Pagan community responds to inflammatory Fox News comments

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  February 19, 2013 — 168 Comments

As Heather Greene reported yesterday here at The Wild Hunt, the Pagan community has been reacting to inflammatory and offensive statements made by Fox News and Fox & Friends Weekend personalities regarding the University of Missouri adding the eight Wiccan Sabbats to its “Guide to Religion.”

Since then, the response from Wiccans and other modern Pagans on social media sites like Facebook have been heavy and sustained. More than 25,000 individuals have signed a Causes petition demanding an apology, and over 4000 have signed a petition demanding the same.

“Fox and Friends on February 17, 2013 decided to belittle women, make fun of a Federally recognized religion, present inaccurate information as “facts” concerning the religion of Wicca, and decide that religious freedom and respect is ONLY for the mainstream or “traditional” religions rather than for EVERY American Citizen regardless of their spirituality. […] They are also doing a lot of damage control by removing this video from the public record due to the backlash it is receiving but I, and many others in the Pagan community will not allow them to hide their bigotry and pretend it didn’t happen.”

In addition, Pagan and Wiccan advocacy organizations have been stepping forward to make statements on the coverage, starting with the Lady Liberty League.

“The Lady Liberty League denounces the ignorant and unprofessional statements made by Fox News commentators this weekend.  The statements, made by Fox personalities including Anna Kooiman, Clayton Morris, Tucker Carlson, and Tammy Bruce were in regards to the University of Missouri’s 2011 decision to include Wiccan and other holidays, along with the holidays of other many other faiths, in that university’s “Guide to Religion.”

We are deeply disappointed that Fox’s leadership would chose to allow such ill-informed statements on the air.  The commentary of the Fox News personalities over the weekend betrayed not only deep ignorance about Paganism and Wicca but also a fundamental distain for the nature of religious diversity in the United States and the establishment clause in the US constitution.”

This was quickly followed by a statement from the Covenant of the Goddess.

“In the case of Fox News, the Fox & Friends Weekend commentators, Anna Kooiman, Clayton Morris, Tucker Carlson, and Tammy Bruce, spent Sunday morning, February 17th, mocking Wicca as it relates to the University of Missouri’s “Guide to Religion.” Not only were their comments irreverent, they were factually incorrect. They turned the University’s sincere attempt at diversity awareness into a three-ring circus act.

The Covenant of the Goddess recognizes and respects the opinions and beliefs of all people, of faith or no faith.  We applaud the University of Missouri and any other organization that strives for community awareness and interfaith peace.  We do not expect special treatment for Wiccans or Witches on campus or otherwise. However, we do expect the national media to report with reasonable accuracy and to offer a modicum of respect to people of all faiths and all practices.”

In addition, COG also sent a letter to the University of Missouri thanking them for their inclusivity.

Of course, it wasn’t only Pagans who were pointing out the bizarre and distorted coverage of this issue, NewsHounds (a Fox News watchdog site) said that the network’s “hypocrisy is truly astounding” while The Raw Story recounted the espeically inflammatory statements of commentator Tucker Carlson.

An e-card on the subject being shared around social media sites.

An e-card on the subject being shared around social media sites.

“Except any religion whose most sacred day is Halloween, I just can’t take seriously,” Carlson added. “I mean, call me a bigot. And I’m not, you know, not offering an editorial against Wiccanism.” Carlson later added that every Wiccan was either a “compulsive Dungeons & Dragons player or is a middle-aged, twice-divorced older woman living in a rural area who works as a midwife.”

These led the site Opposing Views to simply state: “Tucker Carlson Really Hates Wiccans.” That’s actually not that unfair of an assessment, Carlson has a long history of insulting and baiting Wiccans on his various television programs. In the past he’s called Wicca “Satanic,” and given airtime to Christian criticisms of Wicca and modern Paganism without airing any competing viewpoint. It’s a well he returns to because he knows it will excite the conservative Christian viewers of his programs, and garner him a bit of attention when progressive (and Pagan) sites call him out for it.

This weekend at PantheaCon I was honored to participate in a panel entitled “Setting the Record Straight: Pagans and the Press,” moderated by journalist Beth Winegarner (audio and hopefully video coming soon). During the panel, I noted that coverage of Wiccans has largely evolved from fear and intimations of “dark” practices hidden from view to seeing us a jokes, and that this evolution should be seen as part of how effective Wiccans and Witches have been at changing the narrative. Even those who want to sensationalize and attack us largely admit we aren’t evil, that we are, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, “mostly harmless.” The challenge now is correcting the record when these distortions appear, and working towards making Pagan media an ever-more vibrant and responsive tool for influencing the mainstream narratives of our religions.

ADDENDUM: Tucker Carlson has apologized on Twitter.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Carlson added. “I mean, call me a bigot. And I’m not, you know, not offering an editorial against Wiccanism.”

    I’m more than happy to oblige: You, Mr Carlson, are a bigot.

    • Bree

      I would be more than happy to agree.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      You notice the double negative:

      “…I’m not…not offering an editorial against Wiccanism.”

      The double negative is self cancelling, which means we can actually just read this:

      “I’m offering an editorial against Wiccanism (sic).”

      • I’m willing to spot him a pause and repeat of a word during his statement. That’s just normal human speech. (Besides, the emphatic double-negative is a perfectly valid historical usage. 🙂 )

        It still rings of a phony apology prompted by outside pressure rather than any true remorse — which is what we wanted, I suppose, but hardly what we deserve.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          Oh, I do not doubt that is how he intended it, but I thought I would do him the same favour he has done Wicca and Paganism but being deliberately obtuse.

    • Chouette

      As will I: Tucker Carlson is a anti-pagan bigot.

    • LezlieKinyon

      Indeed. Second that.

  • Krimsyn

    Wonder what he thinks about All Souls Day?

    • Seth

      He has no idea what it is, I’m sure.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    This is called anti-defamation work; Jews have done it for generations. I’m delighted to see major Pagan institutions dig into this work, with good logic and evenness of tone.

    • And the Jewish/Pagan analogy is a good one to make use of, as long as it is done intelligently. Basically, if a statement becomes blatantly antisemitic by substituting “Jews” for “Pagans”, then we are dealing with religious bigotry. Period. And hopefully we can look forward to the day when bigots feel compelled to keep their bigoted yaps shut for fear of being called anti-pagan.

      • Baruch Dreamstalker

        You are quite right. I’ve used the analogy, some 25 years ago, in the context of a Unitarian Universalist church, regarding the then-novel emergence of UU Paganism. When done with finesse it’s quite effective.

  • Seth

    “I’d like to do a poll: Who can name 8 Wiccan holidays?”

    Samhain, Beltaine, Imbolc, Yule, Ostara, Lughnasadh, Mabon, Litha.

    The others are the full moons. Count them, dumbass.

    • Seth

      And I don’t play D&D, I’m a 20 year old unwed male, live in a large, conservative college town, and would only ever be a midwife if someone spontaneously went into labor and i was the only person around.

    • Fine, but the college religion guide only mentioned the 8, and didn’t recommend any accommodations for them, belying the Fox blog headline about Wiccans getting their holidays off of exams. Then it went downhill.

    • And I’m not a middle age, twice married woman! I’m a once married, never divorced middle aged woman! And, while women like me do grow herbs, it’s because they’re good in cooking and medicine…as well as in rituals. We NEVER called ourselves witches! That is something that was slapped on us by Christians to demonize the pagans who refused to be swayed from their religion. They really need to check their facts and educate themselves before shooting their uninformed, bigoted pie-holes off and showing the world how ignorant they really are!

      • That’s what I was thinking. I am only a teenager living in a christian home as a Wiccan. And I get very flustered when people don’t get their facts right, it happens all the time. People are really ignorant, I agree.

      • AnantaAndroscoggin

        Faux Noise Corruptthenation is historically a Fact Free Zone.

      • rayne

        While I agree with them needing to get their facts correct, I’m pagan. A lot of us do call ourselves witches. It was not a name given to us by Christians. But it was used as a way to manipulate and cover our beliefs as evil. Not all pagans are wiccans but all wiccans are pagan. They do need to get their facts right. Plus we are not a minority. the old religion has been around since early man. wicca is a new sect of paganistic faiths that came about in the 1950-60 and only accounts for a small number of paganism. and Christianity put their holidays close to pagan ones to ease integration.

    • LezlieKinyon

      Or: Samhainn, Candlemas, Yule, Oestre, Lammas, Midsummer –

      • Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Litha, Mabon – I can spell on ’em, but I maybe can’t spell the names of ’em.

        • rayne

          Samhain, yuletide, Bridgid or imbolc, Eorstara, beltane, litha, lammas and mabon

    • So very true 🙂 This seems…. off the wall and very opinionated. I expected maybe they’d do their homework. Guess I was wrong.

    • Deborah Bender

      Who can name eight Jewish holidays?

      Rosh Hashonah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, Purim, Passover, Shavuot
      (plus four or five others)

      How is the general public’s knowledge of a minority religion’s sacred calendar relevant to the legitimacy of the religion or its holidays?

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        You forgot the sabbath day.

        • Deborah Bender

          Of course I didn’t forget the Sabbath day; that would be a violation of the Ten Commandments 🙂

          I didn’t mention the Sabbath for the same reason Full Moons are not on the Wiccan list; they are recurring holidays rather than seasonal ones. Ditto for Rosh Chodesh. I also omitted Tisha B’Ov, Sh’mini Atzeret, Lag B’Omer, Yom HaShoah, Israeli Independence Day, etc., etc.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Point being that I very much doubt whether a Jewish student would be expected to sit an exam on the Sabbath.

            It is a bit like Sundays having restricted shop opening hours (over here, anyway) due to it being “God’s lock”.

          • Deborah Bender

            The University of California at Berkeley fairly often schedules its day of registration for the fall term on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews.

          • According to the calendar function on my tablet, “annual recurring” is still recurring.

  • Fox News… owned by a Muslim extremist. That is FACT! The information they gave on Pagans and Wiccans in NOT factual. The COG is not the only organization for Wiccans, but it is one of the better formed organizations. There is NO central Governing Body for Wiccans. That is something people that work and watch Fox News can not wrap their heads around. They are so blinded by the Patriarchy… the Catholic Church. I am proud to be a 3rd Degree High Priestess of Isis.

    • Rhoanna

      If by “owned” you mean “has it’s second largest shareholder”, then yes, it’s a fact.

  • Halloween is a Christian concept.Also, I do not think it wise to piss off a bunch of witches.

    • There are actually very few originally Christian concepts. And the Christians are welcome to them.

    • Admara Razil Odira

      I know wiccans don’t do this but I’m sure (especially after the statements made) that they don’t; After this went viral I’d fear someone would curse me after saying something like that. Damn I hope karma bites them in the ass! HARD.

      • And, that is usually the way things like this are dealt with, Admara. We just wait, and let Karma do its work. It always happens. And, the best part? They do it to themselves, with out any help from us.

        • AnantaAndroscoggin

          If I do anything toward the scumbags of the world, it’s often a working to increase their fumble-rate when it comes to covering up their crimes, etc., while pretending to be fair, honest citizens of upright character.

      • LezlieKinyon

        Cursing is not ethical. And- “Wiccan” is capitalized, being a proper noun.

  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    You know the thing I have never quite understood?

    Christianity is supposedly about peace love and acceptance.

    Don’t find any of that hippy crap in my favourite godbooks.

    • May be a low blow but they can’t say that they are because of their past. They have a very poor rap sheet if you ask me.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        That’s just because they are not very good at their religion. They should practice more.

    • meposting

      The religion got hijacked a very long time ago.

  • Tezlin

    I am not an American but surely they are not all like this guy what a total nob sock

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      He must have enough viewers to justify his job.

      • Baruch Dreamstalker

        We can’t assume that. William Buckley’s National Review, a seminal conservative journal in the second half of the Twentieth Century, was (I have heard) kept afloat by Buckley family money. The para-campaign contributions of the late election, while anonymous, disclosed that folks out there are willing to shell out seven figures for conservative causes.
        You might be right but we can’t assume it.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          Fair point, well made.

        • And the Washington Times, that bastion of Free Enterprise mongering, has never turned a profit in the entire history of its existence.

          • AnantaAndroscoggin

            That’s the rag owned by the Moonie church, isn’t it?

          • that’s the one.

      • Hecate_Demetersdatter

        Fox News is what is known in the industry as a loss leader.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          People still watch it, though.

          • Hecate_Demetersdatter

            If they didn’t, it wouldn’t be a good loss leader.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I suppose the interesting information would be finding out how many people watch it primarily as a source of entertainment rather than information.

            Living across the pond, I always thought that Fox News was pretty much the biggest/most subscribed to news source in the US. Pretty much how it is portrayed over here, anyway.

          • It is, sort of… Fox is pretty much the only conservative news outlet, so they corner the market. There are a number of more independent and liberal media outlets to choose from though, so there is more split. Even so, their numbers have been falling.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            ‘Beware of stereotypes’, eh? 😉

          • Actually, over here, most people tend to see Fox News as something to laugh at. They sensationalize the wrong things, make way too many ignorant statements, and always seem to be in trouble for it! It’s really become a joke, and it’s sad it’s still around.

          • We watch it from time to time, but consider it a practice of ‘knowing thy enemy’

    • harmonyfb

      what a total nob sock

      I think this is my new favorite insult.

  • stacey

    what an idiot!!!!

  • Cat C-B

    I’m clearly in the minority, but I found it amusing how close to my life the attempt to smear us with a stereotype was.

    I _am_ a middle aged woman; I _do_ live in a rural area, and while I have only been divorced once and it is my best friend who is the midwife, she is also the GM of the long-running Dungeons and Dragons type-game we’ve both been playing since before her eldest child was born.

    I can’t help it–I giggled.

    • Hecate_Demetersdatter

      I’m an old woman. A mother and a grandmother. I live in an urban area. I’m a lawyer and my friends are other professionals. I’ve never played D&D. I’m a Witch.

      • harmonyfb

        I thought it was weird that this was his taunting stereotype (what’s wrong with being any of those things?) I’m middle-aged, yeah, I played D & D in high school (about a billion years ago), and I’ve been present at births (though I’m not a midwife). For the rest – I’m in a monogamous, 25-year-so-far interfaith marriage and I live in a suburb (though I’d love to live in the country like I did when I was a teen.) and work in a library. None of which would leap to my mind if I were to stereotype my religion – it just underlines how little he knows about it.

      • Kilmrnock

        I am an Older Man , 57 . A father and grandfather has never played D&D , am a 30 yr pagan and am a CRP , Celtic Reconstructionist polytheist . Am a professional Auto Tech , ASE Certified Master Auto Mechanic .Not a witch or Wiccan , a Sinnsreathe, follow the Sinnsreachd faith

    • eileendalla

      I fit the stereotype too. lol I’m 70 years old, been divorced twice, and live in a very rural area. I’ve never worked as a midwife, but after giving birth to 6 children I’m sure if the need arose, I could probably do the job.
      I’m giggleing too. heeheehee

    • Cat, I fit the stereotype in every way but being a midwife. I laughed, but it also made me feel doubly insulted for people who fit that stereotype. As if there is something inherently bad about being someone who fits it.

    • AQ

      Heh–I play D&D from time to time. My husband of 20 years is the DM. 😀

    • LezlieKinyon

      I’ve been trying to figure out how that’s an insult… I know he meant it that way, but …really!… insulting middle aged women who are midwives (an incredibly demanding profession) is probably a Very Bad Idea altogether.

  • Tara

    What else can you expect from Fox News at this point? These are the same people who recently proclaimed that Germany has a better solar energy program than the US because they get more sunshine there.

  • Nancy Palmer

    Another demonstration that fox News has absolutely nothing to do with news. It’s like the Weekly World News of reporting…..nothing they say can be considered accurate or correct, about anything. If this is an example of their reporting, I’ll watch CNN

  • Songbird

    Definitely had NO idea what they were talking about at all!!! But I, too, had to giggle a bit since I hit two out of three of their “criteria”… I am a middle aged woman who’s been divorced twice….but not a midwife. Shucks!! LOL I have to kind of laugh at the ignorance of most people. I am Pagan/Universal. hopefully one day the prejudice will go away!!

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      Do you have a moment to talk about D&D?

      • Songbird

        Played it for a few years when I was was MUCH younger with dice and paper…didn’t dress up and all that! 🙂 LOL

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          I was an eclectic role-player, myself. Experimented with various systems over the years.

          Bit hard to be a solitary, though. (I never got on with online systems.)

    • Deborah Bender

      Middle aged women who have been divorced twice are one of the larger demographic classes in the United States. It’s peculiar that anyone would use that set of characteristics to mock a group. But it was an off the cuff remark.

      • Songbird

        Seems that all his remarks were “off the cuff”….that show just seems to get a kick out of putting down anyone that isn’t of THEIR belief system. There are SOOOOO many more of us out there than they can even FATHOM!!! We’ve just had to stay in the freakin’ “broom closet” because of ignorant rants like theirs!! I’m worried that there’s going to be another “Witch Hunt” coming in the future if these asshats get any power behind them!!

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          If there are any new witch hunts, I think they will find the ‘witches’ better armed and ready this time.

  • Admara Razil Odira

    Are you KIDDING ME!? I thought it was great our holidays where recognized for once, and really!? Halloween is sacred because of the fact that’s it’s harvest, it’s a new year, it’s a change of life to death. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FUCKING COSTUMES AND CANDY! >:( THIS MAKES ME VERY ANGRY. I am 20, I have friends, and I am a relatively normal person that have people that may not necessarily understand my religion or agree with it but they support me for it. I’m not a damn midwife or burn incense all the time, let alone been married. Who the hell do they think we are!?

    • rev.joshiua

      They have been recognized in a number of Universities over the last few years, this time it just caught FOX news’ eye and gave them something to complain about.

    • Kilmrnock

      Thats the problem , Admara these fools don’t know . They spout out nonsense w/o researching us , how numerous we are , or what we actualy do/believe . They have no real knowledge /information about pagans , Just the typical RR talking points . Any responcible reporter , journalist , or news person would research a topic before talking out of their arse about it . Our point is these folks are none of above mentioned , have any of these desireable qualities of a proper news team or organisation

  • amanda

    fox news is full of complete narrow minded twits just like my father.

  • I, being a normal human being, do not watch Fox! After only one news report on politics, I went else where for the truth!! I have friends that are pagan and they tell me that my beliefs are more pagan like, than any other religion. I respect everyone’s right to worship who they want. I worship no one. I believe there is “god” in everything and everyone. You can’t separate “God” from something. I believe “god” is the intelligence in all things! From my understanding of Paganism, I know you don’t worship satan. I know that you celebrate many holidays that represent the earth and it’s cycles. I see Paganism as a better choice than most other religions! I have seen more hatred coming from Christian people!! They want to tell you what and who to worship, but don’t try to tell them how to worship, they are right and you are wrong! It is that kind of mentality that I let go of traditional religion and found my own enlightenment! I don’t know who runs FOX but they should really take a look at reality sometime!

  • Hecate_Demetersdatter

    Tucker now says that we’re “nice” but have “confusing holy days.” He must not know me very well. That’s not nearly good enough, Tucker. And capitalize “Pagans,” while you’re at it.

    • Ursyl

      First thing this D&D playing suburban mom noticed in that tweet.

    • Deborah Bender

      The Wiccan holiday calendar is nowhere near as complicated as the Catholic and Jewish holiday calendars. The Jewish calendar is fiendishly complicated because every month begins and ends on the new moon and that requires throwing in an extra month some years to keep the agricultural holidays in sync with the seasons.

      • That’s exactly what I was thinking. Wiccan holidays are usually on a fixed calendar unless you’re just really hardcore. Catholicism has a holiday at least every other day and I tried once trying to keep up with my best friend’s Jewish holy days. Once is the key word here.

        • LezlieKinyon

          LOL! I hear everyone in Rome takes the *entire month of August* off as a holiday…

      • If you think lunar calendars are “fiendishly complicated”, you’d never survive as a recon.

  • harmonyfb

    …but you seem like nice people.

    Sorry we can’t say the same about you, Mr. Carlson.

    • taxed_n_spent

      You’re so much nicer than I. My immediate thought after reading that statement was…”yeah, well you seem like spaztastic asshat to me.”

  • E

    I just got a headache from listening to that. But really. It’s FOX. No surprise there folks.

  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    On behalf of all Wiccanism and Paganianity I formally reject that crock of an apology and demand weregild, instead.

    • LezlieKinyon

      Good idea. Going to collect on behalf of all of us?

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        I figure that, if I ask for £1.00 (sterling) for each person in need of an apology, there’d be enough to build a nice new temple.

        He can’t complain at the amount, since there are, apparently, hardly any Wiccanists Paganians out there.

        • LezlieKinyon

          LOL! What’s a “Wiccanist”? (Never heard that one before. Majority of Wiccans *are* Pagans – though I suppose you already know that.) Doing the math:What’s the exchange rate on sterling these days? That’s probably a couple million (American $$) in California, alone, you know. Now if you include the middle-aged women, midwives, divorced persons of both genders, & *the entire gaming community* … you know — if we do this right, we could end up *owning* FOX – the entire network.

          • LezlieKinyon

            BTW- I am am insulted on a lot of levels: I have lived in the country, I grow herbs for culinary usage (because the culinary arts are an avocation); I played D&D in college (on paper with dice & with very smart geeks who went onto MIT & Stanford); I studied midwifery at one point, but ended up in another (less demanding) branch of human science; and, I am middle aged (divorced once- the rest is nobody’s biz); and, a (very) long-time Wiccan. Yeah – go collect some weregild!

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            A Wiccanist is (I presume) a practitioner of Wiccanism. For more information on Wiccanism, ask the tool that was talking about it on Fox.

        • Yeah, I don’t think they realized, or even tried to figure out just how many of us there are.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            The numbers always seem to come out low in the polls.

          • meposting

            They didn’t try to figure out anything.

          • Now, take that back –I’m sure some of them tried to figure out how to dress themselves this morning!

    • Malaz

      I support Leohts call for wergeld, but I feel there should be stronger movement here. People like this should be given air-time. As a priest of Sekhmet (and Her Divine Justice), I call for their removal.

      • M


  • Not enough, Carlson. You need to do it on the air, and you need to extract apologies from the other bigoted bullies you were playing with. Jerk.

  • “Except any religion whose most sacred day is Halloween, I just
    can’t take seriously,” Carlson added. “I mean, call me a bigot. And I’m
    not, you know, not offering an editorial against Wiccanism.” Carlson
    later added that every Wiccan was either a “compulsive Dungeons &
    Dragons player or is a middle-aged, twice-divorced older woman living in
    a rural area who works as a midwife.”

    Hmmm, actually I am a 31 year old soldier in the U.S. Army, twice deployed, and never divorced; I haven’t played D&D in years, and am politically conservative. Mr. Carlson, we are EVERYWHERE.

    • Veracity

      Carlson can’t take people who consider Halloween sacred seriously? Apparently he’s never heard of All Saint’s Day either.

      But he can take seriously those who celebrate a holiday in which people claim to revere a carpenter turned rabbi who was really born in the spring and not December, while their actions show they revere the commercialized fat man in the red suit and all the dead trees and brightly wrapped gifts that overshadow any religious significance their Solstice celebration might have once contained.

      See, Tucker Carlson? Any religious holiday can be ridiculed, even yours.

      I find it hard to take seriously his attempt to mount that high horse and say others have declared war on Xmas.

  • ChristopherBlackwell

    Fox claims it is not required to tell the truth in court case back in 2003


    Title: “Florida Appeals Court Orders Akre-Wilson Must Pay Trial Costs for $24.3 Billion Fox Television; Couple Warns Journalists of Danger to Free Speech, Whistle Blower Protection”

    Author: Al Krebs

    Faculty Evaluator: Liz Burch, Ph.D.

    Student Researcher: Sara Brunner

    In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.

  • The irony of the Christians calling the Pagans “anti-establishment” is the fact that Jesus was.

    • i kind of think its funny that Jesus was more Pagan than Christian!

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        Jesus was a Jew.

        • He might have been a Jew, but he was one heck of a witch.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I disagree with that very strongly. That implies only witches get to perform magic/miracles.

      • I know, but do what he used to do and they will call you Satan -.-

  • KhonsuMes Matt

    The Panel at PantheaCon was thought provoking and more importantly, provided some great actionable points for handling events like this and even heading them off at the pass. (Though I can’t say I would expect Fox to do much better, other organizations certainly will respond to good sources of reliable information). I am looking forward to the audio/video so I can add to my notes, and hope you turn it into a full post here at the Wild Hunt.

  • Carlson is a moron, typical of Fox News “journalists”… he doesn’t study subjects before he comments on things he obviously has no clue about, and ends up sounding like a High School mentality elitist douchebag. Even his “apology” shows he STILL knows nothing about the subject he so freely comments on, insulting a HUGE segment of the population of the United States. Who gives a rat’s ass what idiots like him think. I personally consider his remarks, and those of the idiot on the other side of the eye candy as hate-speech, and they should both be fired.

  • Rev. Joshua

    Actions of this nature only demonstrate the need for a greater need for serious interfaith work. Most do not truly understand our path and rely on the multitude of misguided and inaccurate information. This was well demonstrated when Tammy Bruce said I don’t know any Wiccans, but… and then proceeded to make bigoted statements in regard to the belief.

    Many on our path have interfaith programs that only focus on various Pagan belief systems. Only a small handful work to instill understanding to the mainstream. We need more to focus on the mainstream public, not to proselytize but to educate.

    Rev. M. L. Rosenblad
    Founder, American Spiritual Alliance

    • Dude, it’s Fox News –they don’t rely on anything but this method:
      * pick a news item in Associated Press to be angry about
      * blow up a random paragraph from said article
      * afix paragraph to dart board and select three words at random in an effort to blow the whole thing out of proportion as wildly as possible.
      * avoid actual research, even though we all have Internet access, we don’t want our baseless opinions tainted with facts now, do we? –all workstations on the premesis should block all major search engines to avoid even a modicum of research

      Now, i may have just made that up, but considering the ludicrous nonsense that comes out of Fox News, it wouldn’t surprise me if this outline was more accurate than inaccurate.

  • Dearbhail

    I have to admit to not watching the whole clip; when Carlson said, “Call me a bigot,” I did, and turned it off. This simply once again exhibits the stupidity of Fox News. If they knew their history, they would know that the holidays celebrated by the Christian church are Pagan in origin and that the story of the life of Jesus uncannily echoed that of Mithras. Ecclesiastes 1:9. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

  • My first thought was “That’s an apology?”. Though after hearing his bigoted comments and uninformed stereotyping that may be what he actually considers an apology, Naw, he’s just a bigot trying to make us believe he isn’t.

    • I should add a few things, I am a middle aged woman, and I have played D & D though not for over 2 decades. These days I prefer Skyrim, Bioshock, etc. I am not twice divorced, mainly because I’ve never been married. I live just outside the city and the only midwifing(sp) I’ve ever been part of is for litters of pups.

  • I think this is pretty much over with, the Gods
    be thanked. People seem to have fired a few snarky parting shots at the
    apology and moved on, judging by my FB and Twitter feeds this morning. I
    hope that’s the case; it surely did get every bit of bandwidth it was

    I do agree with Baruch, though, this was good practice for LLL, CoG, TWH, PNC and whoever else is equipped to do grown-up anti-defamation.

  • Chouette

    I being a 22 year old married mother of two and not a middle aged midwife twice divorced was very upset by the claims made by Fox News. I think that Carlson and his associates, if wanting to be taken seriously, should make a public/televised apology to all Wiccan/Pagans. Their, Carlson being the main offender, falsified ignorant comments not only insulted many people but also gave out the wrong view of a wonderful peace loving religion. Carlsons very insincere apology on twitter was not good enough for me.

  • Mi thinks Carlson has lost a few Dungeons & Dragons rounds 😉

    And I also believe that Jesus was more Pagan that Christian anywayz!

    • Deborah Bender

      Since Christianity did not come into existence as a separate religion until after his death, of course Jesus was not a Christian. Jesus was a Jew of the Pharisaic school. A few of his recorded sayings are similar to the teachings of Rabbi Hillel, who was a respected teacher in Jerusalem when Jesus was a boy.

      Some people speculate that the hidden teachings Jesus alluded to were of a pagan nature. The heavy editing of the Gospels and limited survival of other versions of Jesus’ teachings makes it difficult to know whether there is any basis to that. Jesus also seems to have been a mystic, and the beliefs of mystics transcend creedal boundaries.

  • AQ

    I replied that I don’t accept false apologies, especially from somebody who’s so ign’ant that he doesn’t know all the Christian holidays were Pagan in origin.

  • Such ignorance, D&D? WTF! Dude, what kind of profesional are you? I wonder where you get your info, cause I have never played the game and I am not interestes, and its weird cause i am a gamer and a lover of MMO.

    Another thing, did you just said we are not a big community? Again, where do you get your info?

    Let me tell you smartass, Wicca and Paganism is even older than Cristianity itself, and actually. The community has more people than any religion. Our community have people that believe in science amd even christias, Wicca and Paganism is the most flexible religion, we dont even judge by sexuality, we take in the rejects of other believings. And you dare to call us little. You should be glad this isn’t a movie, if not you would have been cursed long time ago! Get your damn story straight, look for real Wiccans/Pagans, never look for the fanatics. You shouldnt be on tv!

    Next time be careful with your words, you mess with one you mess with all. And believe me when I say we are one of the biggest community, most just decide to stay hidden.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      Wicca isn’t older than Christianity. It isn’t even as old as television. Not that age actually means anything.

    • Northern_Light_27

      1. Samhain predates Wicca.

      2. Christianity very much predates Wicca.
      3. “the community has more people than any religion”– um. wut? We’re growing but no. Not even close.

      4. Hex threats? Really?

      5. Paganism isn’t *a* religion, it’s *many* religions, some of which aren’t terribly flexible, actually.

      6. “The rejects of other believings”? As in, people who left a previous religion to become our current type of Pagan? That’s many, perhaps even most, of us, actually.

      If you’re going to call someone else on their poor information, take care that you don’t mess up in the same way yourself. Also, calling a woman “black hair bitch” is just a dick move. I really don’t need someone throwing around slurs to defend me, thanks.

  • And about he calling Wicca a satanism in one of shows. Dude, grow up and stop being a fanatic. This pic is for you!

    And or the black hair bitch, wicca is an ACTUAL religion too! Such ignorance, and bitch, recognicing all of our festivities doesnt mean you will get another free day, ST. Valentines is a festivity and you still work, you dumbass. And the wiccan community is well known for not being lazy, you guys are such hobbos, I will accept your apologies if you all quit television!

  • Andrei

    laughing at halloween? and saying witchcraft is evil? and thinking this is funny? GO AWAY!

  • My day job is at MU, and I’m really proud that those holidays are in there. There are definitely pagans (Wiccans, Druids, etc.) on campus among the student, staff, and faculty, so the inclusion was a nice step.

  • BTW to Fox, Halloween is not even a Cristian thing, its a Wicca festivity called Samhain, a very spiritual conection to the spirit realm and the energies.

    That your ignorance made it another thing to make fun of it its another thing. Or do I have to bring back the Salem Witch Trials, and remind you the church killed in the name of god. Hypocrites!

    • Kilmrnock

      Actualy my freind Samhain is a Celtic Pagan holiday adopted by Wiccans it goes back thousands of years to the Pre Christian times of Ireland and Scotland as do all the other so called Wiccan Holidays , Gardner just adopted these into Wicccan practices . Tis ok to call these celebrations/holidays pagan but please don’t call them Wiccan us CRs and other Pagans don’t appreciate it .Actualy the name Halloween is from the Christian terminology for All Hallows Eve the night b/f All Hallows day a Christianised version of Samhain , a day to honor the hallowed dead .The term All Hallowed or Hallows Eve morphed into Halloween . In the Celtic tradition Samhain also is the end/ and beginning of the New Year on Nov 1st, so is our New Years Day.

      • Kilmrnock

        Samhain or Halloween is just another case of the Christians absorbing and changing pagan traditions they couldn’t get the common folk to give up , such most of thier other holiday or so called secular holiday traditions , such as Most of the Christmas and Easter trads , eggs, bunnies , yule trees holly, , mistletoe etc .As most here are awhere of Easter is actualy named after a Goddess. Eostra [sp?].And so it goes .

  • BruxariaArcanum

    First, this makes me angry and I am not even Wiccan. Second, as a cunning man I find vexing that these so-called “news broadcasters” lump Wiccans and Pagans in the same boat and assume all pagans and Wiccans observe Halloween as a holiday. I know I don’t.

    Third, in regards to their statement about the large number of holidays officially and traditionally speaking it is only about 8 minus Esbats and other ritual gatherings and again it depends on the tradition. In comparison if you account for Protestant Christian holy days and Sabbaths they have about 58-60. Also, if we talk about it in terms of Catholicism the number is countless to be honest.

    Fourth, I loved it when they turned it to the Christians being attacked angle. Christian entitlement meeting reversed reversal psychology is the oldest trick in the book…and a lame one at that. How pathetic.

  • to Tucker Carlson: Forgiven, not forgotten. Maybe you’re a nice person, but your attitude and uninformed words still confuse me. I’d suggest educating yourself a lot more before speaking on a subject you have no idea about. Especially when you’re a newsperson, and should know better.

  • Stina

    That is the most bullshit apology I’ve seen made in a public forum in a long, long time. How about an on-air apology, since he had no problem with the on-air mockery?

  • Kilmrnock

    I believe an on air apology is in order , with a correction of all the innacuracies made in the origonal remarks /story.This is yet another example of blatant religious bigotry Fox News seems rather fond of . That is like saying do practicing Catholics even know their holidays . And who besides me is not surprised by the fact that none of those people know any Wiccans or Pagans . As if any of us would want to hang out with right wing zealots . Altho an on air apology is the correct responce to such blatant , ignorant remarks and reporting i’m not holding my breath , that half arse twitter apology will probably be all we’re gonna get . Kilm

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      I think I’d enjoy hanging out with right-wing zealots. Mind you, I don’t think they’d find it as much fun.

      • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

        I’m down. Let’s go make them really uncomfortable.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          It’s ON! XD

  • LezlieKinyon

    Carlson Tucker – Do you think it’s possible that those “twice divorced …women” haven’t found a man worth her precious time? Particularly if she’s (an extremely busy) midwife? OK this guy is a bigoted, sexist, fascist who knows absolutely nothing about — well, just about everything and anything he holds for upon. The rightist media in this country is such a land of vacuous fatheads hell-bent on hate-filled rhetoric …

    I’m glad people are speaking up, all in all. Hope the other faiths in the Univ. of Missouri are also speaking up.

    • Are you East Asian?

      • LezlieKinyon

        Why? (Can you see my photo at left?)

  • LezlieKinyon

    OK- so… I have to also mention that Tucker & his ilk have *also* just pissed off the midwives of America, families who use the services of midwives, obstetric departments who employ midwives, institutions who train mid-wives, people who have been born with the assistance of midwives. As well as: women living in rural areas, middle-aged women (in general) (!!), divorced people of both genders, D&D players … and … who’s next? He should get a goodly amount of mail from all of those people *alone* –

  • I’ve seen issued statements by Pagan leaders, which are great, but if you wish to comment directly to the FOX network, you can do so by e-mailing

  • Designer Witch

    I am a Pagan, Wicans have 8 holidays and I can name them all. I am about as mainstream as you can get, and I am a republican capitalist. Up until this comment, you were the only news program that I respected as I felt you were most in line with my political views. But your comments about Wicans and Pagans was just so far off from being accurate it’s not funny. I live in a big city, I am not a mid-wife, I don’t even like incense as I have allergies. As for divorce, I don’t think Wican’s and Pagans have the monolopy on that one. And as for Halloween, called Sahmain is similar to your All Souls
    Days, study and learn then comment. Sahmain, is a day that we honor those who have passed before us. We do not call it Halloween. That is what you call it and that word commes from “All Hallows Eve” Please go get an education, And for the record I’ve never played D & D.
    Oh and BTW, I wear designer clothing, Chanel, Loubertain shoes, etc and I dare you to pick me out of a group of good christian women as a pagan (which I am)

    • LezlieKinyon

      I hate to mention it, but, there is – in point of fact- a correct way of spelling Samhain: it is an Irish Gaelic word, not only is it a holiday shared by many Pagans and Wiccans, it is also a a a holiday still celebrated in Ireland. It is also the Irish word for the month of November. It means “Summer’s End.” (Wican’s? — that’s a new one for me …) One of the many things one hope will be covered in the Univ. of Missouri’s guide to religions.
      BTW_ I like designer wear, too. I really enjoy a great pair of Italian *boots*. Being a middle-aged, professional woman, I can afford them. 🙂
      You are right about divorce. Seems like everyone over 40 has a “first spouse” theses days. That’s not actually a bad thing – everyone makes mistakes – the real crime is staying in (or being forced to remain in) a bad marriage.

  • Heidi

    What a sad attempt by Tucker Carlson for redemption! A tweet SERIOUSLY! What I would like more then a half heart apology is for so called journalists to actually do the “work” that goes into journalism…it might serve them better to have actual facts instead of sensationalistic propaganda! They might want to look up the meaning of Journalism first to make sure they are in the right career field!

  • Domer Overly

    Tucker Carlson’s apology does not seem to be sincere. Seems more like words to get people off of his back. Although we as wicca and pagan and witches are to be of a forgiving nature we will never forget what was said, or their ignorance of the facts. If Tucker is truly apologetic he should do it on television just as he has made is illjustified comments.

  • I found it incredibly ignorant and rude to say that “any religion whose most sacred holiday is Halloween I just can’t take seriously” ahem… Hello? Do you know how it came about. It was not always ‘hey lets go dress up as something crazy and nab some candy.’ It was much much more and to most Wiccans, if not nearly all, it still is. Back when I was doing a research project on Wicca for my class I came across a really good podcast.It’s a very good tell of what happened. 2012-10-08-symhc-trick-treat.mp3

    • meposting

      Yeah, he needs to watch, The Halloween Tree.

  • Eve Wallace

    They are just trying to stir up hate. I wouldn’t be outraged since it’s expected of FOX news to make an ass of itself. I do, however, find it very stupid that these “journalists” took cheap shots against a large group of people who could ruin their lives if they so chose… but it seems here they are already doing a great job at that.

  • They are four of the DUMBEST people I have ever had the displeasure of hearing from. At my school, we only get off for gov’t and Christian holidays. It sucks because they only take Christians into account, no other holiday. It’s just ridiculous that there are still close-minded people in the world. They need to grow up and open their eyes.

  • Fox is ignorant

    Fox makes its money on hate and we are all sucking into it. This is another attempt to bring viewers into their ignorant world. Fox continues to insult the art of journalism. I dont watch anything Fox news related. Maybe you all shouldn’t as well. Remember, in this country, controversy is what sells… You want to mount an attack on Fox, you are doing exactly what they want from you so.

  • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

    Honestly, this is pretty much what I expect.

    I doubt most of them actually know anything about Wicca, let alone any of the other various faiths under the pagan umbrella.

    I say we get a roundtable of the various groups, show up, and confuse the hell out of them. It’s hard for those of in the community to sail the stormy faith-path waters, I think it’d be hilarious to watch someone like the Fox News staff try and make sense of it.

  • Educate yourself before you open your mouth on national TV. You are so ignorant of our faith that you not only embarrassed yourself but your embarrassed your employer. Your appology is welcomed but not accepted. Your bigotism and lack of openness is truly remarkable in today’s age. Our faith is the first faith and goes back to time before history.

  • Apology schmology – he needs to explain why he felt the need to be so nasty. And Fox need to explain why they gave him the platform.

  • Julian Betkowski

    It’s interesting reading your remarks, as the narrative transition from Satanic to humorous also occurred with the gay community. Through the twentieth century, the conception of gay men shifted from abject horror and disgust (as portrayed by popular media) to humor. Think about all of the obviously gay characters in movies and television shows from the fifties and sixties who alternated between being the but of jokes, and the jokers themselves. Paul Lynde is a great example of this, particularly his role on Bewitched.

    Decades on, the LGBT community has made great strides toward acceptance by the mainstream community. I have to wonder if we aren’t seeing a similar trajectory for the Pagan Community. I think that is one of the strategies of American culture when coping with an alien other. If at first it cannot be annihilated, then it is turned into a joke, and, once sanitized through humor, is allowed into the public sphere.

    • As recently as the mid-1960s, the mainstream depictions of homosexuals were still as basically child molestors and rapists. I think your timeline is a bit off by about two decades.

      Bewitched ran 1966-1971. It was mainly post-Stonewall (1968) where media depictions of the GBLT community started to shift to a sympathetic joke.

  • meposting

    Wow! Way to look up your facts before you talk about something!

    Though, to be fair, the part of this article that said, ”Carlson later added that every Wiccan was either a “compulsive
    Dungeons & Dragons player or is a middle-aged, twice-divorced older
    woman living in a rural area who works as a midwife.” ” is actually false, because he said “every Wiccan I’ve ever known”, not every Wiccan altogether.

    And where did their pundit get the idea that it was a political ploy and that Wiccans and pagans should be angry that they were being used?

  • oddly enough in my state all the midwives I know are Christians it’s good to know demonizing midwives as “witches” hasn’t changed.

  • Rev Munro

    Greetings! I am Rev. Munro from the south shore massachuttes.

    As an active member of the Pagan Community both virtually and physically I am outraged to have had my religion publically humilicated by the lack of research done previous to their show.

    I am attempting to make the rounds and thank any media coverage that is going against fox news about their inflammatory remarks in regards to the Wiccan or Pagan faith. Good publicity for witches pagans and wiccans is hard to find and your article was well researched, unlike fox news. Thanks again and blessings your way.

    Rev Munro (a page I have joined to further this cause) (This is my rebuttal to their bigotry)

  • Fox News anchors make stupid, bigoted, hateful remarks on air. In other news today, scientists are reporting that the sky is blue.

    A lot of people seem *surprised* by these videos.

  • Dorian

    Seriously? Why are we surprised by this. They don’t like ANYONE who’s not Straight, white and Xtian. It just goes to show that they’re running out of people to pick on, which may be a good thing. This is not, nor ever has been real news

    • Maybe people are just surprised that Faux News cares enough to take notice? I mean, Faux News has been giving the same kind of treatment to Islam for about the last decade, but I guess with Al Queda and all, that was to be expected….

  • Storm Wynd

    The answer is: Let us, The Witches, boycott all who adverise at Fox News.
    Brightest Blessings!
    Stormy )O(