Letters to the Editor: March 21, 2012

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Modern paganism and old celebration unalike
Re: “St. Patrick’s day celebrations a threat to West” March 14
The opinion piece “St. Patrick’s day celebrations a threat to West” reflects a hateful opinion of those in the pagan community. The article references definitions of paganism that are outdated, biased and disrespectful. None of the definitions used were from actual pagans or those who were experts on paganism. I am a member of this community, which is typically one of acceptance and understanding, and I was deeply hurt by this piece.

Comparing a festival several millennia old to modern paganism is completely inaccurate. Modern paganism includes much more than what this opinion shows. As a member of a club that accepts those who identify themselves as pagan or another alternative religion, it is pieces like this that make people afraid to be open about their beliefs.
–Rhianna Whitton

Article is hateful and inappropriate
Re: “St. Patrick’s day celebrations a threat to West” March 14
Hayden Starczala’s column, entitled “St. Patrick’s day celebrations a threat to the West,” was a hateful and inappropriate piece, and I don’t understand why it has a place in a school newspaper – a school that is meant to be renowned for its sense of community.

Not only does this column paint the modern pagan as a threat to civilization, but as a villainous cesspool of “sin” and “debauchery.” It’s chilling that these medieval stereotypes exist, even still. I have met Ceremonial Magicians and Satanists who have been kinder and more accepting than the ideas that are thrown together in this opinion piece.

Furthermore, the connection of paganism does not appear to have any founding within the arguments written. The article seemed only to use paganism for title value, as the rest dealt with unrelated issues. So, why was such an obvious slight on the pagan community encouraged by publication? This is particularly hurtful as the columnist then blamed paganism – something that he obviously has never encountered, much less tried to understand – for the fall of society as it stands now.

I understand that this is an opinion piece, and I do not aim to change any one person’s opinion about paganism. I simply ask that we are treated with equal respect as any other religious group, or as any “non-believer” regardless of denominations between. This article was hateful, inappropriate and threatening.
– Kylie MacKay

Some opinions shouldn’t be published
Re: “St. Patrick’s day celebrations a threat to West” March 14
Hayden is factually incorrect and clearly hasn’t done any real research into what a pagan is, what the issues are in the case of the Georgetown student, the basic beliefs of his own religion or fertility rates and their relation to economics.

He follows absolutely no structure and is a complete mess. I gather that the author believes that western society is degrading, but his points are all over the place and don’t follow a rational or well thought-out plan. It’s like he took some “facts” and quotes, threw them at a wall and saw which ones stuck.

The author just throws quotes and anecdotes around but does not really attempt to link them in anyway. The fact that you allowed this to be published clearly shows that your standards for submissions are quite low.

It’s full of hateful, over the top rhetoric that belongs more on Fox News than it does in a university newspaper. The suggestion that we must chose between children and the elderly is entirely absurd and clearly shows the authors skewed worldviews. As someone who identifies as Catholic I am ashamed to see someone use religion to spread such ignorant ideas.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not everyone is entitled to getting their opinion published. I ask that you please take better care when selecting your next opinion pieces. Religious extremists should not be given a soap box from which to spread their hate speech.
– Chris Lemon


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