“Thou does protest to much”, is an old saying that goes directly to the heart of the traditional discourse between mainstream Wiccans and our dominant culture. Time and again we, as a community, witness the same conversation. It goes something like this:
“Do Wiccans and Witches worship the devil? “
“No we don’t worship the devil. The devil is a Christian construct that has no place in Wiccan theology”
End of story, individuals and readers are presented with a denial that essentially becomes the centerpiece of the conversation. The opportunity to educate, inform and create areas of mutual interest with other beliefs systems is ceded too the need to deny the outrageous. This situation is compounded by the fact that any attempt to explain what Wiccans do believe is wrapped in disclaimers for fear of being perceived as speaking for all “Wiccans” What we are left with is a distinct lack of credibility with those we encounter.
The time has come for our community to engage an alternative approach to these conversations. Answering the “devil” question should be viewed as a catastrophic way forward. Alternative responses include, “Let me explain what the Wiccans I know believe” or even better “ Let me tell you a little about what Wiccans do”. We must as a religious community cease to respond to the outlandish if we are to be viewed as a credible religious movement by wider society. Such responses just feed the idea that Wiccans are the “other” and not engaged in a theology that has depth and meaning.
If we expect acceptance or even tolerance in the wider community we need to stop responding to the absurd and start letting the world see the divinely inspired actions of our community in service to humanity.
Fancy memes splaining what “a Witch is” are not helpful if they are not accompanied by example. It is time to be known for the positive actions we take in the world, our ability to clearly enunciate our theology and not our prattling of denials.