A free Cork paper (distributed to 50,000 homes) wrote a piece based on the Irish Times article 23-1-07 and finds it appropriate to insult Gaelic Pagans and Druids. I'll take no action except to record and display the foolishness with comment.
My corrections -
1 I know Kit O'Marcaigh and he is Pagan but not a Druid, he has never said he was or is a Druid.
2 We did not rise up in arms (weaponry) we merely asked to be included in the interfaith talks
3 It is wrong to suggest that "Merlins, witches, warlocks, worshippers of the Mover of Things, and of Wicca" are Gaelic Druids in any way - I do not seek to represent any of the above, the wild association shows the educational bias of the limited education of the journalist and editor....
4 As far as is commonly known - Opus Dei is Christian and not separate from the Catholic Church and Opus Dei is not listed for inclusion in these interfaith talks.
5 The sad Satanic humour from the free paper suggests -
(a) That Pagans worship, they don�t, but Catholics do making me wonder about why the transference? And how is it meant to be funny?
(b) The Devil is a Catholic concept and not found in true Gaelic Paganism or Druidism. Catholics may worship various energies, but Pagans do not worship anything, we may however - honour the Gods but that is quite a different thing
6 It seems sad but true - the journo and editor source news from their single empty cauldron that contains only entrenched ignorance that they believe their readership will accept. This may be changing.
7 There is no "S" in Connor, but the media often refers to itinerant families whose second name is Connor as Connors, as a put down from the days before PC changed things. I suppose Finbar Cullens might be 'put out' by having his name spelled incorrectly too, especially if it was done deliberately as a 'put down'.
My distrust of journalists as messengers of truth increases..... In time, expensive defamation awards to victims of their miserable and narrow minded attitudes will cause them to be a bit more cafeful.
From here on is a Quote-
City Searchlight - Finbarr Cullen
No Place for Pagans
Here�s something to stick in your pipe. The Government has no plans to invite members of the Pagan community to the first structured talks between the State and the various faith groups. �The purpose of the talks is to discuss areas of common concern and to reflect the spiritual diversity of Ireland� said one of Bertie�s boys.
Up in arms is the country�s official pagan community. Druids Con Connors and Kit O�Marcaigh are deeply upset that Paganism has been excluded from the government sponsored seminar on Religion. We kid you not. The Pagan tradition, they explain, is indigenous to Ireland (the Ma used make the same comment when she couldn�t get me out of the scratcher on a Sunday morning) and �predates all other religions by some 30,000 years�. �Paganism is an umbrella term for various Earth based Spiritual traditions
that worship both the God and the Goddess, the deifications of the creative polar forces of nature�, the Druids informed us. And who are we to disagree?
But to suggest that Merlins, witches, warlocks, worshippers of the Mover of Things, and of Wicca � that hotch potch of fantasies a loony Brit concocted in the 1930s � should be given the same status as Buddhism, Christianity, the Opus Dei, Islam and adherents of the Wesley Chapel (remember it on MacCurtain Street?) is taking the biscuit. �For the State to exclude one faith tradition and refuse dialogue is wilful neglect of duty to these Irish people�, they moaned. �The Government is quite content to contribute to the continued marginalisation and side lining of thousands of Irish people�. Thousands of practising Pagans? Come off it, lads!
Speaking of Paganism here�s a joke that Merlin (the Editor) has just
invented: �What�s the best thing about pagan friends? They worship the
ground you walk upon�. (Sorry about that!)
Oh, hang on a moment, another joke has just surfaced from the bottom of the
cauldron that is the office: �Heard about the dyslexic devil worshipper? he
sold his soul to Santa�.
Turn THAT witch into a frog, Merlin. Fast!
(A few Christmas crackers left, Fingarr? �Ed)
A comment from a member -
Thank you, Con, for your regular news!
I have just taken the time to read the article of the Cork paper and would
like to say a few words:
I live in Germany, Berlin, and enjoy the vicinity of a natural sanctuary,
which is my nearest escape from the exhaust fumes and noise of this big
During my studies in Heidelberg, the south of Germany, I had the chance to
take long walks through never ending forests every day, and so got more and
more involved with the Pagan view on life, experiencing things you can only
get to know or be shown if you learn how to be silent and listen to
Thoug my early roots remain Christian, I am well aware of how Christianity
was brought along by the sword and forced itself upon every sacred or
meaningful place of The Old Religion. Jesus, a thinker of the Essene
teachings, wouldn't have liked that. All those peaceful and ever betrayed
ideals of Christianity we find in Paganism as well, and if I feel drawn to
Eucharist once in two years, I know that this is more ancient than anything
else and that the gesture of blessing what nourishes the body in order to
nourish our spiritual existence is old, coming from Paganism, too...I bet
the priests wouldn't let me have it, if they knew about my mind as I receive
this "Sacrament" :o))
Of course there is a broadly spread lack of enlightenment about Paganism all
over the world; it is "hip" to look at "such people" with a sneer, grin and
take them as illiterate fools who howl at the moon on clear nights... On one
hand I am very glad there is no institutionalisation as we see it in the
Christian church - watching what becomes of good ideas once they are forced
into shape, velvet and gold - but on the other, the multitude of voices,
claiming they knew what Paganism was about, is confusing to less spiritually
and intellectually aware people, who would not take the effort to read books
on it from scientific angles and try to really inform themselves...
So I am sad, disappointed and infuriated about this ignorance and willful
malice of some journalists - they would not make fun of it, if there was an
official and serious representative of Pagans with a strong lobby behind.
The Paganism of the old days cannot be brought back to us, sad as it is,
since we have only poor proves of its rituals and philosophies - but the
closer one lives with nature, the stronger the awareness of what it must
have been, then...
As far as I am informed, Paganism has its place in the Icelandic life as
well as in its politics! They are not afraid of their own roots - not yet.
It is very disappointing to find the Irish so ignorant and unconcerned about
their culture and traditions: You over there were the only ones who were not
spoilt by the invading Romans, and if Patrick had not been enslaved on your
isle and later had got involved with the Greek influence on Christianity,
meaning the antagonism towards our physical existence, you could have
maintained a well-looked after unpolluted natural environment for humans and
animals, you could have maintained social and moral peace with
children-of-love, Beltaine feasts and Pagan marriage, meaning all the
psychological and physical freedom human nature demands to stay healthy and
open minded, I guess...or dream of...anyway: It's a shame for Ireland not to
officially involve representatives of the Pagan religion. There would be far
more people admitting they are Pagans, if it was not so dangerous for your
daily life and job situation, since primitve jokes like the two they found
worthwhile printing, thus expending even more ink on their defamation, can
really spoil your day and your authority.
Somehow being a practising Pagan turns out to be as difficult as it must
have been for early Christians....
I wish you and your people unbreakable faith in what you do and
lots of patience, tolerance and inner freedom to make them feel ashamed
and prove them wrong by your own behaviour...