"You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea."
— Exodus 20:3-4
On one assigned day each month, over 20 people in our church join with hundreds of others in New Mexico to pray and intercede against the moral breakdown in our state. It's heartbreaking that we rank so poorly in almost all of the crime and immorality lists in America. For example, in abortion Albuquerque is recognized as the late-term abortion capital of America. In education we rank 49th; in crime statistics we are in the top three for violent crime, forcible rape, aggravated assault, property crime and burglary. In addition, New Mexico leads the nation in alcohol-related deaths and is first in illicit drug dependence among persons 12 and older. We also have the second-highest poverty rate in America and historically, our state has been a place where witchcraft, idolatry and Wiccan covens have thrived. (Source: New Mexico Prays).
That's right—witchcraft, idolatry and Wiccan covens! After reading the following story perhaps you'll understand why we pray.
Since 2007, Bloomfield, New Mexico, has permitted local citizens to finance the construction of various historical monuments on its city hall lawn. The monuments commemorate key texts, and affirm the historical influence of these texts on the United States. In this public venue, a group of citizens chose to fund a Ten Commandments monument to stand alongside other commemorations of important documents, like the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address.
However, after the Ten Commandments monument was erected, two people, Jane Felix and Buford Cone of Bloomfield didn't like that the Ten Commandments were included in the display. Felix said that it offended her to see it when she went to the city hall to pay her water bills and when she drove by the location on her way to work and at other times.
Represented by the ACLU, they filed a lawsuit against the city in 2012, demanding it be removed from the lawn. In 2014, U.S. District Judge James A. Parker ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered the city to take the monument down, citing that it has the "primary or principal effect of endorsing religion." On November 9, 2016, the 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals concurred with the lower court decision.
But wait, there's more to the story. Perhaps it explains the real motive behind the lawsuit. It seems that one of the previously named plaintiffs in the case, Jane Felix of Bloomfield is a retired social worker, who openly admits that she is a high priestess with the Order of the Cauldron of the Sage, a Wiccan religious group. She also claims that the majority of the members of her Wiccan coven support the removal, and estimates that 95 percent of her coven's members work for the city of Bloomfield or have family members who do. Felix adds that she was raised a Christian but "chose to raise my spirituality to another level."¹
Wicca is a duotheistic religious group that is divided into covens headed by a high priestess, that pay homage to a goddess and a god. These are traditionally viewed as the Moon Goddess and the Horned God, respectively. Sometimes they are referred to as the "Great Moon Goddess" or "Triple Goddess" and the "Great Horned God." The adjective "Great" denotes a deity that contains many other deities within their own nature.²
According to the Wicca.com web site, Wicca might best be described as "a modern religion based on ancient witchcraft traditions."
Is it possible that the Felix objection to the Ten Commandments monument is really based on her being the high priestess of a local Wiccan coven and a reminder of her once-Christian conscience that prohibits the worship of "any other god"?
To the City of Bloomfield's credit, they have not backed down to the ACLU as so many small towns do, but have enlisted the help of the conservative legal organization, Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF), who will be filing an appeal in their behalf to the U.S. Supreme Court.³
Let's join them and make our appeal to God with our prayers, which are much more powerful than any court decisions. There's only one God that is Great and that is Almighty God (Revelation 11:17). Maranatha!
¹James Fenton, The Farmington Daily Times, August 16, 2014.
³Alliance For Defending Freedom — Ten Commandments