Christians are getting bolder in the face of pagan pride events
Last month, witches and pagans came together for WitchsFest USA, an annual celebration of earthly spirituality in New York City. It was cut short, however, when around 30 Christian protesters stormed the event, marching through the hall while preaching over loudspeakers. Due to the noise and harassment, several vendors have closed shops and teachers have been forced to cancel their classes.
This article in The Washington Postprovided by Religious News Service, details what happened, stating that the protesters started on a street corner near one of the workshop tents, but entered the festival after event organizers moved the attempted. One of the event’s organizers, Starr RavenHawk, said the protesters made it clear they were “collectively at war with us”. RavenHawk also added some chilling details about the police non-response:
After her security team asked the preachers to leave, RavenHawk called the police as she has for the past few years. But, for the first time, the cops did nothing, she said…. “[The officers] treated us as if we invaded the space of Christians, as if they had more rights than us.
Throughout the country, Pagan Prides and other festivals serve as venues for witches and pagans to hold public rituals, conduct classes and workshops, buy and sell ritual supplies and other goods, and watch entertainment like folk groups and traditional dance troupes. It’s a way for pagans to come together as a community, express their spiritual beliefs, learn from each other, and have fun.
Unfortunately, Christian hate groups have always been present in witch and pagan gatherings to some extent. However, judging from harassment like that experienced at WitchsFest USA, these hate groups seem to be getting bolder, especially when they appear to have the backing of the police.
The Washington Post The article also contains examples of other campaigns of harassment and intimidation in recent years, including incidents in which Christian groups surrounded pagan groups and put threatening notes under the doors of hotels hosting their events.
The Wild Hunta pagan news site, points out that Fox News unsurprisingly sided with the protesters:
Fox [coverage of the incident] downplays the threat protesters might pose by using terms that imply slight inconvenience, such as “annoyance” and “nuisance”, but also seems to infer that any type of occult spiritual practice is either not serious or should be given the same protections as Christian – “witches and occultists just trying to have fun.
The rise in harassment of witches and pagans is part of a larger rising tide of white Christian nationalism. In June, a group of Proud Boys shut down a Drag Queen Story Hour at a public library. There have been shootings in synagogues and black neighborhoods. For white nationalists (Christian or otherwise), it’s a holy war against everyone who isn’t them, and thanks to Trump’s legacy of racist rhetoric and violence, they’re stepping up their attacks more than ever.
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