Llewellyn has 58k Facebook fans, The Witch’s Voice 27k and Witch School has 9,800 fans, yet the campaign to get Jason Pitzl-Waters on The Daily Show to speak about David Barton’s attempts to deny our religious rights and the other challenges minority religions face has garnered a far fewer number of fans than you might expect.
What makes me sad about this is it proves Jon Stewart right.
“Dude, Pagans don’t have an agenda. They’re Pagans. Organizational skills, eh, not their strong suit.”
— Jon Stewart responding humorously to a comment by Bob Jones in 2004
What makes this quote interesting is that it’s from an episode in 2004, which is the same year Jason Pitzl-Waters, fed up with the lack of Pagan news coverage, began The Wild Hunt. In the half-dozen years since Pagans have proven that they do have an agenda (Religious Freedom and Equality) and that they are quite capable of getting organized (The Pentacle Quest). Jason has proven himself to be “The CNN of Paganism” covering Wicca, Druidry, Heathenry, Santeria, Voodou and other traditions with dilligence and respect.
We just raised $32,000 for Japan in a Pan-Pagan cooperative effort. We know we can accomplish amazing things, so we need to get on the ball and make this happen because this isn’t some pie-in-the-sky fantasy: THIS IS VERY POSSIBLE. David Barton’s hideous interview on The Daily Show combined with Jason’s diligent coverage of Barton and Patrick McCollum’s case in CA make this an amazing opportunity.
What Jason has to say on Barton needs to reach a wider-audience, and show that Pagans are active, aware and providing reasonable commentary on matters of public interest:
The fact is that early Americans did indeed consider the issue of non-Christians gaining equal rights under the constitution, and spoke (and debated) at great length on the subject. The idea that the Free Exercise Clause doesn’t apply to non-Christians is dangerous, ahistorical, and stupid. That Barton is preaching this lie weakens the very foundations he claims to revere. The fact is that the Founders were educated and far-sighted men who understood quite well what they were constructing and its implications. Barton would have them be short-sighted dolts. So long as the depth of Barton’s extremism is glossed over, we’ll never get a chance to pin him down on this very, very important issue.
Laura LaVoie at The Juggler is behind the campaign:
Let’s work together as a Pan-Pagan community to get our voices heard. Join the Facebook page. Write a thoughtful and polite letter to the Daily Show. It is heartwarming to see so many Pagans of so many differing traditions willing to come together for a positive cause.
So is The Pagan Mom Blog:
I am confident we will get Jason on the show. I am confident that Jason will not only represent real paganism (as opposed to the nasties that the media prefers to talk about) but really show why Barton should be viewed as a danger to our society.
Jason himself is willing to go on the show:
I’m really quite taken aback, flattered, and surprised by all of this. Naturally, if some minor media miracle occurs and I actually get a call from The Daily Show people I’d be happy to appear and talk about minority religions and that question no one is asking David Barton. Even if I don’t, I think this outpouring shows just how invested we’ve become in building and maintaining our own Pagan-centered media. We are no longer voiceless or powerless, and we care about setting the record straight. So thank you to everyone who has put time and effort into this, and I guess we’ll see what happens!
No one is asking for money. No one is trying to do something crazy like define Paganism for everyone. No one is suggesting we parade around on tv looking like Addams Family rejects. We’re just asking that you spend 5 minutes of your time liking the Facebook Campaign Page and leaving a note in support on The Daily Show’s website. We’re just asking you to share this with your friends and family, because it’s more important than a tickled penguin video.