If University of Missouri students don’t have any exams this next October 31, their relief would be more accurately expressed by saying “Thank the moon goddess” than “Thank God.” Actually, I’m not sure what role any moon goddesses play in the pagan new year celebrated on Halloween, it just sounded good and pagan-y. Enjoy that throw away joke now, because in twenty years it’s going to be wildly offensive.
According to a Fox News report, the University of Missouri has issued a guide to its faculty, titled “Guide to Religions: Major Holidays and Suggested Accommodations,” which highlights the major holidays of many religions, including Paganism and Wiccan, and in most cases includes a university recommended academic accommodation for the holiday. This is not a new guide; an updated version is issued every year.
Before anyone gets all, “GAHHHH THAT’S SO POLITICALLY CORRECT AND STUPID! ONLY JESUS CAN CANCEL TESTS!” or “FUCK YEAH, NO CALC EXAM NEXT WEEK CUZ THE WICCAN GDI GIRL IN MY CLASS IS ON HER PERIOD!” you should know that there aren’t actually any recommended accommodations for the Pagan or Wiccan holidays in the guide, unlike the bevy of other religious holidays from Christianity to Confucianism that are listed. Of course, Fox News would have you believe otherwise, because that would make for actual news, of which there really isn’t any in this story, but fuck it, right? Let’s start with the headline.
No exams on Wiccan, Pagan holidays at University of Missouri?
THAT’S AN OUTRAGEOUS IDEA…you know, if it’s true. It’s a very clickable headline, can’t blame them for that though, hell, look at my headline. And they do try to save face by adding a question mark at the end, but c’mon, does that really matter?
“I’m just asking questions!”
Still, a headline isn’t all that big of a deal. You have to draw people in, after all. Maybe the actual story will make some insightful clarifications?
Students at University of Missouri don’t need to cram for exams that fall on Wiccan and Pagan holidays, now that the school has put them on par with Christmas, Thanksgiving and Hanukah.
Nope, guess not.
Thanksgiving, by the way, is not a religious holiday and makes no appearance in Mizzou’s guide, but hey, FUCK IT! Let’s just let visions of creepy hippies gathering in a forest clearing at night, standing around a tree stump, and drinking from used moon cups dance right next to some Norman Rockwell painting of Father Smith cutting a succulent turkey as children smile and Mother passes out cranberry sauce, because it’s not journalism unless you’re horrifying somebody.
Since when do things being on the same list constitute everything on that list being equal? Nate McLouth was once on the same All-Star team as Albert Pujols, but they aren’t exactly equals. If you’re wondering who Nate McLouth is, my point is made. If you know who Nate McLouth is, then my point is especially made.
The university’s latest “Guide to Religions: Major Holidays and Suggested Accommodations” — designed to help faculty know when and when not to schedule exams and other student activities — lists eight Wiccan and Pagan holidays and events right alongside more mainstream occasions. It’s all part of the school’s effort to include everyone’s beliefs, although some critics say listing every holiday associated with fringe belief systems is a bit much.
Because it’s always better to not know things. Ignorance isn’t bliss, okay? Bliss can only be achieved at the winter solstice after one has boiled a combination of swamp water, Spanish moss, and reptile blood in a sacred cauldron at midnight.* And if you DARE schedule a test that next morning then you are an insensitive bastard, because whoever was doing all that reptile boiling is going to be super tired.
*Also a stew recipe commonly served at LSU tailgates.
But really, what’s the harm in listing the Pagan and Wiccan holidays? Especially when, and this is something that is not clarified at any point in the article, absolutely ZERO recommended accommodations are suggested for those holidays. None whatsoever. There are no special requests of any kind for these “fringe belief systems,” probably because they’re fringe belief systems. But again, just to reiterate, FUUUUUUCCCKKKKK ITTTTTTTT!
So yeah, these Wiccan and Pagan holidays are in fact no way being put on the same level as Christmas, Thanksgiving (which isn’t even on the list), or Hanukah (which also isn’t put on the same level as Christmas or several Islamic and Buddhist holidays).
Also important to note, even on the major holidays, the guide only lists recommended accommodations. These are not required accommodations, just recommended, which means the faculty can choose whether or not to follow them at their own discretion.
The article goes on to list certain recommended accommodations for different holidays, never really clarifying that the recommended accommodations are, in fact, only recommended, before pointing out this interesting tidbit of information.
University officials said no complaints had been received in connection to the guide, which many have found “useful and informational,” according to a statement to FoxNews.com.
Crazy that no one would give a crap about a harmless list.
Listen, I hate the PC police as much as the next guy, probably more considering my occupation and dick joke-centric sense of humor. Hell, I spent half this article counterproductively making fun of Pagans and Wiccans, but I’ll be damned if I pass up those softballs. The point is, there is no point to this news story, which would have you believe that our higher educational system is being shifted for the sake of the seventeen people in America who try to harness animal spirits and change their diets according to the tides.
Nobody is getting an entire class exam rescheduled because they have to spend the night in the forest communing with their ancestors via a crystal, so American society is still safe.
In other news, University of Missouri students have a great new excuse should they wake up after a night of blacking out at Harpo’s and realize they have a test.
[via Fox News]