This is Not a Sitcom October 27, 2007

This is Not a Sitcom

True story.

Wiccans move into small-town Bible-Belt-ish Christian community in Illinois.

They set up their own school.

Chaos ensues.

The Christians meet in the local high school’s gym to discuss what to do:

As more than 150 people filed into the shuttered high school Wednesday night for the meeting, Andy Thomas, youth minister at the Rossville Church of Christ, said residents had a spiritual responsibility to drive the witches out. If they didn’t, he said, young people were in danger of being pulled off the Christian path.

“Rossville has fallen on hard times,” Thomas said. “The school closed. This is a popular place for meth. We’re like, ‘Great, now a witch school.’ It feels like we’re being attacked.”

It gets better.

The high school brimmed with excitement as night fell and old and young filed into the gym.

But when Robert Kurka, the featured speaker, stepped to the lectern, an unexpected thing happened. Instead of leading a pep rally against the witches, the professor at Lincoln Christian College and Seminary delivered an academic lecture comparing Wicca and Christianity.

The Wiccans were not dangerous, Kurka said. They simply adhere to a flawed religion.

“I know you’re thinking, ‘This is amazingly dry,'” he said. “But when you sit down and take the spin off, you start to see that this is not that interesting.”

Kurka encouraged the crowd to try to convert the Wiccans rather than drive them away.

Yep. This should end well.

Neither side gets points for intelligent soundbytes:

“We don’t want [the Wiccans] to go in there and get potions to put hexes on their friends,” said Deb Robling, co-owner of a beauty salon on Chicago Street. Robling, also one of Rossville Church of Christ’s 230 members, helped organize Wednesday night’s meeting.

[CEO of Witch School International Donald] Lewis said he believes a mother goddess gave birth to the world and can take a variety of forms—”like Jesus or nature or even Mickey Mouse.” He said he believes in reincarnation and communicating with the dead. He said he also believes in magic, and openly calls himself a witch.

Which side do you take? (And you have to take one.)

Do you support the paranoid Christians trying to drive away a non-existent threat? (I promise the Wiccans’ hexes won’t do anything…)

Or do you support the Wiccans who believe in pseudoscience like talking to the dead and reincarnation and offer a course in their school on “zombies”?


(Thanks to Ben for the link!)

[tags]atheist, atheism, Wicca, Rossville[/tags]

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Kate

    Hard to choose a side?

    I chose one in .5 seconds. WICCANS.

    The Wiccans are hate-rallying to push others out of the town!!! Easy easy.

  • This would be a better sitcom than those Geico Cavemen.

  • Siamang

    I side with the wiccans.

    They don’t view the Christians as a supernatural evil bent on swallowing people’s souls… they just want left alone.

  • Why do we have to take a side? I don’t see any laws being broken and I don’t live in the community, so I don’t interact with anyone in the town.

    I’m not sure why some atheists are especially sympathetic toward pagans. Sure, they don’t proselytize and they have a right to practice their beliefs, but they’re just as irrational as Christians.

  • Hank

    A course on zombies? Where do I sign up?

  • Hmmm…They are all theists to me… I side with the free exercise of religion clause to let them both have their silly beliefs.

  • Anatoly

    Zombies are cooler than Jesus, so I’d have to go with the Wiccans on this one.

  • Karen

    I’m not sure why some atheists are especially sympathetic toward pagans. Sure, they don’t proselytize and they have a right to practice their beliefs, but they’re just as irrational as Christians.

    Probably because they are an especially repressed and reviled minority in this country. There’s no doubt atheists can relate to that state of affairs. 😉

  • Maria

    as far as which religion is better, neither. I’ve seen too many scary people on both sides. in this particular case though, I think if they just left the wiccans alone everything would probably be alright………

  • Kate

    Wow…so apparently my first comment made me look like a major dumbass. I meant the Christians are hate-rallying. Duh. I was in the lab all day running experiments and had a participant finish one task early while I was playing around on the internets…idiot comment on my part. 😉

  • Polly

    Zombies are cooler than Jesus, so I’d have to go with the Wiccans on this one

    Oh, biblically ignorant one. Read your Bible. 😛
    Jesus’s followers ate his flesh and drank his blood so they could share his reanimation powers. Then, he came back from the dead with unhealed gaping wounds. Duh, Jesus IS a zombie.
    btw-I’d totally take a class about zombies.

  • Julie

    You gotta go with the Wiccans this close to Halloween.

  • Mriana

    Oh good grief! These people are unbelievable. 🙄 Whose side am I on? I don’t know. I say leave the Wiccans alone. They aren’t there to hurt anyone. They aren’t there to attack anyone, so I have no clue why the X-ians feel they are being attacked, just because Wiccans are there and exist. Flawed religion? No more flawed than X-ianity when you get down to it.

    Jesus’s followers ate his flesh and drank his blood so they could share his reanimation powers.

    It’s called theophagy. I was watching this show about Vampires on the History channel. I’ll share this laugh with all of you- one of the Vampire Specialists said a case could be made that JC was a vampire because he rose from the dead. 😆 Ok now that one was a good one, but I see nothing, unlike previous mythilogical stories- like Horus and Osiris- to support this claim.

  • Richard Wade

    The full article linked above reveals a lot of insight. This is a town of 1200 people, 125 miles south of Chicago. Local factories have closed along with the local high school, and a suspicious fire has gutted much of their downtown. They have a methamphetamine problem.

    In short, it’s a typical dying rural town.

    So beleaguered by so many problems do they step up to their responsibilities to attract new businesses, revamp their school system to attract new families, find effective approaches to substance abuse and drug trafficking and move their town out of the cornfields-and-smokestacks model of rural economy?

    No, they find a completely unrelated scapegoat on which to focus their frustration. So after someone eventually firebombs the Wiccan storefront and the town drives out the “evil witches,” will they fix all the real problems that plague their town and that only they can fix? Probably not. They’ll just pray more comfortably, more self-assuredly in their churches as their insular, xenophobic little town crumbles into dust and blows away as so many others have before.

    It’s not a question of which “side” to take. Failing communities have cheap rent. People with unfamiliar ideas and ways will be attracted to the opportunity. If the locals reject everything and everyone but what they’re used to, it’s over for them. Their status quo has already failed.

    The town has to, like any living thing, adapt or die.

  • Darryl

    I’m cheering for both sides. Crisis and chaos are what these dumb-asses are most in need of. Something good is bound to come of this. If nothing else, it is instructive.

  • PrimateIR

    There’s a lot of money to be made selling armaments to the Christians: guns, knives, zombie repellent. The Wicans probably create their own defense systems from roots and berries and probably only when extremely provoked.

    I’m going to have to side with capitalism and a healthy economy. I choose the Christians.

  • Mriana

    Richard, none of what you mentioned is the Wiccan people’s fault. Of course, I know the superstitious believe it is. 🙄

  • Richard Wade

    Mriana, I don’t think even the most superstitious townsfolk blame the Wiccans for their town’s well-entrenched troubles, since most of that happened before the Wiccans arrived. They’re all upset about imagined future problems such as kids joining covens or their cow being hexed. Scapegoating is useful for more than fixing a causal blame. It’s also good for distracting attention away from problems that in part may be consequences of their own neglect, shortsightedness and backward attitudes. They may not want to look at that.

    Imagine if they could fill that high school gym with over 150 people as fervent and earnest about finding creative solutions for their economic and social problems as they are about this silly, childish medieval bullshit. Their town would be in good shape again.

  • Mriana

    They need to quit worrying about their children joining a coven and start worrying about their town before it becomes a ghost town.

  • Mercredi

    If I had to choose sides, I’d be for the Wiccans. All other things being equal, I feel it’s important to stand up for the underdogs. Not (to paraphrase Sam Vimes) because there’s anything particularly noble about them, but because they’re not the overdogs.

  • Pat

    So they are willing to run wiccans out of town to protect their beliefs.. yet not put the same energy into protecting their children from meth. If they even put a quarter of the effort into stopping meth as they have into this wiccan meeting, meth would no longer be a problem.

  • PrimateIR

    Funny. I just now found out that a Coven is forming in my tiny conservative town. Perhaps its the new hot thing.

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