Thursday, 22 August 2013

But... You're Pagan, You Should Support Me!

Another one of those *headdesk* moments.

All over facebook, there are protest posts about the page Witches Must Die By Fire

This page is dreadful.  Witches are equated with Islamic Jihadists and both are Satanists and therefore evil and must die by fire - caused by prayer from the faithful and backed up by tabloid stories about women giving birth to birds, mice and frogs - daily.

It's almost tragic, the way all the protest posts direct more people to this page and then they comment and send private messages - which the page's creator then publishes publicly on the wall.  I'm sure that most of these people really think they're helping their cause by baiting, arguing, belittling and frankly, sounding like whiny children.  Posting some of the light and fluffy Wiccan stuff that makes me nauseous as proof that he's wrong doesn't help them either.

When I read through the page, I found myself laughing at the amount of crazy shown by the page's creator.  The story quickly becomes clear - an ex-lover was a witch and this person takes no responsibility for all that's wrong in their life so it must be the doing of the witch and the devil.  One of those perpetual victims who has chosen Witchcraft as his nemesis.

I saw a hilarious CNN iReport about it - you can see it here - that is so filled with teen angst type whining "Why aren't they doing anything about the big bad meanie who says awful things about us?" This has been supported by this petition, asking facebook to stop ignoring violence and hatespeech about Pagans.

So anyway.  I'm in a group (well a couple actually) that is usually very common sense, no knickers usually get knotted and as long as you remain polite and on topic, you can express an unpopular opinion without all the histrionics that seem to abound in many Pagan groups.
Someone posted about this page and announced that they've set up their own page to counter it. I thought about it, thought about which group I was currently in and answered it. (This is not a direct quote, just what I remember of it).

I struggle with this kind of thing.

It seems perfectly okay for Pagans to say all sorts of things about Christians (and Satanists for that matter) and to suggest they die by fire is quite mild compared to some of the suggestions I've heard from Pagans over the years.  But when it's the other way around it's not?

For the record, I don't personally think it's ever okay to belittle, demean or threaten anyone based on their religious choices - in either direction.

Good on you for standing up for what you believe in, but why would facebook remove it?  All the drama is getting the page more views and the ads are seen by a wider audience.  Nowhere on the page does he incite or suggest violence, there really isn't anything any different to the bs put out there by WBC or on Pagan groups about Christians.

All this will achieve is more people go there and comment and the troll gets fed.

I went off and had my dinner and watched Big Bang Theory with my husband and didn't think much more of it until I went back onto facebook to check a couple of things to do with calendar orders.  There was a notification to say several people had commented on that thread.  Clicking on it seemed to freeze my facebook.  Eventually, I refreshed and tried to find the group to have a look.  The group had vanished from my sight and abilities to find.  OMG I had been banned!


I spoke to a very good friend who is also an admin on that group and asked her if this is what had happened.  This morning I found out that a real shitstorm had followed my comment so one of the admins deleted the thread and banned all concerned.  I'm told I was an accidental banning because my post wasn't inflammatory and stayed within the group's clear rules.

I really wish I could see the shitstorm.  I wish I could see what was said and then point and laugh.  I've seen this kind of thing before though.  Apparently, by being Pagan I'm supposed to just automatically support another Pagan who thinks they've been wronged.  The worst one I think I ever saw was from a failed art student who was claiming religious discrimination was the reason she was failed.  I only read through the evidence provided by this art student and her husband and still couldn't see any grounds for religious discrimination.  Unfair treatment, sure, but not religious discrimination and I said so.

I was treated to a barrage of abuse about the lack of support from the community and basically, "You're Pagan, you're supposed to agree with me and support me regardless of whether or not I deserve it".

As I've learned though, common sense and objectivity never go unpunished in Pagan Circles.  You're supposed to just accept the word of some random stranger who uses the same word to describe themselves as you do.  Thinking is bad, checking facts is evil and Gods help anyone who can actually see both sides of the situation.


  1. If it's the art student I think you mean, I won't even say unfair.
    The obvious request was based along "recycling" and "reusing what people think is junk". A big thing in the fashion age of grunge the the birthing strains of the green-at-all-costs movement.
    The interpretation involved while "by the text", was clearly and absolutely failing the grading methodology - and since it was a course, not freestyle art/display, there were rules in place for what was required. The artist in question, while an excellent artist, had deliberately and specifically chosen to pursue their vision regardless of rules. Ok for art, not ok for school.

    1. Yes, the same art student ;)

      There were, IIRC, other things like changing their mind on the presented piece at the last minute and 'handing in' something totally different from what they were supposed to have described a month earlier and the fact that the final piece was then rushed through in a week.

      It just reminded me so much of an altercation when I was in Primary School. One of the girls called me a racist because she was Samoan and I didn't like her. I didn't like her because she was a bitch, being Samoan had nothing to do with it... but you know how these things go.

      These things are details really, the point was that we were expected to blindly support them because we were also Pagan.

  2. Had fun with the memes? :P

    I agree with you btw. Unfortunately it's not just the Pagan community. It's any group that you're part of. Oh I'm fat so I've got to agree with all the fat people... or I'm half Tongan so I've got to take the side of the Tongans/Islanders. How about we let people make up their own minds regardless of community associations?

    1. A lot of fun with the memes :)

      Is it as prevalent in the Tongan community?

      I guess any assumptions of solidarity are silly. I will support people regardless of anything we may have in common, if I agree with their cause. If not, then they could be my sister and I'd still tell them they're wrong.

      Seriously, ask my sisters.