I'm going to say this again. Pagans, please quit perpetuating stereotypes about our religions. I don't care how well-intentioned you may be. Do NOT tell interviewers:
“We don’t sacrifice goats in the middle of the field,” Driscoll said.
And for that matter, there’s no dancing in the nude. No flying broomsticks. No wiggling of the nose to get things done. And no devil worshipping (pagans don’t believe in the devil).
Please. It's long past time for you to say those things. If, and I mean only if, the interviewer is so stupid, crass, ignorant, and/or prejudiced as to ask if you, for example, "sacrifice goats in the middle of the field," or worship devils, then give them "the" look and say "Of course not. Do you ask Jews if matzo is made from the bones of xian children? Then why would you ask me if Pagans worship the devil?" Come on; do you think the local Catholic church meets the reporter outside the annual St. Anthony's Bingo Day and Bake Sale and announces that their priests don't molest children?
And you know, at least be accurate. Some of us do dance in the nude. (I'll be at a skyclad ritual tomorrow on the Full Moon.) Some Pagans, particularly of the African Diaspora, may well sacrifice animals, in or out of the middle of the field. So proclaiming that Pagans don't do those things, when they demonstrably do, leaves your other defensive announcements, such as not worshipping the devil, up for doubt. (PS: They illustrated your comment about how we don't fly around on broomsticks with a picture of a woman sampling . . . brooms on sale at your event.)
Yes, Pagan Pride Day can help others to learn about our religion. Explain what Pagans ARE about. Explain how your local group raised funds for homeless animals, adopted a strip of highway to clean up, or collected canned food for flood victims. Discuss our reverence for nature, our focus on experience vs. faith, our inclination to honor the ancestors. There's a lot to say about us that doesn't begin, "We don't really . . . ."
Teacats suggested in comments to my last post on this topic that someone develop a set of Talking Points for events such as Pagan Pride Day. I'm willing to bet that work has been done several times. If anyone's aware of such a resource, please post it in comments. This nonsense has got to stop, no matter how well-meaning the involved Pagans may be.
Props to the author of the article for capitalizing the names of Pagan religions.
Picture found here.
*OK, I won't really laugh; because this behavior hurts all of us. But that's my standard saying at work when people do things they should know better than to do.