Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Similkameen Spotlight week of Oct. 25, 2004)

Witches Have Feelings Too

  By John Martin

In a matter of weeks the pre-Christmas season will be upon us.  And one of the enduring regularities you can count on is bureaucrats and liberals frantically running around ensuring there are no public displays or celebrations of the dreaded “Christmas” holiday.  Schools and government facilities will be warned and threatened with lawsuits and human rights complaints that they best avoid the very mention of the word, “Christmas”, lest someone gets offended.

Yes, it’s pathetic.  But this is where the era of political correctness has delivered us.

Curiously, there is absolutely no proactive government backlash against public celebrations of religious events by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and most of all, Muslims. These are in fact encouraged, and even financed, through multicultural funding.  Only Christian events are considered so offensive that they must be censored and banned from public space.  But liberal hypocrisy and double standards have long been the norm.

Witness that there has been no move to officially ban and prohibit the celebration of Halloween festivities in public schools.  Even though Halloween, or Witches’ New Year, is a special occasion for Pagans and Wiccans, there has never been an attempt to eradicate it, as is the case with Christmas. 

Until now.

It appears school officials in Puyallup, Washington have decided to ban Halloween celebrations in the district’s schools.  This is liberal stupidity and must be disappointing news to the kids who were looking forward to a little fun.  But at least school officials are being consistent in prohibiting quasi-religious events.

Or so I thought.

It turns out the decision to ban Halloween has nothing to do with censoring a Pagan/Wicca event, in the same spirit as Christian celebrations have been officially stifled.  Rather, Halloween parties have been banned because school officials determined the festivities were disrespectful to real witches.  I’m not making this up.  I don’t think I could come up with something this knuckleheaded if I tried.

Officials claim that Halloween celebrations tend to stereotypically depict witches as shrivelled-up, grotesque looking hags with pointy noses.  Much like Sheila Copps.  And that, so we’re told, is degrading to real witches.

Apparently school officials have come to the conclusion that they must treat witches like any other minority group and avoid anything that might offend them.  A memo circulated throughout the school district suggests, “the Wicca religion is a bona fide religion under the law, and its followers are entitled to all the protections afforded more mainstream religions. Building administrators should not tolerate such inappropriate stereotyping (images such as Witches on flying brooms, stirring cauldrons, casting spells, or with long noses and pointed hats) and instead address them as you would hurtful stereotypes of any other minority."

I guess this is all about being sensitive and tolerant and sparing Washington area witches from being ridiculed.  I trust real life vampires, werewolves, mummies and gilla monsters will be equally appreciative.  Not to mention those misunderstood creatures stitched together from various bits and pieces found rummaging through the cemetery. 

So Halloween is to be done away with because it is offensive to real witches.  Okay, silly liberals.  What’s next?

How about we eliminate Remembrance Day because it offends draft dodgers?  And maybe we should do away with Thanksgiving because eating turkey is offensive to vegetarians and animal rights whackos.  And while we’re at it, let’s pull the curtain on Valentine’s Day because it might be unsettling to that guy who had the baboon heart transplant a couple years ago.

But when I consider all these useless, government bureaucrats trying to tell real people how to live their lives, there’s one day we really should eliminate.  Their payday.

John Martin is a Criminologist at the University College of the Fraser Valley and can be contacted at

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