Quick Note: Damian Thompson’s Hurt Feelings

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  February 3, 2011 — 35 Comments

Back in November the Telegraph’s blog editor and alleged religion reporter Damian Thompson kicked off a tempest-in-a-teapot over whether the BBC was “sucking up” to Pagans during the Halloween/Samhain season. This is apparently part of the perennial British media sport of BBC bashing, but UK Pagans were unamused at Thompson’s undisguised ignorant venom and made complaints to the aptly named Press Complaints Commission. Thompson, a conservative Catholic, was apparently wounded deeply at Pagans daring to complain about anything he writes, and has lashed out in the only way he knows how; in a spiteful anti-Pagan editorial masquerading as review of Elizabeth Dodd’s “Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Dangers”.

“I should make it clear that Wicca & Witchcraft: Understanding the dangers by Elizabeth Dodd doesn’t make any silly cracks about broomsticks. But I can’t resist. There’s no eco-bore like a Wiccan eco-bore. I’ve met a few and, believe me, you need to be under a spell to sit through a three-hour whinge about Mother Gaia from a practitioner of white magick. It makes one long for the days when witches restricted themselves to a quick cackle before riding off into the night. (Just kidding, witches and pagans! Seriously, last time I had a go at them they reported me to the Press Complaints Commission, which proved resistant to their magick.) […] she’s not buying any of its [Wicca’s] bullshit about being descended from prehistoric totemic and animist religion…”

He also posts a picture of an ugly witch from the film “The Witches” with the caption “Peace be with you!” because that joke never gets old! Seriously! Never! A huge laugh every time. I can’t imagine how proud The Telegraph is of this blog post.

It’s very clear what’s going on here, Damian Thomspon had his feeling hurt. You may not know this, but religion reporters are a deeply sensitive lot, especially if they are also expected to blog on a regular basis. He had no idea that blithely branding Pagans as feminist Satanic racist Nazis when making a point about the BBC’s coverage would actually offend us. That the invites to tea would stop, that he’d no longer get friendly invites to fire circles, throwing his social calendar into ruins. This is clearly a cry for help. Positively reviewing shoddy re-hashed anti-Pagan books is one of the sure signs. So let’s put a stop to this madness now. Damian, if you’re reading this, all you have to do is say you’re sorry for acting like an spoilt ignorant child, and we’ll all work together to put this behind us.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Robin Artisson

    This guy is a moron, through and through. There is no doubt. There is also no doubt that he'll take his place one day as one of the anonymous, oblivious hordes of mankind drowned in the obscurity of Hades- a listless, insignificant, lackluster afterlife which, by the irresistible workings of Divine Justice, accords perfectly with his listless, insignificant, and lackluster human life.

    On these points, there can be no doubts. However, when he says:

    "There’s no eco-bore like a Wiccan eco-bore. I’ve met a few and, believe me, you need to be under a spell to sit through a three-hour whinge about Mother Gaia from a practitioner of white magick. It makes one long for the days when witches restricted themselves to a quick cackle before riding off into the night. "

    I must say, I totally agree with him. He may be a jerkoff, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    • I long for the days when witches made guys like this impotent. Let's make him impotent!

      • Bookhousegal

        I dunno, Kat, looks like he's already pretty much a weenie, as it is, not sure there's much more we can do, there. 😉

        Maybe we can arrange an Oscar Meyer wrapper, though?

  • Actually, this horseshit coming from Damian Thompson is only slightly more vicious than the anti-Pagan venom that noted scholar Mary Beard once wrote in her "Don's Life" column for the Times. It's also worth noting that at times Thompson is simply paraphrasing Ronald Hutton.

    • Robin Artisson

      Oh snap!

  • Riverbend

    Hee hee…thanks Jason, I actually just read this a little while ago when Wren posted it on FB. Obviously the Nazi/racist stuff won't fly (on broomsticks or otherwise), but I'm thinking maybe the Feminist Satanists (as if THAT isn't an oxymoron!! :)) and the Eco-Bores should all get together for a conference and see what we can get accomplished…I certainly overlap enough with both groups that it could be fun to hang out and do some evil plotting about planting fig trees for the snakes, or something. 😉

  • Lori F – MN

    Aw, did the over-sensitive Xian get his itty bitty feelings hurt? I ain't kissing THAT booboo!

    Isn't Satanism recognizing that the devil has control? Wouldn't Christianity fall under that?

    • A Satanist has a favorable view of Satan (whether seen as an actual being or just a symbol). Christians who believe in a Devil do NOT have a favorable view of Satan. Most Satanists, also, draw their ideas from a variety of sources, not just the Abrahamic religious, despite the obviously Abrahamic origin of the name/title "Satan."

  • Ouranophobe

    I don't know if you saw this, but it's starting to be picked up by mainstream press as news. And no, I'm not counting the Daily Fail as mainstream press. Granted, I'm not sure "AOLNews" is much better, but still, it's cropping up on multiple links in my Google news feed, anyway.

    With what's going on in Africa and India these days, I should have thought the Catholic Church would tread a little more softly on this idea just now.

    Also, as of this morning, the pamphlet is sold out on Amazon.co.uk.

    • Ouranophobe

      Oh, and the AOLNews article? Opens with the Witch burning thing in the first sentence.

      • Pitch313

        I'd guess that one reason my ancestors departed the British Isles for the challenges and opportunities of North America's West Coast was just to get the hell away from conceited English Catholic jerks who talk like this and think like that. Who cares how many angels can dance in the destruction of an ecosystem anyway? When he can be smugly witty?