The clip shows a few of the hosts picking apart a guide by the University of Missouri that the anchors claim is about when to schedule tests.
The article got even more interesting at the end, where one of their experts (Tammy Bruce, apparently credentialed on the subject because she has a narcissistic radio show entitled, "The Tammy Bruce Show") indicated:
It almost seems as though we’re looking for excuses for people to not have to take their commitments seriously. It’s beyond political correctness; it’s almost like an excuse to do nothing. It’s like societal nihilism, where nothing matters.
In other words, observing your religion is not already a commitment that you're taking seriously. It's doing "nothing." I'll just leave that statement alone, because it speaks of ignorance all on its own, and any person of any faith or practice will see just how insulting the statement is.
Now, here's the thing: the clip above, and most of the news stories don't actually describe the 20 holidays "Witches get." Initially, I thought perhaps it was the Eight High Days (which most any Pagan can name) plus the 12 Full Moons (which would be odd, since there are 13 "regular" moons on most lunar calendars).
So, because the "20" number didn't quite make sense, I went digging. . . and I found the actual "Major Holidays and Suggested Accommodations" document on the MU website (to say it took 10 minutes of Googling would be a stretch). Then I started counting.
Sure enough, the 8 High Days were there. This was no surprise, and for a concise definition of the High Days, it's not half bad. I might even suggest we add it as a resource for the ADF Dedicant Path, since there are so few quality resources out there for the High Days.
Anyway, there are 47 total holidays listed. Only 8 are listed as "Pagan/Wiccan." What this means is that Fox and Friends did some rough calculation and defined "Pagan/Wiccan" a bit more broadly than most people (or any respected news source) would: essentially, if it isn't Abrahamic, it's "Wiccan."
A quick count shows the breakdown is as follows:
- Wiccan/Pagan: 8 holidays
- Hindu: 5 holidays
- Buddhist: 3 holidays
- Baha'i: 3 holidays
- Shinto: 2 holidays
- Sikh: 2 holidays
- Jain: 1 holiday
- Taoist: 1 holiday
- Confucian: 1 holiday
- Jewish: 11 holidays
- Christian (Protestant/RC): 7 holidays
- Christian (E. Orthodox): 4 holidays
- Islam: 3 holidays
Because of holidays shared by multiple religions, we can summarize it as:
Total Abrahamic: 25
Total non-Abrahamic: 22 holidays
Highest incidence: Jewish Holidays
Additionally, the guide is clearly not a policy about the scheduling of tests: it merely lets students and faculty know when personal religious commitments may not allow someone to perform their best on homework, exams, or papers due to personal religious observances that they may feel obliged to keep. . . because some people do consider their religious commitments to be things they should take seriously.
One should never let the facts stand in their way, I suppose, of a good "political correctness gone mad" story, but news agencies that can't count bother me a bit. Especially when the new agency suggests that religious observance is a form of being lazy, and then doesn't bother to check their sources before chatting about how outrageous it is on-air to a large audience.
Perhaps this is why the hosts of Fox and Friends felt no one could name "all 20" of the Wiccan holidays: they've decided that Hindus, Buddhists, and everyone who isn't them are all "witches." I wonder how they feel about that?
Now that's quality journalism, right there.