Religion Dispatches corrected an article that said that Wiccans “don’t worship a dude at all, but a female goddess,” after readers wrote in to say that Wicca usually involves interpreting the divine as having both male and female forms.
Gary Laderman’s article, “‘Republicanity’—The GOP Transformation is Nearly Complete,” argues that the Republican party is functioning more and more like a religion. Instead of claiming it is becoming the political front of Evangelical Christianity, Laderman describes “Republicanity” as having myths, rituals, ethics, and theology of its own, some of which are Evangelical in nature, but many which treat politics as a sort of religion in and of itself. Under that last heading, Laderman mentioned multiple religions and briefly described their views of deity, ending with the quote above.
I wrote in with examples drawn from the Covenant of the Goddess (perhaps misleadingly named, as I noted), the Pagan Federation, and the old but oft-reproduced Council of American Witches’ “Principles of Wiccan Beliefs,” all three of which showed that Wicca is not purely about Goddess worship. The article has been corrected, with language that indicates the editors may have received multiple letters on the subject; mine has been reprinted below the article.
I’m thrilled that RD moved quickly and decisively to correct what was a factual error on their part. I didn’t want to belabor the point in my letter to the editor, but there’s one other thing that is an issue in their original phrasing: “a female goddess.” What other kinds of goddesses are there?
RD’s correction is a great step in the right direction, especially for a ‘zine that tries to be equitable to readers of many different religions (and has more mentions of minority religions than any other outlet I read regularly!). But the repetitive “female goddess,” and the fact that in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, someone thought Wicca only allowed goddess worship, shows that the idea of the Divine Feminine can still be unusual and surprising, even to people who study religion for a living.
Let’s be grateful for this step forward, and let it remind us that we are making progress with a radical idea just by holding the Goddess up for devotion along with the God. We’ve made tremendous progress; let’s keep going.