I have to say, the choice of language is a little… sad. As a NeoPagan, and a proud one at that, I’m agreeing with Jason Pitzl-Waters and saying that, personally, I’m really not offended, and not just because her manner of “insulting” us is by calling us “nasty” and “bad”. If I was, say, four, then yes, perhaps I would be offended. But as it stands, I have to say that I disagree with (and find a little sad) the reaction of the general NeoPagan community, who are stating that Gifford’s comment, clearly not thought out, amounts to “hate speech”.
Why are we offended by the remarks of a woman who is clearly of sub-par intellect? Are we really that desperate to “prove” our persecution by secular society that we find it necessary to voice (over)reactionary, knee-jerk responses? Why are we wasting time trying to protest this stupidity, when there are plenty of real cases of discrimination occurring every day?
I agree that all discriminatory comments, no matter how stupid they are, are unacceptable. That doesn’t mean I’m going to take to court the next idiot who tells me that my religion isn’t real/valid. There’s such a thing as choosing your battles (I can think of better ones, the case of legal and political discrimination in the UK for a start), and I really don’t think these calls to petition and letter-write in order to try and “make” Gifford apologise to NeoPagans are the best use of our time and effort. We’d be better off fighting the more pressing issues of legal, political or religious discrimination, like that mentioned above, or trying to better our image in the public eye by promoting ourselves as rational human beings, rather than reactionary extremists who fly off the handle at the first signs of criticism (as is true of all extremist factions of any religion). Ring talkback radio shows and point out that perhaps Gifford’s television coaches should provide her with a better vocabulary, since she’s clearly not going to bother learning anything about what she’s talking about.