Did USAFA Christians Fund Witches Party?
For the past few years, a few US Air Force Academy cadets have been attending annual wiccan festivals and the “Denver Witches Ball” (shown above) — trips that were paid for by the USAFA Chapel Tithes and Offerings Fund.
In itself, that wouldn’t be too unusual. For several years there has been an “earth centered” pagan/witch group as part of the USAFA chapel community. It is not unusual for the chapel to fund retreats or similar trips for religious events through the congregants’ tithes. The CTOF is supposed to be funded by the donations of the participants of those religious services, which would mean the pagans were essentially paying their own way to the cauldron.
The unusual thing about these witch trips, though, is that the USAFA pagan chapel doesn’t appear to have any congregant “tithes.”
Documents obtained by Judicial Watch (PDF) show the witches’ account hasn’t received any income for the past few years. The same documents show a total income in 2012 of exactly $1,000 — an amount since exceeded by the annual withdrawals. It’s unclear where that money came from, but given its unique presence and round figure, followed by absolutely no contributions from pagan congregants, it seems unlikely it came the pagan chapel community itself. It is also unclear where the money is coming from to cover the apparent overage of expenses.
It’s possible the wiccans received a lump sum donation from an outside group, one of their staff advisors, or even a parent. Hopefully, the USAFA chapel leadership didn’t think they would do the pagans a favor and do an internal transfer of chapel funds to jump start the witch trips — since that might mean Catholics, Jews, and Protestants would be funding the annual trips around the pagan maypole.
In its statement, Judicial Watch took issue with, in its estimation, USAFA funding “faery magick” while simultaneously expressing hostility to Christianity.
To be fair, if it was the “earth centered” group’s CTOF, then Judicial Watch’s consternation is unfounded. All of the chapel communities participate in similar faith-based activities (minus the spell-casting, divination, ritual dancing, and visits to the cauldron, of course). Religious liberty means USAFA cadets can choose to worship as they choose, even if they choose that which other beliefs would consider evil.
It is curious, however, how the pagan chapel community has money to spend while apparently not funding its own chapel tithes and offerings fund.