Sunday, February 10, 2008

Toronto: Canadian Beauty Queen discriminated against for being Wiccan

15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. -- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

It seems that the religion aspect of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms according to the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant doesn't refer to Wiccans.

I am by far not one who frequents the world of Beauty Pageants and, in fact have many problems with them, but the outright discrimination of anyone on the basis of religion is something that bothers me. Recently the Miss Toronto Tourism Pageant dropped Miss Canada Plus as a judge due to finding out "her hobbies are yoga, reiki and tarot card reading." According to the pageant reiki and tarot card reading are occult practices and are "...not acceptable by God, Jews, Muslims or Christians. Tarot card reading is witchcraft and is used by witches, spiritists and mediums to consult the dark world." This was the direct reasoning for her being dropped from being a judge.

The result of which was Miss Canada Plus openly coming out as a Wiccan and a Witch. She tried to dispel the myths that either are evil and worship the devil. This outright discrimination is despicable by a supposedly secular organization. Worse is the denunciation of what is or is not acceptable to God and obviously their consideration of who counts as a religion.

Her practices were demonized to the extent that Karen Murray, Miss Toronto Tourism pageant director said, "We want someone down to earth, not someone into the dark side or the occult." If Ms. Murray wasn't obviously ignorant she would know that in fact Wiccans are more 'down to earth' then those who practice Abrahamic religions as Wiccans believe in the direct worship and respect for the Earth, in comparison to Abrahamic religions which believe they can do as they wish with the Earth as its a gift to them from God.

To quote the Toronto Star "The letter went on to quote a couple of passages from the Bible, including one from the book of Leviticus that warns, 'Do not turn to mediums or seek out spirits for you will be defiled by them.'

'We hope that Stephanie Conover will turn from these belief systems and will repent from her practice of them,' the letter reads."

Ms Conover (Miss Canada Plus) character was also directly insulted merely for this, not on any of her actual record. She may be taking the organization to court. I certainly hope she does and wins.

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2 Comments:

Blogger betmo said...

welcome back!! and welcome to the 21st- i mean 7th- century.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Jade said...

Thanks. I dropped off the face of the planet for a year it seems, but I'll be back to actual regular blogging.

Yeah, when Wicca is a legal religion and is protected by both Federal and Provincial laws, this shouldn't happen. Though when doing tarot readings even in downtown Ottawa I've had people accost me, tell me they are 'the devil's' creations then start speaking in tongues.

2:10 PM  

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