Battling Satan and Explaining Wiccans

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So, let’s talk about “Generation Hex: Understanding the Subtle Dangers of Wicca”. This recently released book, written by Marla Alupoaicei and Dillon Burroughs, promises to “explore the history, culture, and practices of Wicca” to “inform and equip” Christians concerned about this growing faith. But before we discuss the book itself, it is important to know that the authors had to go through spiritual warfare (I assume with Satan) just to write and research it!

Beware the subtle dangers!

“We did have to deal with some “heavy stuff!” My primary concern was about spiritual warfare. Second was the safety of my family. However, as Dillon and I began to do research, I realized that many of my fears about Wicca and its adherents were unfounded. My husband and I did experience some intense spiritual warfare, though, as I worked on the book. I feel that Satan really tried to attack our marriage for a period of time. But we refused to let him have the victory in our lives!”

But even though Satan totally didn’t want this book written, they persevered, and Christians (and ex-Witches) love it!

“I highly recommend Generation Hex: Understanding the Subtle Dangers of Wicca. Christians need to be informed about what Wicca is and how they can approach the issue if it ever presents itself. With the prevalence of the religion in our society, it is very likely that most of us know someone who is dabbling in or immersed in this dark world.”

In fact, there is a whole tour of Christian blogs singing the praises of this book (with one notable exception). So should Wiccans and Pagans engage with this book? Is it really a big leap forward in Christian-Pagan relations? There are some compelling reasons as to why this book isn’t all that it appears to be. First, it seems to uncritically sample data that will best make its case that Wicca is exploding all over America, while missing more modest examinations of our growth. Secondly, they devote an entire chapter to Kimberly Shumate. An “ex-Witch” (and ex-Buddhist, ex-Hindu, ex-New Ager, ex-Christian Scientist, and ex-Satanist) who has been making the anti-occult rounds for years.

“Kimberly decided that Satan was the strongest and most intimidating figure she could emulate. To keep people at arm’s length, she dressed as ugly as she could. “I was starving myself,” she admits. “That started around my mother’s death when I saw her slipping away.” After five years of practicing black magic, Kimberly delved into voodoo. That’s when she realized that she had gone too far … In time, Kimberly threw out her library of New Age books, her charms and tarot cards, and, finally, her mother’s crystal ball. Kimberly tossed it into the Pacific Ocean.”

Finally, despite their earnest (and Satan-embattled) efforts, the book still touches all the standard anti-Pagan bases. Harry Potter, “creation-worship”, Wicca isn’t really ancient, and, of course, ways to bring (spiritually hungry, seeking) Pagans to Christ.

“The major concern resulting from the surge in popularity of Wicca and witchcraft is the effect this pagan influence will have on the spiritual beliefs and behaviors of teenagers, their friends and families, and the community and cultures they live in.”

“Generation Hex” is simply another “filter” book impairing real communication between Christians and Pagans. Rather than simply engage in a true dialog with a Pagan, the book serves as a “buffer” between Pagans and Christians, ensuring that all knowledge about Wicca and other Pagan faiths are filtered through a Christian lens first. Why read “Drawing Down the Moon” when you have “Generation Hex” ultimately reinforcing your core beliefs?

To be frank, refraining from calling us Satanic baby-killers is no longer enough. Realizing that the extremist slanders are false is a small first step, not the journey’s end. If a Christian author really wants kudos, they need to drop the filters, stop interviewing anti-occult propagandists, and completely trash the old stereotypes about who we are and what we believe.