MARION COUNTY, Florida, May 16 -- A Wiccan activist was whacked with a clipboard yesterday by a woman because of his chanting during the invocation at a meeting of local officials in a Florida community. Charles W. Schrader said he was chanting for the "health, wealth and happiness of everyone in Marion County" at the Marion County Commission meeting, when he was hit on the arm by Eleanor Pratt, "The Ocala Star Banner" reported.

Schrader, who was at the meeting to speak to commissioners about prayer in the boardroom, filed a police complaint over the incident. He plans to seek charges and may also file a civil lawsuit. Schrader said people of his faith "don't go around hitting people." "That woman will never know what we sacrificed to pray to any god we choose," Schrader said, the "Banner" reported.

Carol Mathews said that Pratt, a friend, had asked Schrader to be quiet. But when Schrader refused to stop his loud chanting, Pratt hit him. "Our biggest complaint with the gentleman is that he was rude," Mathews said.

Known as a Bible-ripping, Republican-hating, robe-wearing Wiccan, Schrader blasted the Marion County Commission last month for conducting a pre-meeting prayer and violating the First Amendment rights of non-Christians, the "Banner" reported. He called the all-Republican board's prayers "rude, insensitive, insulting and hurtful to those of us present who do not subscribe to the Christian God."
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