Merry meet xxxxxx, I'm glad to have a chance to write you and thank you for allowing comments on your page. I must admit I'm a little confused why you would have a video directed at witches and wickedness of Wicca? From a Christian point of view anything that is not of God is of the devil but that is not the sole discussion I want to talk about. What concerns me most is how people of the Christian faith demonize people that are of other faiths. I also want to clear up some of your misconceptions of the difference between Witchcraft and religion. Before I begin I would like to state that I am a solitary practitioner of the craft and my views are not a representation of other witches or the Wicca religion in general, now with the disclaimers in hand let us begin the discussion.
I see religion in general as a good thing in a person's life because it focuses on the higher philosophical questions any person needs to pursue as they walk their spiritual path. Questions like: "Where did we come from?" "Why are we here?" "What is our purpose in life?" and "What happens to us once we die?" These philosophical questions are the core foundations to achieving peace and love for our fellow human beings that are seeking the same questions we are asking ourselves as to why we are here and if there is a purpose for our life other than just existing.
I never seen any justified reason why any group whether it is Pagan, Christian, Or Atheist in nature would waste their time condemning someone outside of their faith? From a Wicca standpoint of view my understanding is that all faiths are accepted even the Christian faith as long as they harm none. This basic belief is in place to recognize the human behind the religion they practice because we never want to demonize or dehumanize a person to the point of persecution. Another concern I have is that when any religion whether it is Pagan or Christian in nature begins to shun another because of their faith, they are losing the opportunity to see Their divine from a different perspective, and from observation when any religious group shuts themselves off from the rest of the world they tend to lose touch with reality.
When a person or group ceases contact with the world they tend to have cult like behaviors and unjustified fears of persecution, as well as unrealistic beliefs of what people of other faiths engage in. Religion in general is a beautiful thing, it is a person's commitment to try and understand the higher and supernatural meanings in life we are still trying to understand and religion at it's best is meant to bring people together, not tear them apart with ideology differences. As a person that is Pagan, Christian and Atheist friendly I will not condemn a person simply because they are trying to understand the meanings of Spirituality and religion in their life, or their choice to refrain from any part of religion.
From a Christian's point of view I understand why they are concerned with people of other faiths, the bible has good references to God's will and what is expected by His followers. but the reason your point will never get across to a person of pagan faith is the fundamental differences Christians seem to misunderstand about the Pagan/Wicca faith. Christianity in general is concentrated on God and the Devil, between good and evil, Wicca is generally centered around Earth and Nature. I understand that Christianity and Paganism are much more complicated than my general summation of the religion but for the sake of this discussion I want to simplify it to this fundamental point. If a Christian were to tell me that Wicca was an evil religion based on Satan trying to deceive me from the Christian God I would have to point out that my Wicca is based on Earth, and Nature not God and the devil. There is nothing I can relate to because my views of the Wicca religion has no concept of sin, of evil, or the devil that Christians believe in, just Earth, Nature and the supernatural gifts given to us by the Divine above.
Speaking of Nature and Supernatural Gifts I want to briefly comment why witchcraft is not considered a religion in my view. Witch by my definition is wise dweller of the earth. As a witch you become wise by observing the Earth and Nature around you and craft is the skills you choose to work with. As a witch I observe nature like a meteorologist would, the phases of the moon like an astromoner, and the cosmos around me. I have great reverence for our Earth, but I don't worship it.
In regards to the Craft I engage in, it is the special skills I work with that is similar to a person that uses their craft to crochet a beautiful quilt, or a person that uses their athletic abilities to inspire people to try their best in physical activities, perhaps it is a person of keen intellect to challenge your mind, or someone that can bring a person to tears with their sweet melodic singing voice. In my personal opinion these are the special talents a person has that can be used to promote or inspire religion in a person's life but is not a religion of itself. As a witch, I observe Earth and Nature and use my supernatural gifts to help improve myself so that I can help others. Although my supernatural gifts can be used in a religious setting, I do not need religion to use my craft or observance of the Earth.
In your video you stated that Mandi did not defend the wickedness of Wicca, or how Harry Potter has caused an interest in Wicca or witchcraft and I would like to address your concerns if I may: Wicca is a religion just like Christianity is a religion. It is a faith where people are trying to reach out to what they believe the divine is for themselves and nothing else. The definition of wickedness is: The quality of being evil or morally wrong. From my many associations with Witches and Wiccans I found them to be equally moral as Christians with no intent to harm anyone so that definition of wickedness can not apply to them. The only way you can apply wickedness to a person of a Wicca Faith is through the Christian interpretation of the bible. There are many references of the bible that addresses what is considered wicked in the Christian faith but it can not apply to people outside of the faith and this is why:
Just as it is morally wrong for a Christian to tell a Wiccan they are wicked because they do not worship God and practice witchcraft it would be equally morally wrong for a Wiccan to tell a Christian they are wicked because they do not worship the Goddess & God and honor the 8 Wiccan Sabbaths of the year. Each group has a right to their individual beliefs but if they try to demonize or dehumanize a person outside their faith they are no longer witnessing to the person of their faith, but using intimidation to as a means to invalidate their religious beliefs and that is wrong.
I don't understand the fascination with Harry Potter and witchcraft but I do find it sadly amusing. There were so many people I have met over the years from young to old that was interested in Witchcraft and had the mentality that Harry Potter was an active representation of Wicca or the Witchcraft I engage in and that is totally false! People that have the Harry potter mentality are interested in quick fixes to their problems and think that magic will somehow cure them of their ills instantly and some are seeking power through magic! Wicca is a very disciplined religion that requires a lifetime of work to begin to understand the life forces of the Universe that are around us and the life force within us. There are no quick fixes to the religion we engage in and the power we seek is not the power to make others bow down to us, but the power of a smile, a gentle touch, an acknowledgement that you are human, you are special, and you are loved! That is what the Wicca religion means to me and from my understanding of the Christian religion there are no quick fixes there either! As a Christian you are going to have trials and tribulations and obstacles that may overwhelm you, but the beauty of the religion is that you don't have to face those problems alone because God will be with you to face them. People that seek quick fixes do very poorly in the Wicca and Christian religions respectively, that is understandable, but as a Christian or Wiccan it's important to support the people in your life. Even if they totally misunderstand the religion you are from!
There are 2 final points I need to make before I depart but before I do, I want to thank you for reading my article and hope it helps you in some way understand what you are dealing with in regards to religion in general and the importance of understanding people of different faiths. Wicca is not in the recruiting business, and Witches or Wiccans would not encourage a person to convert to the faith. Life is about choices, discovering who you are and what you stand for, and for people who are seeking a spiritual or religious path, it is searching for the absolute truths in life we are trying to understand as we walk our individual path. If you want to reach spiritual maturity it is important to have religious diversity in your life. If you fear a person of a different faith will weakens yours by having fellowship with them I would seriously reexamine your faith. It's ok to have deep Christian religious convictions in your faith but if you feel the need to demonize, intimidate, shun, scare, or manipulate a person of another faith you are not witnessing or proselyting them to your faith you are using coercion to convert them which is wrong.
Wicca like Christianity is a religion that is seeking an understanding of the world around us and a connection to the Divine above. There is nothing sinister or evil when a person searches for a religion that fits their calling. They have to ask the tough questions about themselves, what they believe in, have contact with people of similar beliefs, and see if the religion they seek fits into their core beliefs and their calling. The worst thing a person can do is coerce a person to follow their religion regardless if it is Christian or Wicca. A person that is coerced into a religious belief becomes a hypocrite, because their professed faith will be disingenuous since they are trying to please or gain acceptance of the manipulator that is placing conditions on them. This is my biggest concern with Christianity. it falls into the convert or shun mentality to a person of a different faith. If a person of a Christian faith can not convert a person they will sever contact with them. My faith in God dictates me to keep people of all faiths in my life and treat them life family. I will not shun, demonize or abandon them simply because their faith is different than mine. My faith in God and my observance of other faiths leads me to believe that people of different faiths are really not that different from each other and the importance of having them in my family is what gives me peace which is the best way I can serve and care for them while they are in my life.
The final point I wanted to make was your reference to several Wicca books written by Christians that wanted to discredit Wicca and although I am sure they have valid points in their discussion, I seriously doubt they understand Wicca from my personal views and experiences with the religion. I didn't become Wicca friendly by reading books about people's opinion of what Wicca was, and I am not going to be dissuaded by books that oppose it as well. I became Wicca friendly by taking a hard look at my life, what I stood for, what I believed in. My research was not from any books I read but from the trees I touched that books came from. I don't know if any Christian will ever understand what Wicca means to me but when I closed my eyes and gently touched that lifeless tree my eyes were opened! Suddenly the branches began to move with the wind and this amazing creation of life, this sacred life force touched me in a way I never knew existed until I had contact with that sacred object! This inanimate object that I took for granted all my life suddenly transformed into a beautiful creation of life that I had contact with and when I opened my eyes, I saw the Sky above and the Earth below that awakened the inner beauty within me. To think that all this outer beauty around me is so Sacred and created just for me to enjoy is a humbling and overwhelming feeling to experience and the best part is that this incredible beauty is for you as well! The Christian twist to my Wiccan observation is that my belief is that God is the Master creator to the beauty I experienced on that day. This is one of the many examples how religious syncretism shows that religious differences aside we really aren't that different and how you can appreciate God from a completely different perspective. Keep people in your life regardless of their faith, it's ok to share your passion and love for your religious beliefs with people of other faiths, but please do not demonize their faith because it differs from yours. We are all part of a family and it's important to remember that as we travel down our individual religious life we need to love and have faith in the people around us and that our Divine directive is to love and not hate the ones we are blessed to have in our life!