A Wiccan's Response to Pat Robertson's Claim that Wiccans Will 'Destroy' Your Children
What Pat Robertson Says About Wiccans
Christian television preacher Pat Robertson has never had much love for Wiccans. In the past, he's told a Wiccan viewer that he was going to Hell and he urged a family to cut off their mother for becoming Wiccan. So when a friend sent me a link to an article about Robertson's response today to a viewer of The 700 Club, I can't say I was at all surprised.
As I went through my E-mails and social media, I see that in many of my groups and forums many people are buzzing about Robertson's comments. Some people are really upset and offended.
Personally, I wasn't mad at Robertson, or his opinions that he expressed (hey, it's a free country!). I'm not mad at Christianity, though I might agree with some Christian opinions.
What Robertson's answer made me feel sorrow in my heart.
It wasn't sorrow for Wiccans, that we're misunderstood, or that people would shun us. It was sorrow for people like Robertson, people who would listen to him, and their children. I also feel sorry for other Christians, good people, who get lumped together with such extremists.
Robertson Forgot This Bible Quote:
700 Club Viewer Asks About Wiccan Neighbors
Today on The 700 Club, Robertson received a question from a viewer. The question read:
A family that recently moved into my neighborhood claims to be Wiccan. I have heard from my son some of the things their daughter told him, and it really kind of frightened me to hear about spells and other concepts I’ve never heard of in the Bible. Should I let my son be friends with their daughter? Should I try to be friends with the family. I’m so unsure. What is the Christian things to do? — Nick
Here is Robertson's Reply:
A thing like that, uhh... you know you look at the Old Testament and it says that you don't inter-marry with them, you don't give your sons to their daughters, or their daughters to their sons. They'll corrupt you and, you know, these people, they'll, you know, they'll say these are 'white witches' vs. 'black witches'... there's no such thing as 'good witch'. I mean, you know, it's all demonic, and you don't want your children involved in that stuff. I mean they have power, don't think it's not real, it is real. But it's real wrong. And, uh, I would just say you're not permitted to go to their houses or have anything to do with them. They may seem to be very pleasant people and all that, but they'll destroy your children and you have to protect them.
My Thoughts on Robertson's Response
"The Old Testament and it says that you don't inter-marry with them, you don't give your sons to their daughters, or their daughters to their sons."
This caught me a bit by surprise, because Wicca is a 70 year old religion. I've read The Bible and I know that it doesn't talk about Wiccans anywhere in it; so I can only assume that Robertson thinks 'Wicca' and 'witch' are synonymous terms. But I'm pretty sure the viewer wasn't asking if they should arrange a marriage with their neighbors, only whether they should be friendly with them.
"They'll corrupt you..."
This is one of the reasons I feel sorrow for Christians like Roberts. It shows a real insecurity about one's own faith, God and world view if you think it could be so easily corrupted by merely coming into casual contact with people who don't have identical beliefs.
I can't imagine what it feels like to be a prisoner of that kind of thinking in your own life... and to build the walls to imprison a child in that kind of thinking.
"...they'll say these are 'white witches' vs. 'black witches'..."
Honestly I don't even know a lot of Wiccans, or witches for that matter (the words are not synonymous) who think in black and white terms like that. Life is not a role playing game. We don't have to choose alignment. All people have the capacity for very benevolent acts, as well as very harmful and malevolent acts. Most people struggle somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, regardless of religion.
Wicca teaches me to act responsibly, to strive for balance and not do unnecessary harm-- not just with magic or witchcraft, but in all things in life. So I can't really identify with this 'black' vs. 'white' world view of Robertson, and can't help wonder why he's imposing it on us Wiccans and other non-Christians.
What Do You Think?
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"There’s no such thing as 'good witch'."
According to whom? Last I checked with the world, there are many different choices a person can make in life, and most of us can't agree on what is good or what is bad. I wonder how many Wiccans or witches Robertson knows that he can make a fair judgement that most of us are not good.
Again, sorrow just washes over me for people like Robertson, trapped in this way of thinking.
"It's all demonic..."
I wouldn't know... as a Wiccan, I don't believe in demons. That whole 'fallen angel' thing is just not part of my world view. I've been told by Christians what it's like when demons enter your life, but I've been Wiccan for 25 years and have never remotely experienced anything like that.
I'm very curious-- how can you tell if someone, or their beliefs, are 'all demonic' if you refuse to fraternize with them? Perhaps Robertson's reasoning is escaping me here.
"...you don't want your children involved in that stuff."
As a Wiccan and a parent, I have the utmost respect for parental rights. That's one of the reasons I'm so glad that my religion teaches tolerance towards others, and discourages proselytizing and preaching.
But again, how does being friendly with a neighbor equate to getting your children involved with their religion? And again, I'm just struck with that sense of pity for the fear and loathing on display toward people with different beliefs.
"I mean they have power, don't think it's not real, it is real."
Robertson is correct here... of course Wiccans have power. Wicca teaches everyone has power: the power of our minds, to learn and make smart choices. We have the power of our bodies, the strength to help ourselves and help others. We have the power of our spirits, to show compassion and tolerance to our fellow human beings.
Robertson has these powers too, if he chose to wield them.
"They may seem to be very pleasant people and all that, but they'll destroy your children and you have to protect them."
That's sad on so many levels. It's sad because it's a false and unfounded accusation towards people Robertson doesn't even know. It's sad because of the hypocrisy displayed here by a man who comes from a religion that preaches not to judge people and not to bear false witness against others. It's sad to think of all the Christians who look up to Robertson trying to shut themselves and their children off from the world.
It Doesn't Have to Be That Way
Many Christians are Wonderful People
In my experience, many Christians are wonderful, loving people who are trying to lead a good life. They try to follow the example set by Christ. I might not share their views on the details, but that's okay-- they don't share my views either. I've been able to get along well with my Christian family members and friends because we can maintain a mutual respect for each other's rights and differences.
Rather than fear, we opt for clarity and just try to be good to each other. We don't assume the worst intentions of each other and harbor unfounded suspicions out of fear. Having mutual respect for each other's rights is all it really takes. That's a choice everyone can make. We don't have to choose fear, which only leads to mistrust, hatred and a multitude of problems.
We're All In This Together
How do you talk about religion without putting others down? Without being rude, preachy or sounding defensive? There are actually some good tips here in this guide to help you talk about Wicca with friends & neighbors who don't understand your beliefs. Communication is where good relationships begin.
The Advice I Would Give Nick
I would tell Nick that he should not judge his neighbor by their religion, but what their religious values and ideals are, and how well they live up to them.
Look to see if these are good people. They might not be-- I don't know them. Just because they're Wiccan doesn't mean I automatically think they're infallible-- every religion has people who fall short of their religious ideals, who just don't get the messages.
But don't just discriminate; give them a chance, as they should give you a chance. And if they are good, they will respect your rights-- your parental authority, your freedom of beliefs and the right to practice your religion as you see fit. Find common ground, find a truce, and you might actually find a friend you can trust.
Be a wonderful example to your son of how people don't have to agree on everything to share a community. You can still teach your son your religious beliefs-- of course you should absolutely do that! It okay to say you disagree with something someone else believes or practices. But you can also show him that neighbors can still reach out to each other, support each other, and treat each other with dignity and respect.
Don't buy into fear-mongering-- especially not from people who get their celebrity and income from promoting a certain agenda that tries to create an 'us vs. them' mindset. I'd advise you to follow your Bible, not Pat Robertson: love your neighbor.
© 2015 Mackenzie Sage Wright
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