Fox News has thoroughly angered the Pagan community across the entire country. On Feb. 17, 2013 Terry Bruce and Tucker Carlson discussed the University of Missouri’s guide to religious holidays that are observed by the school. Although the Pagan community country wide wants to praise the school for doing this, that aspect is being over looked due to the shocking and negative comments of Terry Bruce and Tucker Carlson. Here in the Puget Sound we are shocked to see this as several of us were taking part in a fundraiser at Crescent Moon in Tacoma for this years Pagan Pride Day that will be held in the fall. The MIZZOU guide is inspiring but Fox News has made a horrible and misguided mistake in airing this.
The University of Missouri’s latest edition of their “Guide to Religions: Major Holidays and Suggested Accommodations” was created to assist their faculty in knowing when to schedule exams and other activities. Pagans in general are typically very open to others religions and its inspiring to see that the university has take this step. The guide lists the eight major Pagan holidays next to the more mainstream religious holidays. Although many Pagans keep their beliefs to themselves, this step by the school is inspiring and because of it they are likely to see an increase in Pagan students in the years to come as well as many students already attending making their beliefs known. Apparently, Terry Bruce and Tucker Carlson did not do their research before discussing this mater on Fox News and their comments are disturbing at best.
Tammy stated “it’s beyond political correctness, it’s almost like an excuse to do nothing." Really Tammy? An excuse to do nothing. If she had done her homework before insulting the Pagan community she might find that many of the holidays that are already celebrated are actually based on Pagan holidays. In reality, Pagan holidays were stolen and slightly modified to fit the religious beliefs that were being forced on the Pagans to make it an easier transition. I would want to ask Tammy what she thinks a Christmas tree represents. Surely, many Pagans or other intelligent people who have done their research who are reading this just snickered at that. Tammy clearly has no idea what she is talking about, and yet her slanderous comments continued.
Tucker Carlson sarcastically asked Tammy “how many Wiccans are there?” she responding in saying “not many, maybe you and I should go for it.” I hate to point to the obvious but clearly there are enough Wiccans that the school would add this into their guide, that says something doesn’t it. Tucker said to Tammy “20% of the holidays listed in the University of Missouri’s holiday guide are Wiccan, what is going on here, that seems really bizarre” Tammy responding in saying “it does, I will tell you, I am a big fan of people living lives that best suit them. I don’t know any Wiccans, I think on a really bad day I might turn into one, I am not sure.” Wow. I guarantee that there are several of her staff members that are Wiccan or follow another Pagan path. She seriously needs to think before she speaks and open her mind to the world around her.
Later on Tammy said to Fox News “it almost seems as though we’re looking for excuses for people to not have to take their commitments seriously, it’s beyond political correctness; it’s almost like an excuse to do nothing. It’s like societal nihilism, where nothing matters.” In this discussion she went on to describe Pagans as being anti-establishment, those that are not Christian, and essentially lazy and anti-tradition. Tucker ended the conversation in saying “you wouldn’t want to see the Wiccans when they are angry.” Its shocking to think that Fox News felt that this was ok to air or to talk about in this manner.
Tammy Bruce, Tucker Carlson and Fox News need to open their eyes to the reality that there are many more Pagans than they realize because they are clearly close minded, as shown by their comments on the matter. In 2001 the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) found that in this country that there were roughly 750,000 Pagans of all paths in the US. Keep in mind that many Pagans choose to keep their beliefs under wraps because of the negative comments from people like Tammy and Tucker. Its possible and likely that this number is actually double or triple that amount. I have personally been to Pagan Pride Day festivals across several states where their were thousands of Pagans in attendance.
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