Yesterday (Sunday, February 17, 2012), Fox and Friends made this report over University of Missouri's Guide to Religions
segment over holidays, which now includes Pagan and Wiccan holidays such as Samhain, Yule, and Belfast.
The following quotes are color coded for your convenience.
"MU": NO EXAMS ON WICCAN & PAGAN HOLIDAYS
You know we're in for a treat when the headline graphic is incorrect. First of all, the accommodations on the holiday page are recommendations, not mandates. Second of all, none of the Pagans holidays have any accommodations below them. In comparison, all eleven Jewish holidays have accommodations listed, seven of which suggest avoiding deadlines or other important activities.
"There are more Zoroastrians here than there are Wiccans."
According to the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) of 2001
, there are 44 Wiccans and 42 Pagans for every one Zoroastrian. While I was unable to find any recent official data that was this detailed, I doubt that much has changed from these drastic difference in numbers in the United States.
"The bad side of Wiccanism is it's obviously a form of witchcraft."
This is opinion, not fact. It harkens back to the Satanic Scare of the 80s, a time that we should not repeat. Also, it would be "Wicca," not "Wiccanism."
"Twenty percent of all school holidays as described by the University of Missouri are Wiccan holidays."
As I mentioned before, these aren't "school holidays" in the sense that school is off on those days. In fact, I don't see any religious holidays on the academic calendar
being observed. Also there are eight Pagan holidays out of 47 total, making it closer to 17%. In comparison, there are eleven Jewish holidays or 23%.
"I think [. . .] Pagans and Wiccans [are] being used for a political agenda to downgrade what's important to a majority of Americans."
This is another opinion, this time wrapped around paranoid speculation. There are hardly any political gains to be had from this university including Pagan and Wiccan holidays on it's guide to religions. It isn't about degrading other religions on the list, but about being inclusive to a growing population of Pagan followers.
"You get twenty holidays now if you're a Wiccan"
I believe this is an honest flub from the 20% statistic, which was already skewed to begin with. Still, it's worth mentioning.
"Any religion whose most sacred day is Halloween, I just can't take seriously. I mean... Call me a bigot."
First of all, the holiday you're looking for is Samhain, which according to MU's Guide to Religions page consists of, "paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died."
It would be like if I trivialized Christmas by saying that any religion that believes in Santa Claus, I can't take seriously. Both of these are unfair arguments.
Also, I might just take you up on your offer to call you a bigot.
"I went and interviewed a number of Wiccans and they say 'Look, we are the most peaceful individuals. We don't practice crazy things. We're just of the earth.'"
Wait... Did he just state an informed opinion of Wicca? Someone buy a cake so we can celebrate!
"I think that's right. Every Wiccan I've ever known is either a compulsive Dungeons and Dragons player or is a middle-aged twice divorced older woman living in a rural area who works as a midwife."
"...and likes a lot of incense."
Never mind! Don't bother the baker. Geez, talk about your sweeping generalizations and caricatures.
Apparently, journalism no longer requires people to research. The entirety of this three minute report is filled with uninformed opinions with only a glimmer of hope near the end before it collapses into pure caricature. They were so close, but it just didn't stick.