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TSA fires Witch

This post was written by Elysia
on March 28, 2011 | Comments (12)

MSNBC.com: Whistle-blowing witch grounded by TSA

Just a quick post today, because I want people to spread the word about this.

This weekend I had an amazing time at Paganicon getting together with like-minded people in a safe and educational environment. At times like these I really feel like being Pagan is no big deal; it’s just another spiritual path that has all sorts of adherents, and we can all get together and talk about important things. But this morning back in the office, reality rudely awakened me once more to the fact that some people just don’t get it. That’s fine, but it’s a problem when those people then harass you and cause you to lose your job.

This article gives a compelling picture of  a group of people highly uncomfortable with having to work side by side with a Wiccan. We see the kinds of sneers and slights she had to endure; her complaints about harassment went unheeded, while a woman afraid that she’d be the target of a hex was escorted to her car for protection. It seems clear from the emails referenced in this article that this woman’s coworkers and supervisors at TSA were all working in unison to get her fired from her job.

I really wouldn’t expect more from an agency like TSA, because even though they’re a government agency and should be following the letter of the law… well, they don’t seem to have any regard for the 4th amendment of the Constitution, so why should they care about the 1st? However I am disappointed with the judge’s ruling in this case and truly hope that the woman is able to hire a lawyer for her appeal, because it’s possible she was just in too deep and not able to present a conclusive case to the judge that proves without a shadow of a doubt that she was fired because of her religious beliefs. Unfortunately, as a Wiccan, I don’t believe in coincidences” just isn’t going to cut it in a court of law.

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Serenity
on March 28th, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

Thanks for sharing.

We had a man here fired for wearing his pentagram to work at a local grocery store. It was smaller than a lot of the crosses that christen women wear, but he was fired becuase it made them uncomfortable.

He petitioned with the company headquarters and got his job back but eventually left town becuase his tires would get slashed when he was at work and his home had been vandalized.

I hope that someday all of us will be able to come out of the broom closet with out having to fear for our jobs, but this just shows we are a long way from achieving that.

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#2 
Written By Snowy
on March 28th, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

Remember what happened when the Romanian government tried to hassle Witches?

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#3 
Written By Laurie
on March 28th, 2011 @ 4:50 pm

I would think that any lawyer would jump on this case for no cost to Carole until the outcome of the lawsuit…which TSA would definitely lose!! I think it’s disgraceful that she got fired for being Wiccan….would she have gotten fired for being Catholic, or Jewish or any other religion? Why is everyone always jumping to be sooooo politically correct for every religion except Wicca? There were people who were not Muslim, fighting for the Muslims to build their church by where the twin towers stood in NYC, but this woman Carole, can’t go to work without being harassed? I’m wishing the TSA well, because they are going to be paying her big bucks!!!

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#4 
Written By Dissy
on March 28th, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

I’ve never had a problem at work, and I’m quite visibly Pagan. I’m very fortunate that way, I realize.

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#5 
Written By The Mountian Lady
on March 28th, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

I can’t even begin to describe what an outrage these occurrences are! What is it going to take to stop this fascist bigotry! It is NOT tolerated for or by ANY other Religion, WHY is it being tolerated for Wiccans and Pagans? It has been discussed in my Circles that, in the past, when peoples Rights were being violated they must do SOMETHING to be Heard and Recognized. We simply must band together as a People and Be Heard. Most of us are non-confrontational, and there are those of us who do not like to make ‘waves’, but SOMETHING must be done! I would love to see us March on Washington, wearing proudly our Pentacles…(Peacefully, of course). We MUST make our Voice HEARD! Unfortunately, One Woman or One Man can NOT fight “City Hall” Alone. We have to get behind our Sisters and Brothers. If there ever were such a ‘Call’ for us to Band Together and Be Heard, you can BET I WILL BE THERE!

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#6 
Written By Doreen Shababy
on March 28th, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

After reading the full article, it does appear that Smith was harassed and discriminated against. However, it also appears that she did not always follow protocol and other specific procedures of her position. Personally, I wouldn’t want to fly out of any airport, mostly on account of all that invasion of privacy!

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#7 
Written By Carolyn Maroney
on March 28th, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

I have worked places where attitudes have been skewed by ignorance regarding my chosen path. It is my hearts intention to educate those who are interested in learning the truth about Pagans and Witches and the Witchcraft we practice.

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#8 
Written By Simone Carpino
on March 28th, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

Title VII – discrimination based on religion – you have a federal case against TSA. Contact me if you want more information. I work at a law firm. Maybe they can help you or direct you to someone who can. What they did is against the law; not only that, it is based on slander, false accusation, misrepresentation, fostering a hostile work environment and possible retaliation re your inquiry about lax security. Please contact me. This should not be tolerated.

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#9 
Written By Kay Cobb
on March 28th, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

Carole needs to stand her ground, I know it didn’t help her case at work. We try from time to time to educate
but it seems nobody is listening and we go on, I have been fortunate to have worked with all walks of life and
even some of the most dim-witted people understood that I wasn’t a threat to them nor would I waste my time trying to convince anybody I could make their car heater malfunction. Her bosses are almost as ridiculous and her co worker it’s really sad that there are people in this world, just goes to show you a GED and no adult criminal
back ground can land you a job where you can have the power to say who can and can not work for the federal government. that’s a serious miss use of power. This was handled badly from day one. Had that women been my co worker I couldn’t have resisted a little good clean fun. she might have thought she was going nuts but her car would have been fine, that’s too hard.

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#10 
Written By Lynda
on March 29th, 2011 @ 12:06 am

It’s possible as the current republican House just made ‘Christianity” the religion of the country. In spite of this violating the first Amendment that states ‘Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion…” This same body also ordered that ‘In God we Trust” be placed on all Government buildings. I have no idea if the Senate will pass this as law, let’s hope not.
They are in violation of the Constitution they swore to uphold, but no one is challenging them. This Christian movement, and I feel they’re not real Christians just a rabid cult, or spin off of the original, has gone too far. Their main fear seems to be “Satan”, and explaing to them ‘We didn’t create this myth, they did”, holds no more water w/them then many other facts. I hope an attorney helps you. Many of them are out of work too and need it.

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#11 
Written By Amythyst Raine
on April 4th, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

Unfortunately, this type of thing probably happens much more often than we realize, most of the cases not making the news headlines.

A couple years ago there was an employee fired at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, after her pagan religious beliefs and practices became public. It only seemed to make a ripple in the local papers.

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#12 
Written By earth angel
on April 16th, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

I never had a problem with my beliefs. Sometimes people will react when they find out but not extreme.

It is amazing this is happening, when in the military Wiccans are allowed to celebrate festivals.

Also if this woman and her lawyer were smart when the woman accused the worker of putting a hex, she should have reminded them that a true Wicca will not put curses on people, 3-fold law remember?

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