We all know the Daily Mail loves to publish stories designed to outrage the religious, stirring up the idea that believers, especially Christians, are becoming marginalised in an increasingly secular Britain. And we all know that those stories are usually nonsense, and as such we give them as little attention as they deserve. But every now and then the Mail comes up with a story that seems custom-built to outrage secularists. Take this story from yesterday – "Police officers who practise witchcraft to get Pagan Police Association and their own religious holidays". Outrageous! Surely this is religious privilege and political correctness gone mad, etc, etc...
Except, of course, you need to attach as much credibility to stories like this as you do to those warning of runaway secularism. For just that reason, I hadn't really bothered paying much attention to the story, despite seeing a few examples of 140-character outrage on Twitter. But then this morning I was reading the blog Heresy Corner, and noticed that the blogger there, The Heresiarch (his real name, of course), had done a nice demolition job on the story. He always does a good job of demolishing nonsense like this, so I thought I'd share this one with you.
Basically, the "story" is a non-story. The Mail even gives that away itself in the 9th line when, in the same sentence in which they imply that pagan rozzers will be given festivals like Halloween and the solstice off, they also state "these will have to come out of their annual leave". Which, of course, everyone with a job is entitled to.
Besides, it's hard not to side with the main pagan police officer featured in the article when you learn that "he is a heathen – which means he worships Norse gods including hammer-wielding Thor, one-eyed Odin and Freyr, the god of fertility who is equipped with a huge phallus." Because at the very least that's much cooler than reading the Daily Mail, isn't it?