Patrick McCollum’s legal challenge against the State of California may sound like it just concerns the religious freedom of prisoners, but make no mistake: the outcome of his case will affect every one of us, and determine whether our Constitutional right to freedom of religion is conditional or absolute.
There have been several great articles written about Patrick recently, by Jason Pitzl-Waters at the Wild Hunt, Gus diZerega at Beliefnet, and this Llewellyn article by Donald Michael Kraig. Today I sat in for my friend and colleague Peter Laufer on his Sunday morning KOWS radio show, which gave me the opportunity to interview Patrick on the air about his case. If you have not educated yourself about the case and what is at stake, now is your chance to listen to Patrick explain it in his own words.
Time is of the essence for making our voice heard in this case, and publicity, like sunlight, may be the best disinfectant for the insidious creep of religious discrimination not just in California but nationwide. Here again are the people to contact in the State government. Phone calls and written letters are best, and public pressure really can make a difference.
Write the Governor of California. This is a federal case, so you do NOT have to be a California resident to make your views known. If California prevails, similar efforts will be made in other states.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
For the same reason write California’s Attorney General.
Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Attorney General’s Office
California Department of Justice
Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
And write the Secretary of the California Dept. of Corrections.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001
State that you want a state-wide truly fair and neutral policy that includes equal accommodations of Pagans and other minority religions based on religiously neutral criteria.