June 2008 Appalachian Pagan Alliance newsletter

Editress Ginger Strivelli

Summer Solstice came and went already, we here at the APA 
do hope y’all took time to celebrate it, too many Pagans ‘do’ 
Yule up big but forget Summer Solstice in June. The Strivelli 
Clan all goes to the beach yearly for the holiday and I 
suggest everyone who worships the Mother Earth and the Father 
Sun God, try to remember all the Solar holidays not just 
Yule and Beltane. In other words you Yule and Beltane Pagans 
out there, get off your rump and celebrate the full year long!


Pagans are … What!?
On Wednesday, June 25, 2008, Kathie Lee Gifford, co-host of 
NBC’s Today Show ignited a controversy when she referred to 
Pagans as “nasty” and “bad” during a segment on the 
morning infotainment about weddings. Gifford read a quiz 
which asked viewers why the wedding ring is worn on the left 
hand rather than the right. She read the first two entries 
as written, but on the final which read “Pagans believed it 
was bad luck to carry metal on your right side” she departed 
from the wording and said, “The Pagans, the nasty, bad, 
Pagans, believed ...” Gifford, a born-again Christian, 
seemed unaware that her comments had offended anyone. 
However, they did. Pagans and their supporters roundly 
denounced Gifford’s insensitive remarks – some going 
as far as to launch a petition initiative demanding 
an apology from Gifford and threatening a boycott of 
the segment’s sponsor, Samsung. Their petition at 
Care2Petitionsite has garnered nearly 3,000 signatures 
and terms Gifford’s remarks 
“hate speech.”
Members of the Appalachian Pagan Alliance were also 
outraged by Gifford’s remarks. Letters were drafted by 
some members of the APA calling upon Gifford to consider 
how she would feel should someone refer to Christians as 
“nasty” and “bad” and reminding her that Christians have 
a rather sketchy history when it comes to calling others 
“nasty” and “bad.” The letters pointed out that the 
Christian atrocities during the Crusades, the Reformation, 
and the Medieval Witch Hunts hardly gives any Christian the 
right to label others as “nasty” and “bad.” Other letters 
castigated Gifford’s remarks as “bigoted,” “ignorant,” and 
Not all Pagans think that a boycott is called for, though. 
Jason Pitzl-Waters, chief blogger at The Wild Hunt, doesn’t 
think Kathie Lee deserves the hullabaloo. Calling her 
“vacuous,” he stated that while her comments were ill-conceived, 
they don’t qualify as hate speech: “Hate speech is something 
very specific, and Gifford's off-the-cuff riffing on a 
trivia question doesn't even come close to qualifying.” 
Be that as it may, APA Leading Priestess Ginger Strivelli 
says that the incident has led to more activism than the 
Appalachian Pagan Alliance has seen in quite some time. 
Hopefully, Gifford and NBC will realize that Pagans 
deserve just as much respect as Hindus, Muslims, Jews,
 and Christians. They’re not just hanging out in the 
broom closet anymore.

Quote of the Month to ponder:

“The men the American people admire most extravagantly 
are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently 
are those who try to tell them the truth.”  H.L. Mencken

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