Wiccans in British Columbia, and an example of mediocre framing

I’ve been quiet lately because I was trying to get ready for an exciting trip with family, but I’ve come down with an annoying infection and am not allowed to travel. It’s proving pretty stubborn, so I’m resting a lot. I hope to be back to my usual hijinks in a week or so.

In the meantime, here’s an interesting story about how corrections officials in British Columbia initially arranged to try to hire a Wiccan chaplain, but the decision was reversed by a higher official – or at least it is on hold pending further review. The government official’s office insists he supports freedom of religion, but that “the government is not convinced all services offered through the chaplaincy program reflect an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.”

The article’s coverage isn’t too bad – although one of the Wiccans quoted makes the cardinal mistake of bad framing by saying that people have an unfairly “negative image” of Wicca. We don’t know whether or not she was prompted, but denying that we are “devil worshippers” is generally the wrong tack to take. The counter-characterization as “tree-huggers,” is only marginally better, but it’s at least more neutral and vaguely true, even if commonly used as an insult.

Remember, if you’re going to speak to the media, be prepared. Think about your framing. Don’t bring up ridiculous ideas and prejudices. If you’re confronted with them, downplay them and return to your positive message.

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About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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2 Responses to Wiccans in British Columbia, and an example of mediocre framing

  1. THANK YOU! Sometimes I think there are fewer than a dozen Pagans who understand this. It is always great to find another.

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