Local Wiccan after running into the Green Train
Nashville’s Green Train, an eco-educational non-profit run by Merle Haggard and restaurateur Bob Wolf, had a witch in its ranks until recently. Or, to be more precise, a pagan. Not the kind historically drawn and quartered or burned at the stake, but rather the contemporary tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, vegan variety.
That was until Wolf charged this Wiccan ordained minister, Susan Hunter, with creating Green Train’s MySpace page
. The personal networking catastrophe that followed-- replete with online earthy salutations and pentagrams--saw Hunter canned in spectacular fashion back in mid-September. She’s crying discriminatory foul. He’s got his hands up, as if to say, “Hey, read our mission: We’re a-political, a-religious, a-everything except the environment.”
Hunter created Green Train’s MySpace page to get the word out about a train laden with musical greats like Vince Gill, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard set to hit the rails in 2009. Their glowing celebrity will, Wolf hopes, attract crowds at whistle-stops across the country, who could then be proselytized on the greener side of life.
Any MySpace neophyte knows that a personal page is pretty lonely without a bunch of friends to festoon it. To address this dearth, Hunter sent out “friend invitations” to 40 of her friends who also happened to be earth-loving hippies and pagans of various stripes. When the messages started flowing in—“Blessed be” or “Faerie blessings,” usually accompanied by a pentagram and pictures of ivory-skinned ladies identifying themselves exotically as Asterope Morgaine and Feryia—Hunter says Wolf blew a gasket, ordering that all pentagrams be deleted. She says she deleted the Christian symbols too, out of spite before being summarily dismissed.
“This is a witch hunt by somebody who got her feelings hurt,” Wolf said, though the old cliché would seem to be reversed here. “I don’t have a problem with people’s opinions. I even went to a pagan day festival; we bought her a pagan bible.”
Hunter is unconvinced.
“It’s my opinion that I was fired for religious reasons,” she said.
Wolf claims Hunter was just a volunteer. But perhaps the most stinging accusation hurled by Hunter was this: “The guy doesn’t even recycle.”
Wolf didn’t deny it, but he did gamely say, “I never was green. One day it came to me why I wasn’t green and why I didn’t care about being green. I spoke to Merle about it, and we don’t know how to be green.”
That, Wolf insists, is the goal—to help the red-blooded American understand.
Will the average American see the pentagram as a symbol of faith and the four elements precious to Wicca