Willow the Wiccan and Sid the Satanist

Those of us involved in youth ministry are well-aware of Dare 2 Share, the ministry of Greg Stier.  Well, the Utne Reader has an interesting post up which takes aim at D2S’s evangelistic web resources, in which students are given advice for sharing their faith with Willow the Wiccan, Sid the Satanist, Jenna the Jew, and Nicole the New Ager, and Jordan the Jehovah’s Witness (complete with mugshots!).

Willow the Wiccan: “Whether Willow knows it or not, she is in the grips of Satan, so like Sid the Satanist, be sure and cover your relationship and conversations with her in a ton of prayer.”

Unlike Utne, I don’t see anything nefarious here.  But it does remind me how different my view of the saving faith of Jesus is than the people who put up this site.

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  • I didn’t think that evolutionists (Erin the Evolutionist) needed “saving”.

  • Wow. Way to stereotype there and suck the nuance out of it all, D2S.

  • tom c.

    The Buddha “believed that through self-denial and meditation, a person could eventually achieve a god-like state of ‘Nirvana’. ”

    Self-denial? So much for the Middle Way…

  • So, now Jones is saying Wicca is ok?

  • coryke

    audie May 14, 2011 at 8:38 am
    “So, now Jones is saying Wicca is ok?”

    This is the second time I’ve seen you post, audie, and both have had the same tenor. The other was on a previous blog post of Tony’s.

    How about this? Instead of caricaturing what Tony is saying, you simply engage in dialogue. Go ahead. Show me where Tony wrote that Wicca is ok. I’m waiting… Still waiting.

    If you would like to be critical, please do so on the merits of what is being written here, not on some absurd, imagined variation of what is written. You’re making his argument into “straw man” that can be easily knocked down. The problem is, he didn’t say it or even hint at it.

    I’m not particularly defending (or critiquing) Tony here. I’d just like to see a real dialogue take place. Not juvenile mudslinging. Let’s leave that to the professional politicians.


  • Casey McCollum

    Tony, as a former youth minister this does give me the heeby jeebies.
    You may have done this elsewhere but i would be interested in how you articulate “your view of the saving faith of Jesus.”
    Your writings have often given language to what I was thinking and feeling but couldn’t quite articulate. Blessings.

  • –How about this? Instead of caricaturing what Tony is saying, you simply engage in dialogue.

    How about if Jones answers the question. He is, after all, the one who claims to see nothing nefarious there.

    –If you would like to be critical, please do so on the merits of what is being written here, not on some absurd, imagined variation of what is written.

    And what, pray tell, is my “absurd, imagined variation”? Do be plain, please.

    –The problem is, he didn’t say it or even hint at it.

    Really, not a hint at all?

    Let’s see–we have a blog post singling out Dare 2 Share, singling out further a bit about what they say concerning Wicca, and at the end Jones saying that his view of Christ’s grace is different from that of Dare 2 Share.

    So, I think there is a hint and more than a hint that he is saying that Wicca is perfectly acceptable–Dare 2 Share plainly says that those in Wicca are in the grip of Satan, while Jones hints that his view is different. If he wishes to make his position more plain, this is certainly his blog, he may certainly do so.

  • coryke

    hi, again, audie,

    You have brought up Tony’s “nothing nefarious comment.” Read the sentence again, please. He seems to be saying that he is not in the same camp as Utne – that is, while Utne finds D2S’s efforts to be “nefarious”, Tony does not. Admittedly, this is what I think Tony means by this sentence. What I do NOT think he meant was that there was “nothing nefarious” about Wicca.

    You also asked me to be plain. Ok. Your only comment was that Tony implied that Wicca was ok. I responded that your only comment was baseless. I thought my original post was plain and hope that I have made it as plain as possible in this restatement.

    Is Tony criticizing D2S? Yes. But this does not mean that he is opposed to everything they are doing. It appears to me that he does not appreciate the descriptions of non-Christians by D2S. Stereotyping those who hold worldviews that are not our own does little good, whatever the ends might be – evangelism, dialogue, or even something intentionally harmful.

    Finally, Tony merely commented that his “view of the saving grace of Jesus” differs from that of those at D2S. Where (oh where?) do you get the notion that this difference entails the acceptance of Wicca? Whatever his view of Wicca, this is not ipso facto a statement about Wicca’s acceptability.

    You have read a hefty amount into what Tony is writing here, and your reading does not appear to be justified by close attention to what he has and has not written. It appears that you were eager to throw stones before you truly captured what he had communicated.

    Perhaps we can ask Tony for his thoughts on Wicca rather than just assuming his position.

  • I don’t think Hari looks Hindu. I’ve never met a North American (or anyone for that matter) convert to Hinduism. But hey, I’m sheltered.

  • I am proud to admit I visited the link just to see if Mohammed the Muslim got a shout out…and he did. Score.

  • Kyle

    Since it is “Willow” the Wiccan, shouldn’t it be “Saddleback” the satanist?

  • When Willow the Wiccan was in the grip of evil forces, it was Xander (and Giles) who saved her, not Jesus. Great, great episode.

  • I think I’m with Utne on this one. As a Christian who is also, in the strictest sense, an agnostic, as someone who believes in evolution, and as a former Wiccan, I find at least three of these caricatures to be inaccurate and insulting. As a more serious charge, I also find them to be unhelpful. The tactics discussed here would prove to be misleading and counterproductive toward a meaningful examination of faith, in my experience, let alone successfully proselytizing anyone.

  • So…what might it look like to engage people of other faiths? Could it be that Stier is simply trying to equip people, to educate them? If the charge leveled at Christians that we are uninformed about other faiths, isn’t reading something like D2S creates helpful?

    Granted, the pictures are a little cheesy…

  • This list would be helpful *if it were accurate* rather than resorting to offensive and inaccurate stereotypes. An uninformed Christian who came to an interfaith conversation uninformed but ready to listen would have more luck than someone informed by this website (and yes, the website does say to listen… after making false generalizations and radically untrue allegations about others’ beliefs).

    An accurate resource would be one created in consultation with people of other faiths, which allowed them to describe the specifics and the variety of their own beliefs.

    The resemblance to the ‘Religious’ entry to many typical antiCatholic arguments and stereotypes is also notable and disturbing.