Sage has been a professional writer of 14 years and a Wiccan for 25 years. Her religious ideas and experiences often inspire her writing.
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 saw that many people are buzzing about Robertson's comments in many of my groups and forums. Some people are upset and offended.
I wasn't mad at Robertson or the opinions that he expressed (hey, it's a free country). I'm not mad at Christianity, though I might disagree with some Christian opinions.
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.
The 700 Club Viewer Asks About Wiccan Neighbors
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 comment 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 kind of paranoia is one of the reasons I feel sorrow for Christians like Roberts. It shows a real insecurity about one's own faith, God, and worldview 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 many 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 an 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, strive for balance, and not do unnecessary harm-- not just with magic or witchcraft, but in all things in life. So I can't identify with this "black" vs. "white" worldview of Robertson and can't help but wonder why he's imposing it on us Wiccans and other non-Christians.
"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 judgment that most of us are not good.
Again, sorrow 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 worldview. 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 reason 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? 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 to 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 chooses 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.
Many Christians Are Wonderful People
Many Christians are wonderful, loving people who are trying to lead a good life, in my experience. 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 mutual respect for each other's rights and differences.
Rather than fear, we opt for clarity and 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 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.
The Advice I Would Give Nick
I would tell Nick that he should not judge his neighbor by their religion but instead by 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 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's 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.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Mackenzie Sage Wright
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on July 03, 2017:
Hi Brian; that's horrible. Have you called authorities, or Child Protective Services on her? That's where I would start if she has children in her care.
Wicca is a religion of ethics and morals; key tenets include finding a *healthy* balance in life, and taking personal responsibility for yourself. But like with every religion, there are people who fall short of their religion's ideals, as this woman obviously has. Sadly, you'll find drug addicts and child abusers and criminals claiming to be Wiccan, or Christian, or Buddhist, etc.-- obviously, that doesn't mean the religion encourages this kind of behavior.
If this is a person raising children in filth and around drugs, the religion she claims to be is not really relevant; authorities need to step in, protect the kids, enforce the law.
Brian on July 03, 2017:
I'm personally dealing with a wiccan woman that is & has been destroying her children & has started on her grandchildren. I can't speak for the religion as a entirety but in this case she is fine with living in complete filth & encouraging drug use on many levels. Wevarevin a all out spiritual war against her & all that she is promoting
Angel on March 01, 2017:
All I'm going to say is while yes the name may be fairly new, the practices involved are not some families such as mine have generations going back that have practiced earth based magicks, and while during the witch hunts ages ago a lot of people did not know what they were admitting to, some were also practitioner's of the ancient ways, unjustly punished by these so called Christians who cannot seem to practice this intolerance they speak on. I've said my piece now, and despite the way you or I feel, this is the truth I know, and I do applicate your defense if us.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on December 31, 2016:
It sounds to me like you just need to keep taking time and figure out what you truly believe. If you believe something, you can follow it, and other people warning you of things you simply don't believe are not going to worry you at all.
For example, I have no fear of ending up in any hell. Why? I don't believe in it at all; in my opinion it's about as real as Neverland and Hogwarts. There's just no fear or concern.
Once you figure out your beliefs, it's a lot easier to figure out which religion would be best for you.
A lot of us raised in Christian communities grew up with it backwards because Christianity teaches you commit to your religion first and then you are told what to believe. I suggest you stop worrying about what religion to be for a while and start reading and thinking about beliefs. What actually rings true to you? For example, settle your confusion on hell-- what is the evidence for it? Against it? What do you actually believe is right? If you decide hell is a reality, then you probably should stick with a Christian (or perhaps Muslim) path... if you decide it's not, perhaps another religion like Wicca is better for you after all (we don't believe in hell, there is no such world view in our religion).
You'll have a much easier time figuring your religions path once you figure out what world view you espouse.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on December 31, 2016:
Hi Ms. Lizzy, good to see you! Happy New Year!
I would have to disagree with you on teaching kids religion; a religious family absolutely needs to teach children religion. To hold your kid at arms-length from your religion (a deeply rooted lifestyle, system of values, traditions, beliefs, etc.) would be impossible, even unhealthy for kids on a sociological level. Kids need to identify, this is simply a need put in by nature. To feel part of a community/family, to share in these kinds of rites and rituals and traditions that help them bond to those around them.
Religion, like culture, is something in which you just can't decide to raise a kid in a vacuum and let them choose it for themselves later. To raise them without making them a part of it, you would literally be raising them as an outsider. That could result in all kinds of psychological damage.
I'm all for parents stepping back and letting teens & adult children come to their own conclusions and head down their own path, but I can't imagine myself (or any parent) cutting children out of such a huge part of their life, lifestyle, world view, etc. for a child's formative years. To raise your kid isolated from everything involving your religion is, IMO, like one of those experiments where you raise baby monkeys in a cage with a metal 'mother' statue. It's just not logically possible.
I suppose in this day and age it poses challenges; throughout history, a child born into a tribe, village, etc. was going to be enculturated and indoctrinated into a family/community in which the religion would remain consistent throughout their lives and they would be somewhat insulated from anything very different just by geographic happenstance. Our modern world that offers us diversity, exposure to other ideas, more freedom to explore different world views and the luxury to choose our paths for ourselves... that is a challenge for us to overcome but I don't think stripping away every sign of something that is so deeply rooted in who we might and presenting ourselves as something blank for our children to avoid them from being influenced is the way to overcome that challenge.
I can't imagine any parent, religious or atheist, not teaching their children their basic values, principles, world view... and if someone didn't, someone else is just going to fill that vacuum because nature is going to drive the child to desperately going to seek to fill that hole. I don't see that as being the answer.
I would also say, you did instill your children with your values... you don't like to discuss religion but you are not religious. Can you imagine doing the opposite of? Being an atheist teaching your kids something foreign to your personal world view (religion)? I as a religious parent can't imagine doing the opposite either (being religious but teaching my kids a non-religious/atheistic world view).
Isabella Hall on December 14, 2016:
Sorry to clutter up your comment box for useless junk of my words but I'm in need of advice, yes I know that seems like a lot of times I've said that, I told my Dad I've had that horned man dream and he said that was God trying to send me a sign and tell me I'm doing something wrong.
I told him I was studying something called Wicca and he said that its probably that and that I need to read the Bible and pray. The Bible for some reason scares me, when I've tried to read it before, I get nervous, my body starts to shake, then I get scared and don't read it. I want to continue on the path to Wicca but the thought of burning in torture forever is really scary...my family looking down on me from Heaven...
Anyway, I hope you answer and not get to frustrated with me commenting again. Thank you.
Isabella Hall on December 14, 2016:
I normally don't start 'wars' and am normally very quiet. I find sometimes you learn more with listening and watching than asking questions. However, as my Dad says, ask questions but don't ask to many or the person will leave you. Anyway, Thank you for replying.
My best friend of 5 years has stopped Wicca, which is sad because she was the only one with me in it around me but I'm not going to pressure her or anyone into anything.
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on December 13, 2016:
P.S. I just re-read this hub, and it occurs to me to say to anyone who claims to be "Christian" and still holds these bigoted beliefs. I would point out, as you have, that one of their own tenents is to 'love thy neighbor as thyself.' It absolutely does NOT have any qualifiers, such as, 'unless they are gay, black, some other religion, or whatever other trait you may not like.'
And, the same goes for 'not bearing false witness...' also--no qualifiers are included.
As far as teaching religion to children, I totally disagree. IMO, it is a form of brainwashing the young before they have reached the age of reason. This is how and why so many grow up with nothing but such hidebound, narrow views. With my own kids, I never taught them anything of the sort, instead leaving it up to them to decide, when they had reached an appropriate age and time in their lives, to choose a religion, if any.
In the end, they ended up in their high school years 'choosing' a nearby Baptist church, which was quite strict, and IMO, they made the choice because that's where a couple of boys in whom they were interested were attending.
The younger one ended up influenced enough to attend 2 years of bible college in Canada, married her first husband (whom she met at college) in the same local church where she first decided to go. That marriage ended in divorce.
Now that they are both in their early to mid 40s, neither of them attend church now. I think they still believe in a magical sky daddy, (which I do not), but I don't care. My one hard and fast rule for family harmony is that I refuse to discuss religion or politics. ;-)
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on December 13, 2016:
Hi Isabella; Not sure what you're asking me-- do about what?
If you're asking what to do about becoming Wiccan, I would say start reading more about it and learning. After a while, if it's right for you, you'll start incorporating it into your life.
If you're asking what to do about your mom, there's little you can do. She's got her own beliefs. I'd just avoid discussing religion around her. Don't be baited into arguments, don't have a 'my religion is better than your religion' war (lol, I had those when I was a new Wiccan; no one wins). Just keep silent, follow your beliefs and let her adjust. If you don't argue back eventually she will not try to stir one up.
If you're asking what to do about your dream-- well, dreams are dreams. You could have seen too many horror movies or heard too many scary stories from the Bible. You could have had a sign, a vision, etc. If you think the dream meant something other than you ate some bad Chinese food before sleep, then that's something you need to explore.
I wish you luck!
Isabella Hall on December 10, 2016:
I've sort of been away from Wicca or a better way to put it, on pause I guess. My family have literally put the 'fear of God' in me, that's for sure. I got scared when I had a dream, I told my mom and she said that was the Devil coming to get me because I was doing something wrong. The dream was I was standing in my room in the dark and I turn toward my open bedroom door to see a figure in black with horns and red eyes that sent a shiver down my spine, the figure ran at me, its horns down and let out a sort of cry as it ran then I woke up...
What should I do? I'm confused and just don't know, I would appreciate your help or advice. Thank you.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on July 13, 2015:
Sorry to burst your bubble on this one, Andros, but that theory has been debunked for about 50 years now. Wicca is indeed a 70 year old religion. It may draw on *some* older practices, but that doesn't make Wicca older than it is... just like Christianity draws on some Jewish practices, but that doesn't mean it can say it's over 4,000 years old like Judaism.
The sources Gardner used for that theory (mostly Margaret Murray) have been thoroughly proven untrue. You can read some good articles about it here: http://wicca.cnbeyer.com/old_religion.shtml
There's also an excellent book by a reputable historian called "Triumph of the Moon" by Ronald Hutton... Hutton is Pagan, he was raised Pagan and set out to find the real history of Pagan religions like Wicca. What he found is that it is a thoroughly modern religion.
Age doesn't make a religion credible... it doesn't matter if it's 7 or 70 or 70,000 years old. But truth and fact-- those things are kind of important. Without accepting those, no religion has a chance. Wiccans need to give up the ghost on the "Old Religion" theories.
But thank you very much for your comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed the article.
Andros Redwolf on July 13, 2015:
The only thing i disagree with you in this article on is you said wicca is only 70 years old. It isnt. The name is new. Some of the ways we practice are new. But what we practice has been practiced much longer tgan even the old testament has been around.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on July 07, 2015:
Thanks Social Thoughts, that is very kind of you to say.
social thoughts from New York on July 07, 2015:
You're a good person, Sage. I wasn't going to bother reading any articles about what Robertson said because, frankly, he's too ignorant to listen to; however, I think you did a fine job explaining the truth in a peaceful manner. I admire that. Great article!
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on June 28, 2015:
I agree, Kevin; I feel bad for Nick and people like him turning to someone like Robertson for advice on such things. Thanks for your comments.
Kevin Kinkade from Manor, Texas just outside Austin on June 27, 2015:
It's unfortunate that Nick chose to seek advice from Pat Robertson rather than from a true Wiccan such as yourself Sage. It's a shame that fear and mistrust has become the cornerstone for some people of the Christian faith.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on June 26, 2015:
Ha, thank you MsLizzy. It is such a very sad fact that people like Robertson have a platform on which to speak, one built from the power of fear and hatred and misunderstandings. So sad how many people are just sucked into it. But I think it just is worse now because I think extremists realize it is the beginning of the end for them... fewer and fewer people with each generation are interested in their message. So these are just the last desperate efforts... like Custar's last stand.
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on June 25, 2015:
Well said, Sage, well said!
I feel you are a better gal than I; more tolerant, for certain. While I avoid confrontations, and would never advise anyone along such narrow-minded lines as that celebrity pseudo-Christian, I also have no use or room in my life for such as he.
I feel more anger that he has such a worldwide platform from which to spew his vitriol, and brainwash ever more into following his mantra of hatred against "those people," regardless of which particular non-Christian faith they practice.
*end rant* voted up +++