Chattanooga Times Free Press, Janet Parshall, and the Ugly Side of Wicca

Saturday my local newspaper ran a story reviewing my coauthored book Generation Hex. Faith editor Clint Cooper did a great job providing a summary of some of its ideas and introducing my local Starbucks barista to some of the work I do. In his words (my favorite barista’s, not Clint’s), “I didn’t know you were a writer.” Now he does.

Also on Saturday, my coauthor Marla and I had the opportunity to share an interview on Janet Parshall’s radio program (www.jpamerica.com). One of radio’s top talk show hosts, she had people calling and emailing in live from Alaska, Bermuda, Belgium, and everywhere else you could imagine. People dealing with witchcraft among their friends and family are really searching for answers. Hopefully, we were able to help some of the show’s listeners along the way.

On the ugly side, I had the mixed blessing of having the Chattanooga Times Free Press article mentioned above being picked up at WitchVox.com. For those unaware, Witchvox.com is considered the leading social networking hub for all things Wiccan and pagan. Unfortunately, within 24 hours I found some very hateful and inaccurate comments thrown around. For example:

Yeah, these guys aren’t really “tolerant”. They use softer language than most, sure, but it becomes pretty apparent when you read their crap that they have the same goal as any foaming-at-the-mouth fundie; eliminate the competition and convert everyone to their particular brand of Christianity.

The tactics that both Cooper and Burroughs detail here look suspisciously like some of the trolling tactics I’ve seen in WitchVox; in fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Burroughs posted here under an alias.

Of course Wicca is still a “danger”. It’s competition.

I’m not sure what such comments are hoping to accomplish, but let me ask: Who is the one being intolerant and critical here? From what I’ve gathered, none of these commenters have read the book that notes my specific reasons for not signing up for participation on WitchVox. The “Cooper” they mentioned was the guy interviewing me. I had no say on what he wrote. I was just happy he mentioned my book. And I’ve yet to view Wicca as competition. I simply share my concern for Wiccans to experience the love of Jesus; a love much greater than the spirit of the above comments.

Fortunately, many Wiccans I have met do not share such an attitude. They simply crave a spirituality that helps them deal with the pressures of everyday life. My prayer is that more will find their fulfillment in Jesus.

[P.S. As of Sunday morning, less than a day from when the Times-Free Press article ran, my article has been viewed over 1600 times.]

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