More bad history by a Pagan Witch

June 8, 2007

Yet another Pagan Witch public relations piece containing the same old historical nonsense: So…Your Friend Is a Witch?. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Consider that you’re spending time with a good friend over a nice meal, some good wine, and friendly conversation. Your friend tells you that she is Pagan. As a matter of fact, she says, she’s a practicing Witch. What does this mean to you?
[…]
It is also likely that some part of you was at least a little frightened by the word.
[…]
In the simplest of terms, your newly found (no matter how fleeting) doubt about your friend is the result of a centuries long media assault on the Pagan way of life.

No, it’s the result of 20th-century neo-Pagans deliberately choosing to refer to themselves by a scary label like “witch.” Once again, the theory that the post-Renaissance European witchhunts were primarily about persecuting an underground pagan cult of the “Horned God” has long since been discredited among reputable historians. (For more up-to-date scholarly ideas about the witchhunts, see Recent Developments in the Study of The Great European Witch Hunt by Jenny Gibbons, another copy here.) Furthermore, Christians certainly have no monopoly on witchhunts. There are all-too-many witchhunts going on today in Africa and India, rooted not in Christianity but in local tradition.

The ongoing worldwide spread of the more fanatical forms of Christianity, and their propaganda campaign against all other religions, is indeed a significant worldwide threat to religious freedom. But, in facing that threat, let’s try not to distort history, okay?

Anyhow, this article manages to avoid using the word “Satanism” at all. I suppose the author should be congratulated for that, but this article uses the term “Devil worship” instead. [sigh!] Oh well, not as bad as some.

It would sure be nice if modern Pagan Witches would say something like, “we call ourselves witches to take a stand against witchhunt mentality, regardless of the religion of either the perpetrators or the victims of the witchhunts.” Or perhaps they might prefer to state some other purpose in taking on the label “witch.” Whatever the purpose, at least they would then be taking responsibility for the label, instead of acting as if the European witchhunts were like their own religion’s version of the Holocaust, and then turning around and scapegoating Satanists/”Devil worshipers.”

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3 Responses to “More bad history by a Pagan Witch”

  1. pookalove Says:

    yeah it wasn’t meant as a history lesson. Or a “hey, this is an intro to Wicca… I know everything there is to know…” I just found it and like it. Get over it.

  2. Diane Vera Says:

    Regardless of your motives for copying that article (and, by the way, did you get the author’s permission to copy it?), the article itself does purport to be an introduction to Pagan Witchcraft, by a presumably knowledgeable person, and you got it from a website which purports to be an authoritative source on all things Wiccan/Pagan.

  3. Steve Says:

    Thanks for telling it like it is. Few people do nowadays.


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