Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not Again. Please, Goddess, Not Again

Listen, my Pagan brothers and my Pagan sisters. I have, mild-mannered and gentle old crone that I am, a simple request.


About 300 people came to City Park on Saturday to see what Pagan Pride was all about.

"We want people to know we're not devil worshippers," coordinator Betty Jane Ware said.

I mean it. Catholics don't start discussions about their Feast of St. Anthony Mass, Carnival, and Fundraising Day explaining that, no, not every priest molests children. The Jews don't send out press releases about their high holy days explaining that, no, matzo is not made from the blood of xian children. Mormons don't begin every event explaining that, no, they no longer engage in polygamy.

Could Pagans please quit perpetrating obnoxious myths about Paganism? It's one thing if the author of the article is so stupid as to ask the question. But too many Pagans run around answering this question even when it isn't asked. It's time, and past time, for us to stop shooting our own damn selves in our own damn collective foot.

Samhein's fast approaching, when we always get a rash of articles about Witches and Pagans. Let's make it a "no we're not Satanists" free season.

Kudos to the author of the article for understanding how the rules of punctuation work. And, to his 3rd grade teacher.

Picture found here.


sott'Eos said...

What percentage of the population thinks that every Catholic priest molests children? What percentage thinks that matzo is made from the blood of children? What percentage think that (most) Mormons practice polygamy? Now what percentage think that Wicca is devil worship?

When an exceptionally persecuted minority is a bit "strident" and defensive, that is not necessarily "stupid" (though it might be counter-productive).

Teacats said...

O.K. Then let's start educating our wide-ranging Pagan/NeoPagan/Heathen community -- and especially event organizers -- with articles and ideas and videos on how to talk to the press! I believe that the person at the conference was trying to be "upfront and personal" and even a bit funny about the one of the most widely-held and cherished (by xians) idiotic notion that we ALL (in our wide-ranging, far-reaching community) worship the devil. P.R. remains an art and a science -- and many groups of all shapes and kinds know this -- and have learned to handle the press. Maybe a source like "WitchVox" could have a section with articles and ideas?

And remember: answers must be within a "soundbite" of information ... I am not keen on that fact -- but nevertheless -- it still remains a fact in today's press ....

Question 1: How do you start to describe our community??

Question 2: Our goals? (do we keep our answers within the specific event being held?? Or go wider??)

After all -- look at some of the acidic comments on WitchVox after one of these articles is published ... and they can't even agree on basic answers ....!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

Hecate said...


Great questions!

Teacats said...

Thanks! Yes -- I do have LOTS of questions! LOL!

And in every single kind of community -- there are "interesting characters" or even folks who abuse and use our beliefs and faith to justify all kinds of horrible acts. We (in our community) have finally started stepping up to the mike to challenge the idea that these "folks" represent our community! And those kinds of protests help everyone!

However .... basic answers (maybe an FYI sent around to news organizations?) should be available to all. Just the simple fact that our community is SO wide, far-reaching and varied in its beliefs, thoughts -- and politics -- might be an interesting starting point to any discussion.

Then there are basic questions/answers like:

3. How many Pagans/Neopagans/Heathens are there?? And at what rate is our community growing? ((these answers are vital to our power as consumers and employers in the marketplace))

4. Many thanks to the sad Passing of Mr. Bonewits -- but again -- a chance to get on air (or paper or web) to talk about our history ... and the on-going development of our community. Question: How do beliefs that are so old combine with the traditions/ideas/beliefs of the new Pagan/Neopagan/Heathen community?

And brillant writers like Gus in California or Jason at "The Wild Hunt" or Wren at "WitchVox" may be help with a basic Pagan Press Kit.

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

Anonymous said...

oh hear hear!!!