So as we know the media occasionally likes to make a cheap buck out of pointing at Pagans and shouting, "Oooooh look at the weirdos!". Now when they do that to the whole community it's bad enough. However when they single out those Pagans who are putting their lives on the line and serving our country, it's damn right despicable.
Yesterday a story by Jimmy Nsubuga, a journalist - (and I use the term "journalist" loosely) - for Metro appeared on their website entitled "Witches and Druids among new recruits for army according to MoD data". Hmmmm... let's take a closer look at it shall we.
"Figures released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) showed almost 1,000 new staff had declared themselves members of the niche faiths, according the Sunday People."
It becomes clear at this point the rest of the article is a quick rehash of another article that appeared in the Mirror on Saturday, written by Sean Rayment. Well done Mr Nsubuga & the Metro, not only do you pass on bigoted drivel, you pass on bigoted drivel you ripped-off from someone else!
So to the Mirror article.
"Witches, pagans, druids and spiritualists have joined our armed forces in the past two years, recruitment figures reveal."
Yes I remember that big advertising campaign the armed forces did to welcome us freaks, letting us know we could all go and serve our country... oh... no... wait... the other thing! What actually happened was that after having many people of minority faiths serving in the armed forces for years, they eventually got acknowledged and their numbers recorded on some statistics.
The rest of the article continues in derogatory style, making shoddy jokes about "Witches and warlocks [finding] their broomsticks handy in the RAF" and "HMS Hogwarts".
From here Mr Rayment makes an hilarious attempt to give his article some sort of credibility.
"...sources claim the MoD has been forced to widen its recruiting base after sacking thousands of sailors, soldiers and airmen."
Really? What sources would they be? People working for the MoD? An advertising professional who worked on this recruitment drive? A bloke you met in the pub? Someone you made-up?
"Another explanation is a fear of discrimination accusations if applicants are rejected on grounds of faith."
WHAT!? You're not allowed to discriminate on grounds of faith anymore!? Next you'll be telling me you can't be birched for disobeying your husband!
"An insider said: “They’re obliged to accept any religion, however inappropriate. Do we really want soldiers who believe they can cast spells on the enemy? This is about being ‘on message’ and has nothing to do with being combat-effective.”
We want to create a workforce which is drawn from the breadth of the society we defend. We give the opportunity to practise religious observances, provided it does not conflict with core values and standards."