It's Always the Loonies...
Article ID: 13900
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Scott A. Johnson
Posted: July 18th. 2010
Times Viewed: 3,413
I'm writing this message as someone genuinely sad over a piece of news I just read. It seems, according to news reports that a man was murdered and the news makes it sound like the deed was done during a Wiccan ritual. For a religion based in peace, one that believes all life is sacred, and that lives by the Rede of "Harm None, " how could such a thing happen? For it to happen during a Beltaine ritual even? And what effect will it have on our beloved way of life? It bears mentioning that the death of this person doesn't make the killer a Witch, it makes her a psycho, but will the public see that? Will the public use this as a rallying cry against Wiccans and Pagans? Sadly, I'm betting it will.
See, it's always like this in my experience. Look over the long history of Christianity, a group with which I have no problem, and you'll see a long list of crazy people. Jim Jones, David Koresh, and others did what they did in the name of their one true God. Oral Roberts and Jim Baker both behaved in reprehensible manners, yet the Christian faith was forgiven, letting everyone know that their actions were not those of the Christian community at large. Muslim extremists send suicide bombers, but we know that Muslims are not bad people. In fact, for the most part, their faith is based on peace as well.
My point is that, no matter the religion, it's never the peaceful, law-abiding and genuinely good people that get the press. Nope, it's the loonies. The extremists, the monsters, and the ones that suffer from a real disorder who make the most noise and then get noticed.
While the individual person might be intelligent, the public en mass are panicky, mistrustful, and gullible. So much so that when something like this happens, it creates a backlash against all of us. I guarantee that somewhere, someone read that article, saw that news report, and now believes that ALL Wiccans, Pagans, Witches, Polytheists are just like that. They'll believe the lies, that we engage in blood sacrifices and kill people at our rituals. But what can we do?
For every religion, people come to the defense. The Pope condemns the acts of the pedophiles that masquerade as priests. The leaders of the Muslim nation decry the senseless acts of terrorism. Christians come out in droves against the evils that men do in the names of their Gods. But where are the spokespeople for the Witches?
I'm not talking about a group that wears their ceremonial robes and point their athames in what amounts to Grande Theater in front of the crowd. We are all of us real people, however misunderstood. I'm talking about someone to come out to the masses who will say, "We, of the Wiccan community, do not support such heinous actions."
Me? I wrote a letter to that effect, and I wrote this article. For such an act to occur, and for it to be implied that it happened during Beltaine, a festival of love and life and rebirth, is laughable to us, or would be were it not for the seriousness of the crime. But how do we make people listen?
We live our lives and lead by example. But is that enough? Is it time for us to stand up for ourselves? We know that our creed admonishes us "to know, to dare, to remain silent, " but can we now, at this time of crisis? We do not go out door to door, we do not try to convert, but we can educate. We can present the beauty of our lifestyle and show the world just how wonderful our beliefs are. We need to be proud of our faith, proud of our beliefs, and we need to stand up when something like this happens and say "Hold your horses there, Bucko...A Wiccan she may be, but only a nutter would do something like that."
Give me a stage, give me a microphone, and I would gladly be that lone voice. But my voice alone may fall on deaf ears. Isn't it time we all stood up to be counted?
I saw a news report about a Christian militia who planned to take out police officers in an attempt to get rid of the federal government. I watched as Waco burned. I saw the dead bodies of Jonestown. I watched the towers fall. And now, I saw a Wiccan who murdered a man. The Christians publically denounced the acts of the first three, the Muslims the fourth. They were quick to tell the world that the acts of a few sick individuals did not reflect upon them. Where is the Wiccan spokesperson to denounce the tragic act of this one misguided individual?
In silence, what are we really doing? Are we letting the misinformation, the ignorance, spread?
Remember, it wasn't so long ago that no one knew about the beauty of Chinese culture because the Chinese didn't share their secrets with the Gwai-Lo. Once they opened up about their beliefs and culture, we began to share in their beauty. I feel the same way about our culture. If we were to address the concerns, educate people about our beliefs and customs...I don't know. The idealist in me, who just took a beating because of that article, believes that understanding would follow. The pessimist in me believes otherwise.
We celebrate life. We celebrate love. We are not killers.
I sent in my Census form the other day...On it, there was no space for "religion." I wonder why. How many of you would have checked "other, " with no description? Had there been one, I'd have proudly written Wiccan. I'm not a nutter, and I have no intention of killing anyone, be it during a ritual or otherwise. But it's always the loonies who get the press.
Scott A. Johnson
Location: Kyle, Texas
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