Catholics and Pagans: When You Shouldn’t Talk To The Media

Having been to Jason Pitzl-Water’s talks I’m quite aware that there are times when you shouldn’t speak to the media. If you don’t have a genuine need, why risk having your words twisted? Even so, I agreed to do an interview that I feel may have been a mistake. I have a great deal of respect and love for Elizabeth Scalia, managing editor of our Catholic portal and famously known as The Anchoress. When she asked me to be on a cable show she is a frequent guest host on, I said “Of course!”

Maybe that wasn’t the wisest thing to do. I don’t know. I know the producer told me  “‘Pagans, Wicca, Santeria & Voodoo’ is the topic for this half hour show.” That didn’t exactly jive with the topic I heard announced once we started recording. As the host announced the topic warning bells started to sound in my head. I had visions of a Jerry Springer Halloween special, complete with antagonistic Christians and Pagans getting in catfights and eerie warnings of the dangers of occultists. I felt they wanted an “occult expert” rather than an actual Pagan, and in those few seconds decided that wasn’t going to be how this was going down.

So because of that I feel I was a bit rude, because I insisted on saying something meaningful, and a bit flustered, stuttering and off-kilter, because I didn’t expect the attitude, ignorance or topic I was surprised with. I didn’t represent Paganism to the best of my ability, and looking back, probably shouldn’t have agreed to come on the show. I should have said Pagans as a rule don’t teach minors, and if they do it’s only with parents present. I should have emphasized community and service more. I shouldn’t have let them get so personal with their questions. I should have emphasized that Pagans leave Christianity because they find the doctrine faulty and irrelevant, not only because they feel alienated or disconnected.

I’m also a bit concerned that they edited out some parts of the interview, especially where the Msgr. Harrington and I had some interesting exchanges regarding whether Pagans were “making it all up.” I know editing happens and I don’t feel I was edited to look bad, but that some of the more interesting exchanges were removed. What I said really didn’t jive with some folks on the show and some of that discomfort has been removed.

I let the producer know I felt I’d been misled and he reassured me that they appreciated my perspective: “There are many Santeria, Voodoo and Pagans in NYC who are much more stereotyped looking and acting (very showy) than you are and I wanted to present someone who is intelligent, knowledgeable and respectable– who has your religious beliefs, which are much different than Catholicism.

As nice as that is, and as supportive as the feedback from the Pagan community, I think going on this show was a bad idea. I didn’t need to go on the show and there wasn’t much benefit to my community for doing an awkward interview on a small local cable show for Catholics. This experience will make me much more cautious in the future about agreeing to interviews, and much more conscientious when conducting interviews. I never want to make some feel as uncomfortable as I felt in this interview. I need to be better prepared for interviews and exhibit more goodwill in my interactions.

In the end though, two things stand out: maybe this experience stands as a good warning for the Pagan community regarding interacting with the media, and that I’m still thankful to Elizabeth Scalia for being a good friend and co-worker before, during and after this interview.

Here’s the interview in question. No idea why it cuts off so abruptly.

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About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/juniperj Juniper Jeni

    Oh dear! Maybe some better lighting if there ever is a next time as well. No sitting in the dark.

    *hugs*

    We all do our best, I appreciate your efforts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/juniperj Juniper Jeni

    Oh dear! Maybe some better lighting if there ever is a next time as well. No sitting in the dark.

    *hugs*

    We all do our best, I appreciate your efforts!

  • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

    It was early morning and I had too much light coming in the windows, so I closed the blinds to prevent glare, which made it darker than it needed to be. :(

    Thanks!

    • Rua Lupa

      You looked great. I didn’t think it was too dark at all since we saw who you were and not just a shadow. That would be too dark.

  • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

    It was early morning and I had too much light coming in the windows, so I closed the blinds to prevent glare, which made it darker than it needed to be. :(

    Thanks!

    • Rua Lupa

      You looked great. I didn’t think it was too dark at all since we saw who you were and not just a shadow. That would be too dark.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

    I’ve already posted my thoughts on the youtube link for the people who run this show. What I did view, which has obviously be edited (and poorly, I might add, in some places), was very unprofessional. A great opportunity was wasted by these folks. Their loss and our betterment for learning from it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

    I’ve already posted my thoughts on the youtube link for the people who run this show. What I did view, which has obviously be edited (and poorly, I might add, in some places), was very unprofessional. A great opportunity was wasted by these folks. Their loss and our betterment for learning from it.

  • James

    Favorite quote (at 15:02) in speaking of Christ, “I say I invited him into my heart, and he hasn’t complained about his roommates yet.” Love that!!

    • Rua Lupa

      I loved that line too. <3

  • James

    Favorite quote (at 15:02) in speaking of Christ, “I say I invited him into my heart, and he hasn’t complained about his roommates yet.” Love that!!

    • Rua Lupa

      I loved that line too. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/RevCrystal.Blanton Crystal Blanton

    I wish that I could comment on their site but have not figured that out. The sad thing to me is that it is not about understanding, it was more about them finding ways to make it wrong. I could tell that your friend was not comfortable with the way it was coming across towards you. Sorry you had that experience and that they are too ignorant to understand that finding this path doesn’t always connect to feeling alienated. Blessed Be!

  • http://www.facebook.com/RevCrystal.Blanton Crystal Blanton

    I wish that I could comment on their site but have not figured that out. The sad thing to me is that it is not about understanding, it was more about them finding ways to make it wrong. I could tell that your friend was not comfortable with the way it was coming across towards you. Sorry you had that experience and that they are too ignorant to understand that finding this path doesn’t always connect to feeling alienated. Blessed Be!

  • Anonymous

    Nah, of course you should have went on the show. To any intelligent person it’s clear they were messing with you, so don’t be hard on yourself. What you should regret is the camera angle and light in the room hehe!

  • http://salemwitchwiles.blogspot.com/ Thomas Vallor

    Nah, of course you should have went on the show. To any intelligent person it’s clear they were messing with you, so don’t be hard on yourself. What you should regret is the camera angle and light in the room hehe!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Roth/1597618062 Amber Roth

    You have done a lovely job for one who has been ambushed. Whether you should have done it, or should not have done it…shouldn’t even be a question.

    I am pleased at how Elizabeth Scalia mentioned that your turning away from the Baptist faith was because of lack of spiritual connection. Where as that may be viewed as negative, I feel it was able to show a brighter light on the idea of any of us dragging anyone away against their will. It showed that we do have a connection, even if that was not her intent.

    Whether you would have said other things, hindsight is always 20/20, but given the circumstances…I think you have done an amazing job my dear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Roth/1597618062 Amber Roth

    You have done a lovely job for one who has been ambushed. Whether you should have done it, or should not have done it…shouldn’t even be a question.

    I am pleased at how Elizabeth Scalia mentioned that your turning away from the Baptist faith was because of lack of spiritual connection. Where as that may be viewed as negative, I feel it was able to show a brighter light on the idea of any of us dragging anyone away against their will. It showed that we do have a connection, even if that was not her intent.

    Whether you would have said other things, hindsight is always 20/20, but given the circumstances…I think you have done an amazing job my dear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jannekebrouwers Janneke Brouwers

    May I start with saying that I admire your courage Star.

    I find it very hard to watch this video, listening to a priest who keeps presupposing an emptiness in our lives. It is a very sloppy argument if you think about it. You could easily rephrase the question to: what emptiness drives people into following Christ?

    I cannot image actually participating in this interview and not feeling cornered and depressed afterwards.

    • Rua Lupa

      True, I personally was nervous the whole time I watched and wasn’t liking the priest’s insistence of people turning to paganism solely because of feeling ‘left out’. He obviously wasn’t listening or wanting to listen for that matter. You responded quite well for the amount of cornering that was attempted and in my view, you out cornered them by responding in a calm demeanor and mutual respect. A great representative of us if I ever saw one.

    • Ainslie

      I realize it’s impolite to psychoanalyze people in public, but that priest did not come across as a priest- more like an intellectually challenged child fighting over sandbox toys. I’m just sayin’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jannekebrouwers Janneke Brouwers

    May I start with saying that I admire your courage Star.

    I find it very hard to watch this video, listening to a priest who keeps presupposing an emptiness in our lives. It is a very sloppy argument if you think about it. You could easily rephrase the question to: what emptiness drives people into following Christ?

    I cannot image actually participating in this interview and not feeling cornered and depressed afterwards.

    • Rua Lupa

      True, I personally was nervous the whole time I watched and wasn’t liking the priest’s insistence of people turning to paganism solely because of feeling ‘left out’. He obviously wasn’t listening or wanting to listen for that matter. You responded quite well for the amount of cornering that was attempted and in my view, you out cornered them by responding in a calm demeanor and mutual respect. A great representative of us if I ever saw one.

    • Ainslie

      I realize it’s impolite to psychoanalyze people in public, but that priest did not come across as a priest- more like an intellectually challenged child fighting over sandbox toys. I’m just sayin’.

  • http://twitter.com/chorisschema Corc Hamr

    To be fair, I feel you presented our family of faiths extremely well, and in the face of some pretty hard criticism on the part of the Monseigneur. As for the things you could have said, or should have, or what-not, I’ve had the same feelings talking to any hard-line Christians, media or otherwise. The number of times they cut you off here… I don’t think you would quite have gotten everything you could have said out, anyway. Still, better to have the information out there, in my opinion, especially when put forth as positively as you have done.

    -C

    • Anonymous

      Indeed. For the time alotted, I think Star did pretty well — especially considering the bit of production deception put in play.

  • http://twitter.com/chorisschema Corc Hamr

    To be fair, I feel you presented our family of faiths extremely well, and in the face of some pretty hard criticism on the part of the Monseigneur. As for the things you could have said, or should have, or what-not, I’ve had the same feelings talking to any hard-line Christians, media or otherwise. The number of times they cut you off here… I don’t think you would quite have gotten everything you could have said out, anyway. Still, better to have the information out there, in my opinion, especially when put forth as positively as you have done.

    -C

    • http://omo.peacockfairy.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Indeed. For the time alotted, I think Star did pretty well — especially considering the bit of production deception put in play.

  • Kerry W.

    Star, you did a lovely job. Thank you for your ministry here. Whether or not the people on the show understood what you were saying doesn’t reflect on you.

    I think it’s unfortunate that they didn’t give you a clear idea of what was to be “discussed.” (Really, it was more like you were interviewed/interrogated. Perhaps they were just baffled.)

  • Kerry W.

    Star, you did a lovely job. Thank you for your ministry here. Whether or not the people on the show understood what you were saying doesn’t reflect on you.

    I think it’s unfortunate that they didn’t give you a clear idea of what was to be “discussed.” (Really, it was more like you were interviewed/interrogated. Perhaps they were just baffled.)

  • Glenn

    Don’t beat yourself up girl. No what we say or do the Christians are going to judge us harshly and twist our words and our meanings.

    • Glenn

      No matter what we say… I can’t type to save my life !

  • Glenn

    Don’t beat yourself up girl. No what we say or do the Christians are going to judge us harshly and twist our words and our meanings.

    • Glenn

      No matter what we say… I can’t type to save my life !

  • Shelley_paddock

    I have been into Paganism now for over 15 years after failing to find the peace necessary for my sould in any Christian religion. While I AM Pagan, I also respect all other faiths – “An ye harm none, do what thou wilt”

  • Shelley_paddock

    I have been into Paganism now for over 15 years after failing to find the peace necessary for my sould in any Christian religion. While I AM Pagan, I also respect all other faiths – “An ye harm none, do what thou wilt”

  • Makia77

    man wrote this bible, God did not write it. Pagans believe in “if it harms none do what you will”. Jesus himself taught this.

  • Makia77

    man wrote this bible, God did not write it. Pagans believe in “if it harms none do what you will”. Jesus himself taught this.

  • Makia77

    They still fail to see or admit to the fact that all their rituals were originally Pagan, so it is really not that different when it comes to celebrations and rituals. Pagans express dedication, love and reverence in their ritual as much as any other Religion does. I myself came from a Catholic background and like you Star I believe that all Religions are valid and people have the right to worship how they choose. The main difference I believe is that we acknowledge that, they choose to believe they are above everyone else, their Religion is actually newer than what any Pagan belief is based on, our structures have been around for thousands of years, they have only been around for 2000. I won’t blame Jesus, I don’t believe he had anything to do with what the Christian Religion teaches in his name, which is why I left the Church. Jesus had more respect for woman than they ever had. I think it is very sad that they have belittled his name with all the violence and cruelty to human being that they stand for. Thank you Star for your courage. Blessed be

  • Makia77

    They still fail to see or admit to the fact that all their rituals were originally Pagan, so it is really not that different when it comes to celebrations and rituals. Pagans express dedication, love and reverence in their ritual as much as any other Religion does. I myself came from a Catholic background and like you Star I believe that all Religions are valid and people have the right to worship how they choose. The main difference I believe is that we acknowledge that, they choose to believe they are above everyone else, their Religion is actually newer than what any Pagan belief is based on, our structures have been around for thousands of years, they have only been around for 2000. I won’t blame Jesus, I don’t believe he had anything to do with what the Christian Religion teaches in his name, which is why I left the Church. Jesus had more respect for woman than they ever had. I think it is very sad that they have belittled his name with all the violence and cruelty to human being that they stand for. Thank you Star for your courage. Blessed be

  • Beast

    Star
    You did a good job hold your head up high. Out numbered three to one and you gave them a run for the money on their home field. Your reply to them when they started the demon and satan garbage shut them up on the spot; loved that. Ever read the Wiccan Warrior? There is nothing wrong with defending your self. I was also raised strict Catholic. By the fourth grade i was actively rebelling against the brain washing. I don’t think i would have been so polite.
    BB

  • Beast

    Star
    You did a good job hold your head up high. Out numbered three to one and you gave them a run for the money on their home field. Your reply to them when they started the demon and satan garbage shut them up on the spot; loved that. Ever read the Wiccan Warrior? There is nothing wrong with defending your self. I was also raised strict Catholic. By the fourth grade i was actively rebelling against the brain washing. I don’t think i would have been so polite.
    BB

  • Illiezeulette

    I think you did a great job. You weren’t rude–THEY were. I am so irked by the fact that they kept suggesting that people stray toward Paganism as a less-than-ideal way to cope with life’s difficulties, or that people go to Paganism because you can do whatever you want and there are no absolute ethical standards that you can be accounted for. Ugh!

  • Illiezeulette

    I think you did a great job. You weren’t rude–THEY were. I am so irked by the fact that they kept suggesting that people stray toward Paganism as a less-than-ideal way to cope with life’s difficulties, or that people go to Paganism because you can do whatever you want and there are no absolute ethical standards that you can be accounted for. Ugh!

  • Wes Isley

    I think you did the best you could–but we’re sometimes damned if we do an interview and damned if we don’t. A friend you respected asked you, and I probably would’ve done the same in that situation. So you were caught off guard, but that can happen even in the most controlled circumstances. At least you represented the pagan community. If you hadn’t agreed to speak, our voice might have been left out completely–which is something that bothers me more and more in religious discussions. I think we have important things to say. I think of all the crazy Christians out here (as opposed to those who are more thoughtful believers)–do they get all worked up when someone misrepresents the community, intentionally or not? Sure, there are more of them to dilute the bad messages, but maybe that’s what we pagans need to do–get out there, mix it up, speak out and even be a little rude until people take us seriously. If we’re silent, no one will ever hear. So, for what it’s worth, go easy on yourself–and thank you.

  • Wes Isley

    I think you did the best you could–but we’re sometimes damned if we do an interview and damned if we don’t. A friend you respected asked you, and I probably would’ve done the same in that situation. So you were caught off guard, but that can happen even in the most controlled circumstances. At least you represented the pagan community. If you hadn’t agreed to speak, our voice might have been left out completely–which is something that bothers me more and more in religious discussions. I think we have important things to say. I think of all the crazy Christians out here (as opposed to those who are more thoughtful believers)–do they get all worked up when someone misrepresents the community, intentionally or not? Sure, there are more of them to dilute the bad messages, but maybe that’s what we pagans need to do–get out there, mix it up, speak out and even be a little rude until people take us seriously. If we’re silent, no one will ever hear. So, for what it’s worth, go easy on yourself–and thank you.

  • Rua Lupa

    I hadn’t seen anything wrong with how you presented yourself in the video I saw. And I feel that you represented us very well. I understand how you may feel that this wasn’t necessary media, but I feel quite the opposite. You’ve been presented with a great opportunity to an open, civil conversation to debunk many common held views. This, in my mind, has done a world of good and maybe even made others who may never have had encountered paganism before rethink a few things or want to learn more.

    I honestly really didn’t like how you were cut off by the priest before the question that was posed to you was completely answered. But I appreciated that the hostess was genuinely interested in understanding your position and admitting her confusion. I also was glad of Elizabeth’s concern of too much probing into your personal life. One critique would be to have you on for the entire show as to answer any further questions that come up, as it seems a bit too one sided as I thought that this was The Arena open for continual debate.

    I personally would love to see you on The Agenda with Steve Paikin in any up coming religious debate.

    In the end I felt that you’ve left them question a lot of things that they otherwise wouldn’t have questioned, and I applaud you for doing so.

    • Sayer

      Star, you are a hero. Thanks for your service. You did the right thing because it was the right thing to do…. representing us well.

      I work closely with public affairs types, I’ve learned this important lesson: Alarms should always go off when the media invites you; it’s their agenda and they own the script. I much prefer to invite them, gives us the high ground and allows us the chance to preview before it is aired or published. You are then the subject matter expert that they must rely upon for their piece to work.

      We’re getting ready to have media “embedded” with us for our Beltane celebrations. Our group is of military service-persons and their families and we’re loosely sponsored by the post Chaplain as an “Earth Based Spiritual Group”, Druidic, Wicca, Native American, Buddhist and some non-labeled comprise our group right now. Instead of being in an ‘Arena’, we’ve piqued the community interest and opened up several aspects of our event to the entire population. Lighting the fires, an all-night vigil, drumming, Sunrise salutation will be for our group and include a reporter who is very interested in what we are doing. The “public” events will also be covered and include a Maypole dance & a life ritual that ends in each participant having a planter with seeds to take home. We’re focusing on teaching and experiencing the Earth. Common ground for all folk. We absolutely refrain from debate and emphasize those things we have in common.

      We expect media to work for us, because we have invited them. I have NEVER been quoted fairly when they have come to me. I nearly always see proper coverage when we invite them.

      • Rua Lupa

        Please share the resulting media coverage of your Beltane celebration with us! I’d love to see it.

  • Rua Lupa

    I hadn’t seen anything wrong with how you presented yourself in the video I saw. And I feel that you represented us very well. I understand how you may feel that this wasn’t necessary media, but I feel quite the opposite. You’ve been presented with a great opportunity to an open, civil conversation to debunk many common held views. This, in my mind, has done a world of good and maybe even made others who may never have had encountered paganism before rethink a few things or want to learn more.

    I honestly really didn’t like how you were cut off by the priest before the question that was posed to you was completely answered. But I appreciated that the hostess was genuinely interested in understanding your position and admitting her confusion. I also was glad of Elizabeth’s concern of too much probing into your personal life. One critique would be to have you on for the entire show as to answer any further questions that come up, as it seems a bit too one sided as I thought that this was The Arena open for continual debate.

    I personally would love to see you on The Agenda with Steve Paikin in any up coming religious debate.

    In the end I felt that you’ve left them question a lot of things that they otherwise wouldn’t have questioned, and I applaud you for doing so.

    • Sayer

      Star, you are a hero. Thanks for your service. You did the right thing because it was the right thing to do…. representing us well.

      I work closely with public affairs types, I’ve learned this important lesson: Alarms should always go off when the media invites you; it’s their agenda and they own the script. I much prefer to invite them, gives us the high ground and allows us the chance to preview before it is aired or published. You are then the subject matter expert that they must rely upon for their piece to work.

      We’re getting ready to have media “embedded” with us for our Beltane celebrations. Our group is of military service-persons and their families and we’re loosely sponsored by the post Chaplain as an “Earth Based Spiritual Group”, Druidic, Wicca, Native American, Buddhist and some non-labeled comprise our group right now. Instead of being in an ‘Arena’, we’ve piqued the community interest and opened up several aspects of our event to the entire population. Lighting the fires, an all-night vigil, drumming, Sunrise salutation will be for our group and include a reporter who is very interested in what we are doing. The “public” events will also be covered and include a Maypole dance & a life ritual that ends in each participant having a planter with seeds to take home. We’re focusing on teaching and experiencing the Earth. Common ground for all folk. We absolutely refrain from debate and emphasize those things we have in common.

      We expect media to work for us, because we have invited them. I have NEVER been quoted fairly when they have come to me. I nearly always see proper coverage when we invite them.

      • Rua Lupa

        Please share the resulting media coverage of your Beltane celebration with us! I’d love to see it.

  • lynn

    I thought you did a pretty good job. I would not feel badly about it and you are right to consider it a learning experience. You were very poised.

    But I do feel that you misrepresented modern paganism a bit in not mentioning the non-European influences that are prevalent, especially when it comes to eclectics. Things like Hindu and Egyptian pantheons, Native American spirituality, West African-based drum circles, etc. You had limited time so of course you couldn’t fully represent the entire scope of modern paganism, but a viewer would come away from your interview believing, wrongly, that our family of beliefs is all about reconstructing European, pre-Christian religions. And it is not.

    • Rua Lupa

      All Star needed was time to just speak without being interrupted. They were the ones who missed out on a great learning experience especially with Star as teacher. :D

  • lynn

    I thought you did a pretty good job. I would not feel badly about it and you are right to consider it a learning experience. You were very poised.

    But I do feel that you misrepresented modern paganism a bit in not mentioning the non-European influences that are prevalent, especially when it comes to eclectics. Things like Hindu and Egyptian pantheons, Native American spirituality, West African-based drum circles, etc. You had limited time so of course you couldn’t fully represent the entire scope of modern paganism, but a viewer would come away from your interview believing, wrongly, that our family of beliefs is all about reconstructing European, pre-Christian religions. And it is not.

    • Rua Lupa

      All Star needed was time to just speak without being interrupted. They were the ones who missed out on a great learning experience especially with Star as teacher. :D

  • http://korakaos.wordpress.com/ KoraKaos

    I find it funny that she begins by speaking of the allure of the “supernatural”. Hmm, so, like, healing, raising the dead, walking on water, calming storms, knowing every language, exorcising demons- O WAIT that’s Christianity. LOLOL I’d be such a dick. Good on you for going and being so nice about it. No, really, you did a good thing. This will raise awareness.

    If you feel hurt because they seem so disturbed and incredulous, do not worry. Let the feeling pass through you; it does not matter. See, any time they seem disturbed it is because you are challenging illusory and egoic beliefs with which they have been deeply identified for a long time. They need to have those beliefs challenged. I can see that they are very uncomfortable just by the looks on their faces- you, on the other hand, though understandably flustered, seem far more confident and carefree than they in your relationship with the divine.

    Paganism is a religion other than the one true religion revealed by God? Moar LOLOLOL. And this is how I know they are lost in ego.

    I too like the line about Jesus not complaining about his roommates ;)

    I am saddened, but not surprised, by the fact they think the Bible just completely condemns all magic. My question then becomes- so, why does Joseph use dream magic and why does he have a special cup he uses for the purposes of divination? Why are early depictions of Christ so often including a magic wand?

    Oh, and some “pagans” do speak with demons through “goetia”, like me. But “pagan” is not a very good label for me, because I am also “Catholic”.

  • http://korakaos.wordpress.com/ KoraKaos

    I find it funny that she begins by speaking of the allure of the “supernatural”. Hmm, so, like, healing, raising the dead, walking on water, calming storms, knowing every language, exorcising demons- O WAIT that’s Christianity. LOLOL I’d be such a dick. Good on you for going and being so nice about it. No, really, you did a good thing. This will raise awareness.

    If you feel hurt because they seem so disturbed and incredulous, do not worry. Let the feeling pass through you; it does not matter. See, any time they seem disturbed it is because you are challenging illusory and egoic beliefs with which they have been deeply identified for a long time. They need to have those beliefs challenged. I can see that they are very uncomfortable just by the looks on their faces- you, on the other hand, though understandably flustered, seem far more confident and carefree than they in your relationship with the divine.

    Paganism is a religion other than the one true religion revealed by God? Moar LOLOLOL. And this is how I know they are lost in ego.

    I too like the line about Jesus not complaining about his roommates ;)

    I am saddened, but not surprised, by the fact they think the Bible just completely condemns all magic. My question then becomes- so, why does Joseph use dream magic and why does he have a special cup he uses for the purposes of divination? Why are early depictions of Christ so often including a magic wand?

    Oh, and some “pagans” do speak with demons through “goetia”, like me. But “pagan” is not a very good label for me, because I am also “Catholic”.

  • Catherine

    “I know the producer told me “‘Pagans, Wicca, Santeria & Voodoo’ is the topic for this half hour show.” That didn’t exactly jive with the topic I heard announced once we started recording.”

    Star, this was clear to me after the first few minutes. I could tell that the interview you prepared for, wasn’t the interview they were conducting.

    Honestly, with the exception of your friend Elizabeth, they all seemed to be looking for their “gotcha!” moment.

    I think you did the best job that you could, given what you had to work with. I appreciate your efforts and your courage.

    Catherine

  • Catherine

    “I know the producer told me “‘Pagans, Wicca, Santeria & Voodoo’ is the topic for this half hour show.” That didn’t exactly jive with the topic I heard announced once we started recording.”

    Star, this was clear to me after the first few minutes. I could tell that the interview you prepared for, wasn’t the interview they were conducting.

    Honestly, with the exception of your friend Elizabeth, they all seemed to be looking for their “gotcha!” moment.

    I think you did the best job that you could, given what you had to work with. I appreciate your efforts and your courage.

    Catherine

  • Masery

    You were brave to do the interview. It’s impossible to fully make a point when you get interrupted so often and the interviewer is pushing for snap answers. Your experience reminded me of some stressful job interviews I’ve been to where they had already decided to not hire me but went through the motions.

  • Masery

    You were brave to do the interview. It’s impossible to fully make a point when you get interrupted so often and the interviewer is pushing for snap answers. Your experience reminded me of some stressful job interviews I’ve been to where they had already decided to not hire me but went through the motions.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QNO5MYGY24J5QV7YIDNM5ZLIIA Kat

    Whoa! What an ambush this was! I didn’t see YOU being rude but I did see plenty of rudeness. Who was the host? The whole time she sat with this mocking, smug, arrogant expression on the edge of her seat. She was barely able to control herself she was so eager to see you get crushed.

    The gyrations they went through to turn all you said into a negative was better than those of any circus contortionist. Yes, the insinuation that pagans are all disenfranchised misfits that feel “alienated” was disgusting. When they got onto the demon crap I’m sorry that you couldn’t come back with the difference between the dualism of the Abrahamic religions vs. the Pagan belief system.

    The insinuation was there was something wrong with you that a good Christian girl like yourself would become so “misguided”. Using the Bible to justify their position? Pagans are pagan because they question the credibility of the Bible, but they gave you no opportunity to explain.

    I was growling through this whole video and wishing it could have been me. I was raised Catholic. I would have LOVED this debate!

    Although what happened to you was typical, I don’t believe it behooves us to not engage with the media. Unfortunately, despite this kind of ambushing it is important we get out there and tell it like it is. If they want a Pagan to interview in the future, tell them to give me a call. I’m used to dealing with this kind of nonsense.

    You did good girl, considering they came armed with rocket launchers and you came with nothing more than a peace sign.

  • Anonymous

    Star, first, I think that you did a great job. Most people wouldn’t have handled this as well. Second, I’ve taken the liberty about blogging on this topic here http://bit.ly/dRywse

    Thanks very much for being willing to engage in some self-criticism; I think that it’s helpful to the entire Pagan community.

    • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

      Thanks for the critique!

  • Hecate_Demetersdatter

    Star, first, I think that you did a great job. Most people wouldn’t have handled this as well. Second, I’ve taken the liberty about blogging on this topic here http://bit.ly/dRywse

    Thanks very much for being willing to engage in some self-criticism; I think that it’s helpful to the entire Pagan community.

    • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

      Thanks for the critique!

  • http://freemanpresson.wordpress.com/ Freeman

    That was great, under the circumstances. I couldn’t even watch the whole thing; I’m so over that way of looking at the world. I *really* appreciate the way you put polytheism first, rather than making it sound like all Pagans are Wiccan. I still counsel against describing us as relating to original/indigenous *European* religions, for reasons that have been beaten to death elsewhere, but even there you qualified it, leaving some room for “the rest of us.”

  • http://freemanpresson.wordpress.com/ Freeman

    That was great, under the circumstances. I couldn’t even watch the whole thing; I’m so over that way of looking at the world. I *really* appreciate the way you put polytheism first, rather than making it sound like all Pagans are Wiccan. I still counsel against describing us as relating to original/indigenous *European* religions, for reasons that have been beaten to death elsewhere, but even there you qualified it, leaving some room for “the rest of us.”

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    As many others here have said, you have nothing about which to feel ashamed–you did an excellent job under very trying circumstances, to a group of people who looked like they were eating cloves (based on the looks on their faces), and who were so myopic as to their own relationship with “Absolute Truth” (ha!) as to not see anything else as even a remote possibility. (Which is, incidentally, against some of Vatican II’s own statements on inter-religious respect and dialogue.)

    I think, perhaps, what might be useful in the future for other occasions like this is a little outline of ways that they might attempt to subvert the dialogue, and ways in which we, in our responses, can move it in other directions. They were talking a lot about “belief,” for example, and even in relation to their own deities (despite their comments about “Absolute Truth” earlier), they weren’t saying that they did exist, only that they believed in the One God who is Jesus, etc. Speaking in terms of experience and of practice, and even of (here’s a word they don’t like at all!) gnosis, is much more in line with how things work in the modern (and premodern) pagan religions. Refusing to speak in terms that they dictate would be a good way to change the tenor of things…

    But, a post-mortem on your part in this really isn’t necessary, because you did a fantastic job! So, well done! :)

    • Rua Lupa

      “I think, perhaps, what might be useful in the future for other occasions like this is a little outline of ways that they might attempt to subvert the dialogue, and ways in which we, in our responses, can move it in other directions. ”

      Excellent. That would be a great pocket card to have with you (ideally in your mind). This very well may have given us some ammunition instead. I wasn’t expecting a lot of the questions and statements they posed, but now we can start expecting such things and together work on a common response whenever it comes up again. See Star, you’ve not only represented us well, but you’ve also given us something to take home and learn how better to respond to such attacks. Your courageous experience, enabled us to become stronger. Thank you.

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    As many others here have said, you have nothing about which to feel ashamed–you did an excellent job under very trying circumstances, to a group of people who looked like they were eating cloves (based on the looks on their faces), and who were so myopic as to their own relationship with “Absolute Truth” (ha!) as to not see anything else as even a remote possibility. (Which is, incidentally, against some of Vatican II’s own statements on inter-religious respect and dialogue.)

    I think, perhaps, what might be useful in the future for other occasions like this is a little outline of ways that they might attempt to subvert the dialogue, and ways in which we, in our responses, can move it in other directions. They were talking a lot about “belief,” for example, and even in relation to their own deities (despite their comments about “Absolute Truth” earlier), they weren’t saying that they did exist, only that they believed in the One God who is Jesus, etc. Speaking in terms of experience and of practice, and even of (here’s a word they don’t like at all!) gnosis, is much more in line with how things work in the modern (and premodern) pagan religions. Refusing to speak in terms that they dictate would be a good way to change the tenor of things…

    But, a post-mortem on your part in this really isn’t necessary, because you did a fantastic job! So, well done! :)

    • Rua Lupa

      “I think, perhaps, what might be useful in the future for other occasions like this is a little outline of ways that they might attempt to subvert the dialogue, and ways in which we, in our responses, can move it in other directions. ”

      Excellent. That would be a great pocket card to have with you (ideally in your mind). This very well may have given us some ammunition instead. I wasn’t expecting a lot of the questions and statements they posed, but now we can start expecting such things and together work on a common response whenever it comes up again. See Star, you’ve not only represented us well, but you’ve also given us something to take home and learn how better to respond to such attacks. Your courageous experience, enabled us to become stronger. Thank you.

  • Souris

    Quite honestly, if the people in the Catholic Church I grew up in were more like the folks on *that* panel I would have left MUCH sooner!

  • Souris

    Quite honestly, if the people in the Catholic Church I grew up in were more like the folks on *that* panel I would have left MUCH sooner!

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, given the circumstaces, I think you’ve done a better job than I would have. I can see where you’re being self-critical, and where you think you could have done better, but I also think we all can agree that it could have been MUCH worse.

    All things considered, I think it may be in part *because* it was a Catholic show/network(?) that you weren’t edited to look bad. In part because Catholics have had such bad media press in the last decade, and in part cos Catholicism has a nice few dacades under John Paul where a lot of people have become very relaxed about Interfaith issues. The fact that you and Scalia, who is a regular on their show, work on the same blog probably didn’t hurt, either. ;-)

    All in all, I’d give it 8.5/10 stars.

  • http://omo.peacockfairy.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

    Honestly, given the circumstaces, I think you’ve done a better job than I would have. I can see where you’re being self-critical, and where you think you could have done better, but I also think we all can agree that it could have been MUCH worse.

    All things considered, I think it may be in part *because* it was a Catholic show/network(?) that you weren’t edited to look bad. In part because Catholics have had such bad media press in the last decade, and in part cos Catholicism has a nice few dacades under John Paul where a lot of people have become very relaxed about Interfaith issues. The fact that you and Scalia, who is a regular on their show, work on the same blog probably didn’t hurt, either. ;-)

    All in all, I’d give it 8.5/10 stars.

  • Ceriwitch

    I thought you did a really good job.

  • Ceriwitch

    I thought you did a really good job.

  • Sugarsickness

    Their snickers and mocking tones made me want to smack them upside the head. You did amazing, Star, much better than I would have done in that situation.

  • Sugarsickness

    Their snickers and mocking tones made me want to smack them upside the head. You did amazing, Star, much better than I would have done in that situation.

  • Zebeck95

    As as a minor I can say my intrest is genuin I am curently studying paganism as a whole and am thinking of being a solitary electic pagan if I do indeed become one. I personally liked your responses to the questions they asked but an ambush like that can only meen one thing they were looking to beat down on paganism and asked childish questions the preist seemed to ignore anything you said or change the wording and how you said it he ignored that many do not feel that christanity is the religion for them and went to say it was basicly neglect that lead people to paganism I don’t know how he thought you ment anything like that but he also included many biblacle things that he agreed with but ignored others you seemed to them for the mostpart as a sort of conflict item and that is in no way true

  • Zebeck95

    As as a minor I can say my intrest is genuin I am curently studying paganism as a whole and am thinking of being a solitary electic pagan if I do indeed become one. I personally liked your responses to the questions they asked but an ambush like that can only meen one thing they were looking to beat down on paganism and asked childish questions the preist seemed to ignore anything you said or change the wording and how you said it he ignored that many do not feel that christanity is the religion for them and went to say it was basicly neglect that lead people to paganism I don’t know how he thought you ment anything like that but he also included many biblacle things that he agreed with but ignored others you seemed to them for the mostpart as a sort of conflict item and that is in no way true


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