Beneath the surface of the public South African Pagan community, an entity forged largely by common identity and composed of numerous independent groups and individuals, lies a general malaise of discontent. Its origin lies firmly embedded in a perceived entitlement, by a tiny and variable minority within the larger community, to prejudice. It is self-evident that those who accuse me of causing dissent and division in the South African Pagan community, are themselves solely guilty of sowing dissent and causing division; of channeling and feeding the lumbering monster of discontent within their own insular communities. Their accusations are simply projections of insecurity by those with prejudice. I am their straw-man.
DAMON LEFF. Public schools are neither Christian nor religious schools, they are secular schools in which diverse religions are legally permitted to be taught in Life Orientation classes in a non-partisan way only! That includes Occult religions such as Paganism, Witchcraft and Satanism, none of which may legally be classified by Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi or the Department of Education as “harmful religions”!
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF. Penton is looking for a Copy Editor with experience in web publication willing to work for free. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
DAMON LEFF. Don’t be fooled by the S.A. Prayer Movement for Change. They’re not praying for peaceful elections; they’re praying for the violent destruction and suppression of identified religious and gender minorities. Is inciting the general public to psychically and spiritually attack Witches, Freemasons, Muslims, Pagans, Esoterics and Satanists through prayer protected under the constitutional guarantee to religious belief? Are curses by Christians not equally actionable? If not, is it because they are ineffective, or because they are sanctioned by the state?
DAMON LEFF. South African mainstream media is complicit in engendering moral panic. An unfair criticism of journalists, editors and media publications? No! Resurgent moral panic has taken hold of our nation’s psyche and the evidence suggests the South African media (with minuscule exception) is completely complicit.
DAMON LEFF. City Press journalist Nokuthula Manyathi incorrectly alleged that MWEB had apologised to SAPRA, and attributed a false statement to SAPRA’s director. But the article highlighted another common offending error, one committed by virtually all South African editors – an editorial stylebook bias against Pagans.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF. This year Penton I.P.M. did not win the SA Blog Awards in the category ‘Best religious / spirituality blog’. Winning isn’t everything. We know we fill an alternative spirituality niche in the South African media market and that our content isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.