Even all the way over here in the Netherlands, I have realized long ago that Fox is not so much a news station but a 'sensation station'. It's a place where all presenters, news anchors and contributors have one foot firmly wedged into their mouths and fear mongering is a daily commitment. Well, the lovely people at Fox found another subject to spike debate: the university of Missouri, back in the fall of '12, included Wiccan holidays in their 'Guide to Religion', putting Wiccan festivals on par with festivals from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, but also Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, the Baha’i faith, Shintoism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Hinduism. I'd say we're in good company there.

The festival calendar serves as a tool for faculty, to help them schedule events on dates that everyone, of any religious denomination, can participate. Nowhere does it say that an event--like a test, meeting, or activity--can not be held on festival day. It simply informs the teacher that certain students might decline to take part, might be on a fast, or might have to excuse themselves for regular prayer. For students, the guide serves as a platform to achieve greater religious understanding within the diverse student body.

A total of forty-two holidays are listed in the University of Missouri's religious calender, with eight Wiccan festivals listed which accounted for nearly twenty percent of the holidays in the school's guide. Mail Online has made a lovely pie chart to show the break down of festivals, as seen to the left.

News media took to the change a few days ago, and eventually it reached Fox. Fox, of course, knew all along that Wiccans are nuts for believing in something as outlandish as the divinity of (or in) nature, and for following the Wheel of the Year, even though they were wonderful about getting recognition for Pagan casualties of war, a few years back. At any rate, Fox most certainly feels this to be true, and thus, they aired these fabulous commentaries:

Personally, I am not offended by the opinions expressed in these clips. The ludicrousness of these allegations and the obvious lack of research takes all credibility away from these people and Fox News. Then again, I am not now, nor have I ever been truly Wiccan. I was not initiated, I have no knowledge of inner court material to speak of. I have tried to imagine how I would feel if these statements were made about Hellenismos, and realize that I'm secure enough in my religion to realize that these people don't have a clue about what they're talking about. On top of that, the people who regularly watch Fox News are most likely never going to be our allies anyway. Of course, that doesn't excuse a network to use a religious minority as a cheap joke.

For those of you who are outraged at the stupendously incorrect messages Fox are spewing, there is a petition you can sign. It can be found here. The petition demands an apology, although I'm not sure that will ever happen or is actually something that we should want to accomplish. Whatever happens, I'm putting out a call to remain calm and poised. I'd rather us Pagans and Wiccans keep our dignity and don't go to Fox, foaming at the mouth. Yes, they put their foot in their mouth, and no, they didn't do any research what so ever. Yet, we will not win anything by presenting us as anything other than civilized human beings. So write your letters and sign your petitions, but please, keep it civil. Keep calm. We don't need Fox for validation. Personally, I'd rather celebrate the university in question for their good--and inclusive--work. I'd rather focus on that.

I hope this blows over soon, and that Fox takes their foot out of their mouth without making even bigger fools of themselves. Until then, I hope we are all secure enough in our faiths to see that this is just hot air, harmful only if you let yourself get caught in it. Congratulations, Wiccan/Druid/Neo-Wiccan/some-forms-of-Pagan Missouri University students: it's wonderful you get this kind of equality.