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Hate Crime Against Pagans/Wiccans

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 17, 2007




petition over offensive halloween decor 1:06 AM

Petition: halloween-decorations-or-hate-crime

Here’s the story:

Halloween Decoration Offends Witch

A Halloween decoration in Chicopee, Mass., featuring a witch hanging from the gallows is under fire from one neighbor who calls it a hate crime

My personal Comment to this was: “This is outrageous. What if the “hanging figure” was a Black person, or Jewish?”

And that is exactly what this is about – it’s not about religion, it’s about the factual depiction of something that actually took place – the killing of hundreds of thousands of real and alleged Pagans/Wiccans throughout history.

This is just as offensive as a burning cross on a black person’s lawn, or the nooses hanging from a tree not so long ago: The Jena Six – now, both actions were racially motivated – this is just what we are talking about – a hate crime. Period.
Please sign the Petition

13 Responses to “Hate Crime Against Pagans/Wiccans”

  1. Q Citizen said

    Hi there Silly Old Bear. Thanks for the comments and thanks for explaining about that other blog thing. It does make more sense now.

    About your post here: I couldn’t agree more. It’s sick that this is going on. You’d think that in today’s world this kind of thing would have been eliminated by now. But obviously there’s a lot more work to be done before people get that hate crimes aren’t okay.


  2. Jon Kay said

    I’m not seeing how how an event involving actual violence to real people is atall the same thing as a purely imaginary invocation. There’s not even any call to violence here. Much more here.


  3. Rev. Cindi said

    I grew up not far from Chicopee. West Springfield, to be exact. I am appalled that the citizens have not risen up in anger. Yes, were it a depiction of slavery or the Holocaust, you can bet folks would be up in arms. Well, this is a depiction of a holocaust – the slaying of those who were deemed to be witches by the evangelical few. This is scary. And it could happen again if not stopped. As a Pagan, I sincerely hope the fine people of Chicopee, MA and others around the country and the world, will see the error of this display and remove it.


  4. I’m not seeing how how an event involving actual violence to real people is atall the same thing as a purely imaginary invocation. There’s not even any call to violence here.

    Perhaps it’s time the definition of hate crime was widened to also cover this kind of depiction of violence towards a specific group of people?


  5. Justin said

    Is this a Halloween prank? The very concept of a “hate crime” is absurd, saying that certain groups of people deserve more or at least different protection by the law than others. Putting that aside for this specific issue, I guess you have a problem with free speech? Ok, if you get to silence the person that hung up the decoration, I have just as much right to silence you. In fact, I find what you are saying, that other people don’t have the right to say what they want, much more threatening to me than I find the decoration to you. You seem to hate me for wanting the right to say what I want. Can I call that a hate crime?

    What’s more, to link the decoration to Wiccans, you are admitting than Wiccans are indeed like the cartoon depictions of nose-warted, black magic casting, children eating monsters. That is, after all, the “target” of the “hate crime”.

    So, which is it? Are Wiccans nose-warted, black magic casting, children eating monsters, or is this just an absurd over-reaction to a fun Halloween decoration?


  6. Justin…

    You might consider this:

    Elizabeth Eckford was one of the Little Rock Nine, the high school students who integrated Little Rock High Schools in 1957. Here is a picture of some of the 250 white folks at her heels hollering, “lynch her, lynch her” “no nigger bitch is going to get in our school!” “Lynch her, send that nigger back to the jungle.” During the following school year she was hit, punched, kicked, knocked flat, shoved, spat upon, had a soda bottle, rock filled snow balls, an egg and a tomato thrown at her.

    None of it was a prank. Elizabeth Eckford as every African American, many Mexican Americans and other minorities can tell you is that a noose is the supreme definition of the words “terroristic threat.” There is a lot of talk on the right that tells folks how political correctness is just limiting someone else’s freedom to say how they feel. Talk radio does it all the time, recently on 1440 KEYS, Michael Savage in his national broadcast called for rounding all of the Muslims in America up and placing them in detention camps like we did with the Japanese Americans in WWII. One must question the morals and motives of an owner who would allow such paranoid, hysterical, hateful ranting that certainly has the ability to stir some nutcase to acts like the recent shooting at a local mosque.

    Preying on fear and uncertainty, that is what powerful elites do to pit one group against the other, divide and conquer. While the poor, working and middle classes are all fighting each other over race, religion, well-groomed, politically correct upstanding citizens and politicians pick all of their pockets by off-shoring jobs, shifting the tax burden and promoting credit card and mortgage debt. The noose is a particularly egregious threat. It has come to represent lynching. In early times lynching not only defined illegal hanging but tar and feathering, running someone out of town an a rail, whipping and other forms of torture and vigilante abuse.”


  7. Sam said

    That’s rather sickening.. And that’s how society views us. So, I would say it is a hate crime.


  8. Raven said

    I am appaled at the people saying this isn’t a hate crime. I agree with the people who say that if this was an African-American or a Jewish person it would be considered a hate crime. Would it make any differnce if there was a wart on the African-American’s nose in the noose? Would that make it not a hate crime? Whether it’s depicted or actual the intent is there. It’s really sad that in a world where there are plenty of terroists, murders, child molesters and rapists to hate people are wasting their time and energy hating the people who are least likely to do them any harm. “…And it harm none…” Blessed Be!


  9. norman underby said

    Quite frankly I can’t beleive im even bothering to answer such a post but I just happened to stumble across it and I am appalled that other people were so outraged by this. Wiccans try so hard to say they are in fact not the same as stereotypical witches but when a stereotypical witch aka figure of evil is depicted being hanged, they jump up and say they are being depicted in the scene. So which is it? It seems mighty suspicious to me… Either way I think that while the decoration may be a bit vulgar for public display, I highly doubt that the person who put it up was thinking “hmm, how can I really show those wiccans how much I hate them this Halloween?” It’s a totally fabricated controversy among people who are trying to perpetuate problems instead of fix them.


    • Wiccans try so hard to say they are in fact not the same as stereotypical witches but when a stereotypical witch aka figure of evil is depicted being hanged, they jump up and say they are being depicted in the scene.[…]It’s a totally fabricated controversy among people who are trying to perpetuate problems instead of fix them.

      You are missing one very pertinent FACT, that of diversity – while Wicca as such does not contain the practice of witch craft, and not all Wiccans practice witch craft, many Wiccans do in fact identify as witches. Then there are those who do not indentify as Wiccans, but as various flavors of Pagans, and as witches.

      The reason Wiccans don’t want to identify as traditional witches is because in mainstream America, Europe and Asia they have been and still are, by the Xian Church, being accused of worshiping the ‘devil’, that was what all the mess during the Burning Times was about after all. The controversy is very real, and are part of world history. It is not a fabrication.

      Now do yourself and us a favor – replace the effigy of the witch in the video with a Black man, and then ask yourself if you would find that acceptable. If the effigy was of a Black man being hung on Martin Luther King Day, I am sure Black everywhere would be up in arms, and just as irate as the Wiccans, Pagans and Witches are about this ‘representation’ being hung up on Halloween (Samhain), one of the most sacred Feast Days in Wicca, Traditional Paganism and Witch Craft.

      It doesn’t matter what the intentions were. I am Jewish, I find the depiction offensive, because whichever way you look at it, it is a signal of hate towards a minority group, and that is a hate crime.

      Besides, I doubt that the man who hung this piece of crap where it could be very clearly seen wasn’t aware of his neighbors religious practices, and that he intended it exactly as it is being perceived.


  10. Christina said

    Wow, my response comes nearly one year later, but apparently this is still a hot issue.
    One detail which I’ve read elsewhere is that this so-called decoration stood alone, it was just a gallows standing on its own in this man’s front yard. For a jolly, festive gentleman, it seems odd to me that he would have but a single, elaborate set up for the season as well as a total disregard for others’ requests to remove it.
    Not that it matters terribly much, but I’m going to state here that I am a pagan so that everyone reading understands from whence my opinion comes and it is as follows: I can’t relate to the figure suspended from the noose and we can argue about prejudices and hate crimes until we’re all blue in the face, however one fact we can all agree on is that the depiction is entirely gruesome and unfit for public display.


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