Will The Ignorance Ever End?

First, before I even get into this post, go read this article. After that, I would like to have a real discussion with you guys. Which means I would really like for you guys to leave comments with your real opinions! I promise I will not be offended by your opinion, even if it opposes mine. My home is a safe haven for many and I extend that to my blog as well.

Now, on to my discussion. For those of you that didn't want to read the article, here's a tiny run down of what it's saying. There is a school in Washington that is canceling their Halloween celebrations because they think it is disrespectful to witches. There are of course other reasons behind the decision, but the main one is that they want to avoid hurtful stereotypes. The hurtful stereotypes that they mentioned are witches with pointy noses, ugly witches stirring cauldrons, and witches flying across the moon. I don't know about you guys, but frankly I find images like those to be absolutely hilarious.

I find this image absolutely hilarious, lots of fun. We real witches tend to take things like this in stride because we usually have a great sense of humor. Things like this, and images of witches flying over the moon, and stirring cauldrons, etc. are not offensive to me in any way. I'm one of those that likes to freak ignorant people out by telling them I'll turn them into frogs, do you really think I will be offended by this type of image? Do you want to know what truly offends me?

This one bothers me because it was meant as propaganda. Real witches (well at least those of us that don't follow the Satanic path) have nothing to do with the Christian's devil. I personally don't believe in a devil, and I know my powers and gifts come directly from inside of me and from the earth. So this is slightly offensive to me, but I can usually look past something like this and say, "It's in the past, I know the truth and the world is getting better about understanding so this stuff isn't important anymore."

This picture hurts me. To look on something like this and know that it truly happened because of someone else's fears and misunderstandings hurts me deeper than anything else. So, let the children have their fun with their images of witches flying over the moon and stirring cauldrons, they are not hurting anyone. And let them dress up as a witch with a pointy, warty nose. They aren't hurting anyone. It's not those images that can be hurtful to real witches, it's what you teach your children. If you teach them that witches are evil and that they look like that, that is hurtful. If you teach them that witches are normal people just like everyone else then may we all grow to love and learn and understand. So there's my idea on taking Halloween away from the children at school. What's your opinions?


Faerie Sage said...

Wow, how low can you really go. I think this is INSANE. I dont know a single real witch that would be hurt by kids at halloween dressing up as the 'stereotypical' witch (ugly, warty, broom, big nose, flying over the moon). Most real witches I know love halloween and dress their house to the nines with just such images! Personally I love this time of year and I love giving treats to little witches! As for the economy of costumes, the homemade costumes were always more prized in my community they were cooler, more interesting and showed creativity. Saying it takes up to much class time is stupid too. Lets face it kids are going to act up on Halloween. Why not give them a fun school outlet instead of having every teacher in the place pulling thier hair out trying to control kids who are forced to do school work all afternoon? Instead why not have some good CLEAN, SAFE fun. Next, why not ban Halloween because it offends christians? it is not a christian holiday yet tons of kids/teens dress up as clergy (priests & nuns) every year. On top of this the number of slutty nuns gos up every halloween. How is dressing up as a slutty nun less insulting to the Catholic church than dressing up as an ugly witch?
Lets face it some people are ugly! I know its not politically correct but if you tell little kids that its not ok to dress as an ugly witch (its offensive) then what are we telling them about themselves? That it is offensive to be ugly. Wow great signal to send tons of little girls, well little girls it is offensive to be ugly, it would be insulting to witches, so what does that do to the little girl who isnt the pretty one. This is a very offensive, and degrading message to send to elementry school girls. Personally I think that this whole thing is bull s**t, they are using a religion they know nothing about, with no real complaints by real people to justify taking away a holiday for kids. Do they realize they are banning in school a holiday most wiccans celebrate as sacred? Yay thats great ban one of our holidays but let kids keep getting christmast and easter off. Someone could certainly argue that this action really banns on of our sacred holidays in school, I doubt anyone would try to ban the winter festival, yet somehow they are able to ban one of our sacred days by touting around and saying its offensive to us! IGNORANCE! Well washington get it right! find out about a holiday before you ban it and say its insulting to witches, and dont pull any 'oops we didnt realize its a main holiday for you' you should have looked into that first. I find what they are doing is far more disrespectful to me as a witch than any kid dressing up could ever be.

Willow Silverhorse said...

I absolutely love your response! I didn't even stop to think about the discrimination they are putting on our Holiday. I looked at it as them trying to not offend us, but being stupid about it. But you are absolutely right... they in essence are putting a ban on our religious holiday. I really wish ignorant people would do some research before making big decisions like these. On top of that, think about the non-Pagan parents that are going to be ticked as hell about this. Because they are non-Pagan and because the school is telling them it's to keep from offending witches, they in turn will get pissed at the witches for taking away something their children enjoy... This will probably start something that no one wants to deal with. I hope that Pagan and Wiccan parents in Washington will step up and say something about this. We already have enough problems, we don't need people pissed at us for taking Halloween away.

Jon said...

I think a lot of modern day witches have embraced the "stereotypical" image of the witch.
I definitely think this school's heart is in the right place, however. They're not trying to discriminate against us, they're trying to be respectful of us. It's just up to us to inform them that we aren't insulted by the traditional witch as much as we are hurt by all the negative stereotypes that surround the term "witch". You know, pact with the devil, eating children, causing disease, etc. Those are the stereotypes we need to work against, not the stereotype that we have worts and pointy noses.

SalemMomma said...

I think that people worry too much about being PC. I think if you want to celebrate something, and (as long as it doesn't harm anyone) someone gets offended, then it's on them.

Shaiha said...

Before I ever clicked on the link, I had a funny feeling just what you were referring too. And it had nothing to do with offending the witches. Instead it was all about the Xian Right not wanting the kids to celebrate that nasty pagan holiday. How do I know? I went to the School Board meeting as the Chairmen of the local Pagan Nonprofit organization to assure them that far from being insulted, we are happy that the children are having fun at their Halloween party

Diandra said...

And I thought Germans are crazy. (Well, maybe they are, but they're not alone in the looney pot.)

I love the idea of Halloween, and I love the "Hollywood" idea of witches (I know it's much older than Hollywood movies, BUT... you know).

To be honest, I find it more disrespectful to be thrown in together with all the "fluffy bunny witches" and the "moonlight huggers" and the "ethereal bullshitters". But that's just me.

(And I have to say, I feel hardly any connection to those burned as "witches". Most of them were burnt for political reasons or for revenge, and they have nothing to do with my path. It was a horrific crime and one that ought to be remembered, but it's not about my witching.)

Wendy said...

This idea of banning "Halloween" in my opinion has NOTHING to do with Witches being offended. I don't buy it. It would be the same type of example if they banned Christmas because any man who was over-weight and had a white beard might get offended. And as for their stereotype it came from the Burning Times when the major part of the victims happened to be Crones. The pointed hat is the "cone of power" which is why witches wear those hats, but Goddess forbid, they see any truth in that. I think in fact they're dishonoring witches by not celebrating Halloween. It's a time of reflection of the past and honoring our ancestors. If that happened around here, I would actually go and protest against THEM protesting! And you're absolutely right, Willow about how it's important to have a good sense of humour. As I said, somehow I don't think this has anything to do with the real hidden intent.Shaiha is absolutely right!

Not Hannah said...

I'm going to jump out on the other side of this, and I'll blog about it later. Here's the thing (and I don't know, so maybe somebody can enlighten me): are Christian celebrations allowed at this school? Jewish? Hindu? The problem is, if we (as Pagans or witches) want to be considered a bona fide religious group, we can't have it both ways. IF we consider Halloween a sacred holiday, then of course we can't celebrate it at a public school--or expect anybody else to. The argument that this is a sacred holiday and Christians get to take time out for THEIR sacred holidays rings hollow to me; if you believe your children should not have to go to school on Halloween, keep them out that day. Based on this decision, one assumes the school would be understanding. I think the only reason a witch should be offended from a religious standpoint is if holiday parties based around other religious celebrations are allowed.

The problem I have here is, much like the banning of Christmas parties featuring Santa and elfs and the like, this ruling negates a cross-cultural practice that I think is important as the religious face of our nation changes. Secular holiday celebrations give us time, as a united group of folks, to blow off steam and gather in fellowship. BUT--how many in the Pagan community get upset about those of us who have Christmas trees and welcome Santa into our home?

Does this make any sense?

MoonbeamDancer said...

This seems to be a hot topic among the blogs. My personal opinion? It is banned for the same reason it was stopped years ago here; (keep in mind I am in the bible belt) it was banned because Halloween is a "devil worshipers" holiday.

The excuse was because it took to much class time, but I heard the underground rumors (I used to work in the school system). The city no longer allows several days of trick or treating either, but it is limited to 2 hours on one night for kids 12 and under only. I think the only reason it hasn't been totally done away with is Wal-Mart, ya know the money they make on candy and costumes?

Kids can't have any fun, unless they are at my house (evil grin) then the rules fly out the window . . .