Four druids in traditional pagan costumes – according to the Daily Mail
News today that Nazi propaganda rag the Daily Mail continues its unhealthy fascination with pagans by running a piece on them that stoops to its usual levels of journalistic credibility. To wit: amongst the Metropolitan Police Force there are apparently four spiritualists, “a pagan and a DRUID” (sic) who are serving officers.
Yeah I know, technically they could have said “four spiritualists and two pagans,” and the article does correct itself later on. Still, what’s a little yellow-journalism when trying to concoct a good headline? Nevertheless: just in case there are Daily Mail readers coming to my blog to receive enlightenment to the true state of affairs, and more importantly for the comedy value to the rest of my millions of readers, I will continue.
This all comes about after someone made a Freedom of Information request to the Met in relation to non-mainstream religions. In relation to the one officer who is a druid, the Mail helpfully explains
According to the Romans, Druids practised human sacrifice 2,000 years ago, but modern day druidism – called neo-Druidism – focuses on the worship of nature, especially trees.
Pagans are described as people
… which worship a string of gods and festivals according to archaic religions which pre-date Christianity.
Spiritualists are described thus:
Spiritualists and mediums believe that there is life after death and that by holding seances, the dead can talk to the living, either through direct communication or the Ouija board.
I’m not actually sure that this is the case! If the marketing for Ouija boards is anything to go by, most of those who use them are silly people with no occult training who are out to scare themselves for kicks. Becoming a proper medium, on the other hand, involves several years training within a development circle, so that one learns not only to contact the departed but also to do so in a safe, respectful, and appropriate manner – and not to freak out when doing so. Nevertheless: I’m surprised they don’t employ more mediums – after all they could come in immensely useful in solving homicide cases!
Mercifully, the Daily Mail goes on to reassure us that:
The list found that no officers were Devil worshippers – also known as Occultists …
Cheers, Daily Mail, for lumping all occultists as Devil worshippers! Nevertheless, though, the good news is that police officers are perfectly entitled, legally speaking, to hold beliefs such as paganism and druidism due to freedom of religion being enshrined in UK Human rights law. However, perhaps the most blatant display of editorial bias on the Daily Mail’s part is that in relation to advice from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the paper says:
Druids, vegans and green activists should be given special treatment at work, according to ‘lunatic’ advice from the equalities watchdog.
Inevitably the last word is given to a rent-a-quote Tory MP, Dominic Raab, who says
This is a recipe for every crank and crazy to take their boss for a ride. The EHRC has become an expensive taxpayer-funded laughing stock.
So next time you are in London for a drunken night-out in Leicester Square – or celebrating the death of Britain’s greatest Prime Minister – or both – spare a thought that there is a one in 15,500 chance that the officer arresting you is in fact a Pagan, and consequently liable to be labelled by the Mail as a lunatic.
Church of England creating its own Pagan Church… or not, as the case may be.
Dearly beloved brethren, let us now sing our next hymn, “My Erotic Angel” by Inkubus/Sukkubus.
It’s that time of year again when tired internet hacks try to capitalise on the symbolism of the Summer Solstice in a pathetic attempt to drive traffic to their website. But enough about me, and let’s have a good chortle at what journalists around the web have been down to recently. 😉
Your humble blogmaster’s interest was briefly awakened this morning when I saw a news report saying that the Church of England is trying to create its own Pagan Church. The otherwise sensible Daily Telegraph even went as far as saying:
This reminds me of a sketch from Not The Nine O’Clock News some thirty years ago, in which the premise was that the Church of England was so desperate for members that it was now accepting practising Satanists into its ranks. Cue trendy vicars trying to justify why this was a sensible proposition.
As always, the truth is far more boring. Since the news report first came out, the Church Mission Service – the body alleged to be wanting to create this Pagan CofE church – has issued a clarification:
The Jesus Deck – Christian oracle cards!
The story may have come about due to the fact that a member of the CMS attended a Lammas festival in Eastbourne last year, and did “readings” for visitors to her tent, with something called the Jesus Deck. Presumably a cunning plan to prosetelyse Tarot enthusiasts!
Perhaps though, the CMS could teach the Catholic Church in Ireland a thing or two. The Association of Catholic Priests there has said that Irish people have “to all intents and purposes, become pagan.” NB: in the mind of the ACP this is supposedly a Bad Thing. Their response however is bizarre. Ask any right-thinking person why this state of affairs might have come to pass, and they will probably say it is because the Irish Church has made a complete balls-up, including most notably – but not exclusively – the scandal surrounding its treatment of child molesters. Ah no, says the ACP, it is because the Irish have been seduced by the evils of materialism and consumerism – it’s not the Church’s fault at all! Hence the answer is not wholesale reform of the Church but more evangelisation. Which is another way of saying more of the kind of stuff that got it into so much trouble in the first place.
Filed under Comment, Religion
Tagged as catholic church, church of england, paganism, Solstice