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Article Specs

Article ID: 8946

VoxAcct: 151679

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 5,254

Times Read: 5,330

The Mouth’d Minority

Author: Jemma Hawtrey
Posted: February 6th. 2005
Times Viewed: 5,330

If you are of a certain generation you may remember the wartime adverts exhorting you to ‘Keep Mum’ and reminding you that ‘Careless talk cost lives’…

Not really a nice thought, although we were at war at the time. We being the Germans and the British at that point (in case you have read a different history or watched any Hollywood films recently) .

Cultural brickbats aside though the Pagan community is still keeping mum and careless talk is still costing us lives.


We are still at war with other paths and traditions. That’s why.

I have just finished reading Kerr’s latest excellent if somewhat depressing episode on ‘witch-hunts’ and I can add personal experience of discrimination at work and a friend's experience of 30 years worth of hard work and irreplaceable personal belongings destroyed in her own home; by her own mother of all people.

Kerr is perfectly right when he says that the majority of any group, tradition, religion or cult (call it what you will) are perfectly sane, lovable, shiny happy people. But even shiny happy people get mad sometimes.

The easiest way to make them mad is tell them something they don’t want to hear and are afraid of. Its even easier if you make about 90% of it up.

If you feel like making up your own mob, here is an easy to follow recipe.

You will need: -
  • 2 fundamentalists of any flavour

  • 200 perfectly normal everyday people

  • An atmosphere of mistrust and fear

  • 1 public building

  • Alcohol

  • The addresses of local ‘minorities’ (Pagan/Wiccan/Muslim/Black/TG/LGB)

Method (see, its almost like those science experiments we did in school)

  1. Take your fundamentalists and your everyday people and place them in your meeting-house.

  2. Gently stir in your mistrust and fear

  3. Add several thousand tablespoons full of 100-proof lighter fluid

  4. Hand out the blacklists

  5. Sit back and watch the fun!

It’s easy isn’t it? Even Delia Smith could manage it first take. And, in true ‘Blue Peter’ fashion there are many examples I could show you as the ones we prepared earlier.

Too many by far!

Another family hounded out because of their beliefs. Another teenager attacked or found as a suicide because they were victimised day and night for being ‘evil’. There are so many examples I would be here all week if I listed even a quarter of them.

One more is one too many, enough pain has been caused as it is.

And this is only one prong of the attack on Pagans in particular and minorities in general. Because then we have the Internet hate articles, hate mail, and divisive commentary on how 150, 000+ people died because they were not good Christians or not Christians at all (take your pick) .

Oh and before you think I am finished, you can add bullying & harassment in schools and to prove that technology can have its effects even on this stage, the use of SMS or text messaging to make sure that ‘dirty evil Pagan’ knows he or she is heading for a good kicking when they show their face at school tomorrow. Life can be so much fun when you are twelve!

Doesn’t look good does it?

But the worst of all of this is that if our shiny happy people hear it enough, they will start to believe it, the same way they used to believe that happiness was in someone else’s smile, or that making love is the most perfect expression two people (or more) can share.

And these are all the weapons that are brought to bear on Pagans and others alike. And there’ll be more, as soon as the fundamentalists of this world can dream them up.

What are we to do? I hear you ask. They are so many and we are so few, what can my friends and I do against someone with that much power?

It’s true we don’t have the numbers, and its true we don’t have the influence. Goddess knows we don’t have the power round here. But all that can change.

And we can change it, step by painful step. We can talk to people and tell them what we are, we can work with people and we can show them what we are, and we can love people and they can love us for what we are.

But we can never ever fight fire with fire. If we once do that, then we are the same as those who would torment us.

It won’t need every single one of us. It could take the time & efforts and energy of just a fraction of us. It may even take the lives of a few of us. To quote George William Curtis

“Every great crisis of human history is a pass of Thermopylae, and there is always a Leonidas and his three hundred to die in it, if they can not conquer."

It will cost us time and effort to hold firm and be open about our beliefs and traditions and our right to pass them down to our children (even if we are mainly passing them around at the moment) . But it will cost us immeasurably more if we break and hide.

And when will we know that we have held the line at our Pagan Thermopylae?

When will we know that our children and grandchildren may sit safe and ask of us what we did in the ‘Great Explanation’?

That’s one thing I can tell you. We will know when the ‘shiny happy’ majority with their Picket Fence and their Plymouth turn round on our behalf and tell this vocal and vicious mouth’d minority to shut up or ship out!

The Cycle Continues by Kerr Cuhulain

Copyright: Copyright Durin ab Iceni (Jon Marriage) 2005


Jemma Hawtrey

Location: Colchester, England

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