 2009. Three amicus briefs in the case have been filed by (1) Americans United for Separation of Church and State [7] , the Anti-Defamation League[8], the American Jewish Committee, the [[Interfaith Alliance], and the Hindu American Foundation, (2) Interfaith Community Representatives (i.e., numerous individuals and organizations “committed to facilitating dialogue between the faiths and ensuring that all faiths are treated fairly,” including the American Correctional Chaplains Association), and (3) Florida Justice Institute and Legal Aid Society of New York City.

Rev. McCollum is a member of the American Correctional Chaplain Association, the Program Chair for the National Correctional Chaplaincy Directors Association, and the Chaplaincy Liaison for the American Academy of Religion.

On February 5, 2008, Rev. McCollum testified before the U.S Commission on Civil Rights [9], and his remarks were widely quoted in the Commission’s report entitled “Enforcing Religious Freedom in Prison” [10]”

~Taken from the Wikipedia entry on Mr. McCollum 02/22/10 4:37pm

There is an excellent audio  interview with Patrick McCollum over on Anne Hill’s Blog of Gnosis.

The results of this case could affect Religious Freedom rulings across the United States.   Please, please, take some time to listen to this interview, and to read up on the case.  Especially if you are living in the U.S.




The On Faith blog has a great guest editoral related to todays topic…

Prayers & Work for Haiti…

Dear Friends and Pagani,

As you doubtless know a 7.0 earthquake has hit the island nation of Haiti.

(Stories on CNN, The New York Times, and New Jersey(dot)Com’s coverage of Wyclef Jean’s calls for donations to the Haitian charity Yele, on his Twitter feed)

In the midst of my everyday and my crazy schedule, my heart has been going out to the people of Haiti and I am trying to figure out how best to help.

I am particularly sympathetic to this issue as someone from Anchorage, AK.  The 1964 Good Friday Quake‘s devastation is something every Alaskan school child studies.  While I now live thousands of miles away, I also live with the knowledge that what historical records we have of the tectonic activity of my hometown says that there is a large earthquake every 20 years or so.  Anchorage is nearly 20 years overdue…  so my prayers and sympathies are very much with the people of Haiti.

When I have the chance I hope to take a candle and a card to the Haitian Consulate here in Orlando, which has a large Haitian population.

In the meantime I will donate what little I can to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s earthquake relief fund (here) and for the moment am just spreading the word.

(more info on the UUSC at their site, and on wikipedia)

There is also an evolving discussion of the different avenues of donation going on at the relevant article on the Wild Hunt.

It is through there that I also found a list of Green Charities operating on the ground in Haiti, if you are as minded of long term aid as well as short term relief you might consider donating to them as well.

A Witches Prayer for the Haitian People

I Pray to You oh Mighty Mother and Forceful Father

I respectfully call out unto All the Holy Powers of the Universe,

Please let all of Your Love and Compassion and Blessing to bear,

On the Island and the People of Haiti in this time of pain and suffering,

May the Holy Powers of Air inspire them and help them to communicate with their far flung families,

May the Holy Powers of Fire warm them and bring the healing of bodies,

May the Holy Powers of Water quench their thirst and bring the healing to their hearts,

My the Holy Powers of Earth feed them and lend them strength,

Blessed may You be,

Blessed may they be,

So mote it be.


Pax / Geoffrey Stewart

An Update…

Shortly after posting this I received an e-mail from PeaceNext, the social networking site of the Parliament of The World’s Religions, with a link to a CNN(dot)com list of charities working to aid the nation and people of Haiti…

Power and Compassion…

Dear Friends and Pagani,

As I look forward into the new year, and to the personal projects I am working on and those affiliate with my local U.U. Church, I also am looking towards causes I can support and campaigns I can look forward to raising funds for in the future.  I wanted to share a few good and inspiring causes here, these will be added to the Charities listing on the Online Pagan Resources Page…



ps- I have, on occasion, been accused of being an idealist… they might be right…

Every Human Has Rights

Every Human Has Rights – Campaign Highlights from Every Human Has Rights on Vimeo.

More information on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, here, and here.

The Charter for Compassion

Standing On The Side of Love

This campaign, originating within the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, has already started work and campaigns for Immigration fairness and reform, and for GLBT Civil Rights and Marriage Equality.

The Elders

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

A number of examples of this work can be found on their webpage, but one excellent example can be shown in former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s video address to The Parlaiment of Worlds Religions.

President Jimmy Carter addresses the Parliament from Parliament of Religions on Vimeo.

Passing along info regarding an anti Pagan hate incident on United Airlines

I’m wondering if you might be willing to pass this story of something horrible that recently happened to me along to anyone you think might be interested:

Greetings fellow Neopagans,

I have a story to tell and I hope that you will pass this on to as many other Neopagans, New Age spiritualists, humanitarians or people you know who believe that no person should be harassed or discriminated against based on their religious beliefs.

In August I filed a complaint against an employee of United Airlines who verbally attacked me for my religious beliefs. To date United Airlines and their subcontractor Airserve Corporation, have not made any efforts to alleviate the pain and humiliation I experienced.

I had been traveling through Chicago on my way home to California when this incident occurred. I was waiting for a wheelchair to preboard my plane, but the attendant arrived too late to preboard me, despite the fact that I had asked him several times to ensure he returned for me on time. He then got another attendant who asked me to pray with him and give up my burdens to god.

I am not a Christian and I informed him that I am the minister of a Druid congregation and then asked to change the topic.

At this point he became confrontational and got down in my face; he began to quote scriptures at me and was so vehement that he sprayed spit in my face. He told me I would go to hell, quoted scriptures about false idols and told me that I would be a better person with his god in my life.

I am a disabled veteran of the united states Army and a veterans advocate, I volunteer my time at a transitional house for formerly homeless veterans, I do work in my local municipal park, I contribute my time on our local Homeless Task Force. How DARE he say I could be a better person with his god in my life. How DARE he imply that I wasn’t a good person just because I’m not a Christian? I give so much to my community and no one I know would say that I am not a kind and generous person.

He continued to tell me that his god would help me rise above my disabilities. I hold a Masters degree in Psychology, I am actively involved in my community and my faith, I have hundreds of friends all over the world, I am a well-adjusted, well-educated and well-liked person. I’d say I’ve risen above them already WITHOUT HIS GOD. How presumptuous!

Most people at this point would have walked away.

However, I take muscle relaxers when I fly and since this was a connecting flight I was already unable to walk, hence the need for the wheelchair. At this point he began strapping me into the aisle chair. For those who don’t know, this is a chair the put you in to take you down the aisle of the plane when you can’t walk. He continued to lecture me, with hate in his eyes the whole time.

He was incredibly aggressive, hostile and intimidating and there was NOTHING I could do.

I called to the flight attendant on duty for help but she ignored my requests. Finally, the other passengers, who were also waiting to board, became so disturbed by his behavior that they insisted on letting me board before them. Remember that we were already half-way through boarding at the time because they had failed to pre-board me in accordance with FFA regulations.

He got me on board and into my seat. Before he left I told him that he needed to remember that not all his passengers will be Christian and that there are many paths to sprit. He said, very vehemently, “yes, but there is only one God.” I immediately wrote down his name and as many details as I could remember from the confrontation in my planner.

United’s employee violated my civil rights as a human being and US citizen and he also exercised unfair power over a disabled US Army veteran who had no way to remove herself from the situation. I felt threatened, humiliated, and alone.

As a result of the employee’s abuse I have sought counseling to discuss the distress that I still feel over this incident. I’ve been a Pagan for 18 years and have NEVER been harassed or discriminated against because of my religion before. So this came as a complete shock to me.

When I returned home I filed a complaint on United’s website. I received a return call and was told that no one by that name worked for them. I was then referred to the Airport complaint line who referred me to the City of Chicago, who said they’d look into it. I also filed a complaint with the ACLU (with little success), the DOT Aviation Consumer Protection Division, and the FAA.

DOT investigated and so did the city of Chicago. I was later told by the city of Chicago that the employee worked for Airserve corp., a subcontractor of United. I contacted Airserve and was told that they had investigated the situation and had fired the employee because of his actions.

However, neither United nor the contractor, Airserve corp, has offered any restitution for the humiliation I experienced. United claims to have sent me a certificate for a new flight (no amount has been indicated) but I have NEVER received it and wouldn’t fly with them again if my life depended on it. All I want is my ticket refunded, a small price to pay for the horrendous treatment I received.

I want to send a very clear message that United can not allow its employees to harass customers, no matter their religion, particularly helpless ones that can not remove themselves from the situation.

I am a Neopagan Druid and proud of it. No one in our nation should walk in fear that they will be harassed or discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. Especially the helpless who can not defend themselves against hate and prejudice. This was HATE, pure and simple. United and Airserve, you owe me a formal apology and I expect to be compensated for my pain and suffering at the hands of your employee.

To anyone out there reading this, if you’ve been harassed or discriminated against because of your religious beliefs, STAND UP! I don’t care if you are Wiccan, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian, Druid, Muslim, Jewish or any other religion. You deserve to be treated with respect and so do I.

If you believe in religious freedom I urge you to join me in boycotting United Airlines and their affiliates. If you think you can help me with my case against them, or have a similar case, please let me know.

Blessings and thank you,

Rev. Jessie “Medb” Olson