I am completely inflamed by the Fox & Friends team who openly insulted Pagans/Wiccans across the globe with such ignorant and misinformed garbage. From statements such as “Good luck (being a Pagan) in other another country”, or “Any religion whose biggest holiday is Halloween, I just can’t take seriously”. And “Every Wiccan I’ve ever known is a compulsive Dungeons and Dragons player, or is a middle aged, twice divorced older woman living in a rural area who works as a midwife. Oh totally, yeah.”
I was appalled. I was disgusted. I was amazed that a news station ever allowed this to air! So, I joined my fellow Pagans and wrote my own scathing letter in response to their open ignorance. And sure, maybe some poor intern who has to sift through all the inbound e-mails may have to read this, but when I saw that broadcast, I just could not keep my rage to myself. And maybe I wasn’t tough enough in some people’s opinion, but I can only give my view of Paganism, how we do exist, how many of us are normal, “down to earth” people, who work regular jobs in all fields. We are here, our religious rights are subject to the same respect as any religion that is recognized. Maybe they thought they were being some obscure form of funny, but they were just plain offensive and I just could not find the strength to let it go. So, I have joined the cause, the actual Causes page, the Facebook Group, the Twitter feed, I’m in to my chin and if some of us don’t stand proudly, and speak plainly and honestly, then soon we may find ourselves as hunted as the people of Africa, who are openly burning their fellow human beings alive under the accusation of witchcraft. Ok, so I’m mad, obviously, and I had some choice words about their statements. I now post my lengthy e-mail of disgust:
SUBJECT: Offensive statements towards Paganism. What you should know.
To Whom It May Concern;
I am so offended by the statements made by your Fox & Friends team regarding Wicca/Paganism. So, I thought I would take a bit of my time to explain it to you. It is clear your staff is in need of a truthful, direct education of religion’s that exist but are not their beliefs.
First and foremost, I am a Pagan (not a Wiccan, you’re people aren’t even aware there is a difference). I have been a Pagan since the age of 15 (which is 23 years to date). And I come from a home that began as two parents of different religious beliefs. My mother was raised as a 7th Day Adventist, while my father was raised as a Catholic. Through the years, my mother examined many different religions under the Christian umbrella and took me along for the ride. I was exposed to just about every religion there is, Christian and otherwise. I went to Temple with friends from school when I spent the night, I went to a Buddhist Temple many times because Buddhism I have found it to be a very calming religion. I have been to Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Baptist, and many other Christian masses and ceremonies. Believe it or not, I’m even a God Parent to 2 Children, one of which is from a Catholic Household, and I constantly get her Catholic items such as her own personalized Bible, rosaries, prayer rings, prayer cards, and other related items. I made an oath to be a good role model and to keep her informed of the religion her parents have Baptized her in. So, I hope that shows you Pagans do not hate Christianity, as we believe all faiths are different perspectives of the same faith. I have no hatred towards Christianity or any religion for that matter, I only have sadness that news stations would openly promote and put horribly ignorant misconceptions out there.
Part of Paganism is the understanding of religion, all religion. It is not about rebellion, or casting spells, or being malicious. I am not a spell caster, I do not embrace dark arts as a means of a shortcut to what I want from life or to torment people. Because as an adult, I would think it would be clear to any logical mind that there are no shortcuts. I would think it’s clear that when some one does you a wrong, they will have to deal with it on some level at some point in their life. And Paganism is not Polytheistic because we think there is a God or Goddess for everything, it is Polytheistic because there is a face, a persona, for every situation or need. And quite frankly, the Christian belief system is not all that different in that respect. I direct you to all the Saints, which people call upon when a child is lost, or when you wish to find something, or when you need personal guidance. Are you really so ignorant that you fail to see how SIMILAR all religions are? We just don’t tie ourselves down to one of 3 persona’s (Father, Son & Holy Spirit/Ghost). Or maybe, to me deity is a female persona and I believe women tend to confide in their sisters/mothers/female friends because of the female bond, so my deity would be imagined as female. Honestly, if you believe women are equal to men, then a philosophy such as Christianity would be somewhat offensive to us, in their masculine beliefs. But maybe, it’s a perspective that some feel comfortable with, while others do not. You would not put out such misinformation on Judaism, would you? Imagine that, your own Fox & Friends team making anti-semitic slurs against the Jewish faith? That wouldn’t be prudent, yet it is acceptable towards Wiccans and/or Pagans? I think not. I think it is disgusting, disturbing and misinformation being spread by a NEWS Channel!!!! You’re people need to be informed. So, if you have any questions, you feel free to ask me if you don’t think others would hazard to answer, because I would tell you anything you wish to know in an truthful, direct and open minded fashion.
What’s more, I have actually taken time to learn about other belief systems, so I know and understand with some sense of personal education what I agree or disagree with in that belief and why. But people hear Wiccan/Pagan and they think they can talk put of their rumps with no valid information about what they speak of. Insulting, poor reporting, totally lacking in integrity. I do not cast spells, but I believe if you focus (with meditation/visualization) that it can help you be more focused towards you goal, it can actually affect your how successful you are in achieving it. That’s not magic, or witchcraft, that’s common sense. You focus on something and you can do anything. Or are we raising children to believe what some adults obviously cannot? We tell them: you are capable of anything, if you put your mind to it. And that should be truth. But if it helps to meditate/visualize or focus more on that goal, it’s witchcraft? Are you serious? Or, if I believe that we are all connected on a subconscious level, I would be ridiculed for my personal opinion by the people on television representing your news channel? Or maybe, energy itself is what connects all things. Maybe science is currently working to unravel that particular theory. But if a scientist said it, would you really be all intrigued or would you be acting intrigued in order to not look like a barbaric, low minded individual, who places religion before science, before proof?
Maybe your staff hasn’t known of any Pagans/Wiccans in their circles because they are obviously not capable of being open minded or accepting of things they don’t understand. Maybe they have met a dozen of us and these people never made their beliefs known because they might be ridiculed or persecuted for it. Or maybe they did not want to have to deflect attempts of conversion? We are more numerous than most people realize, however, not many of us are completely open, because some people still live in fear of being persecuted. I know I generally wait a few months to get to know some one and how strict they are in belief before I choose to share my philosophies. Some people don’t want to understand, but every one is worthy of friends, and no one can agree with every thing another person believes, friends, family or otherwise. It’s not possible, it’s not our nature. Are you even aware that right now, in Africa, villages are burning people alive in accusation of witchcraft? In this day and age, some of us feel we have to be sheltered from the general public for fear of being openly persecuted by people who have forgotten that this country was founded on the ideal of Human Rights, the right to Freedom of Religion. But apparently, that only applies to certain people’s beliefs, majority maybe? Our forefathers should be rolling in their graves.
So many Christian beliefs are built upon Pagan roots. The original celebration of Easter used to require the sacrifice of a goat and spreading the blood around the door for protection. Seems a bit odd, considering Jesus was sacrificed, yet the Pagans or Wiccans are thought to offer sacrifices. In many cultures, Christian based or not, wine is poured onto the ground to show reverence or honor to a loved one. And showing reverence is not much different than showing our respect and offering our deity a show of honor, a small personal sacrifice, notice it’s WINE and not a cat (most Pagans and Wiccans are extreme animal lovers because we respect life. It would be barbaric and anti-productive to destroy what we love, and certainly not something a logical individual or group would do). Yet, Christianity purposefully incorporated Pagan traditions in order to bring in Pagans, since they built all their churches in the places our Temples once stood. But even Christians aren’t aware or would argue otherwise because they aren’t even educated in the history of their own religion!
And by now, if you have any clue at all, you may be wondering the difference between Wiccan and Paganism. Let me take Christianity as an example to illustrate the small but important differences. Just like Christianity is broken into so many different beliefs, such as Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, even Mormon, and the list goes on, Wicca is one of the beliefs within the Pagan belief system. Technically, Hindu would also be Pagan, because Paganism is Polytheistic (Multiple Deities, embracing the feminine, masculine and neutral/transgendered perspectives) while Judaism, Christianity, or Islamic are Monotheistic (One Deity, embraces the masculine perspective). What’s more is, aside from allowing for many faces of Deity, Monotheistic religion is not all that different, especially when you take into fact Christianity and the Holy Trinity. That’s three perspectives of the same God. Yet, when I pray to a Goddess (who is merely my female perspective of deity, an imagined face for something I can only have faith exists), I’m a witch. I’m not a woman, seeing religion from an adult female mind as a female force in the Universe. Why wouldn’t I relate with a female Head of Spirituality, and what’s more, why SHOULDN’T I? What justifies that? Now, to clarify, within the Pagan belief system, there are many different branches. Wiccans believe very much in being a positive affect on the world around them. And I am a Pagan, which means I accept them as a natural part of the balance. But I do not believe that I am only a positive affect on my surroundings, I believe life is subject to chaos, and we need people who follow positive beliefs as much as we need people to be negative influences. (With out sadness, how can we understand happiness? And if I have never been happy, how would I understand being sad?) I believe I influence my surroundings as a neutral force, I do good things (I very much enjoy volunteering for good causes and to have positive experiences) but I know I am capable of making judgement in error, which could very well affect some one around me in a negative manner.
You could ask my Catholic Parents (yes, my Mother has chosen to follow Catholicism/Catechism) any day of the week: is your Pagan daughter a good person? And they would tell you: Yes, she is kind, is a philanthropist, and not only understands morals and values, but she is informed and respectful towards the beliefs of others. They could also say that although they originally taught me to be kind and giving, I now continue to remind them. One hand always washes the other, regardless of what my faith is or what your faith is, or their faith. And we have a wonderful bond, my parents are my best friends. I can and will tell them everything, they are my support system in life, and I always know they will give me good advice, and be patient and honest with me when I make a mistake. But that also goes both ways, so we will always have trust and truth between us. (I wish every one could experience the bond of my family as I have).
I do feel that there are some Pagans/Wiccans out there who are, in fact, purposefully misrepresenting the belief system or are actually misinformed themselves. Some people use Paganism to rebel, some fall into it in hopes of finding some personal power as if life were a movie (which isn’t the truth, we have the same “powers” as any one else, the power of self, what the individual does with what they have). People come to Pagan and Wiccan beliefs sometimes, for the wrong reasons, and believe it or not, that happens in ALL religions, not just ours. While there really are others out there who don’t wish people to know or understand our beliefs because they are sacred, they are verbally handed down, and they are not for outsiders in some circles. And I am offering you information solely based on my personal beliefs, knowledge and self education as a Pagan. I am only showing you my personal opinion, what Paganism means to me.
I don’t demand an apology. I would hope an apology to my community is offered willingly because your people are aware of the misinformation they spread and understand that they were callously offensive regarding a subject they were not informed about and had no business addressing in the first place. I would think personal value of belief and the acceptance of Freedom of Religion would win out over their petty ignorance and they may offer an honest apology with true sincerity for openly spreading a poorly developed understanding of a faith that is not their own. And I would encourage them to become informed. Our communities are all over. Google the local Pagan communities already in place in your local region and you might start to wonder, if there are so few of us, then why are there already so many existing Pagan related events/pages/newsletters/local websites or stores. You may even find a coven or two. But after such inappropriate statements, good luck getting many to speak to your station, it was wrong and openly meant to be inflammatory.
You have certainly lost my faith as a reputable news source. I think your shows ought to be on a delay in order to strike out any statements that would be found openly offensive or a blatant show of ignorance while representing Fox News in any capacity. If they can do it because of a super bowl half time show snafu, than your team has definitely earned your news station that same infamous honor.