I don't usually jump on to the protest bandwagon. In fact if I am asked to sign a petition, or send a letter, 90% of the time I decline. The truth is that often these types of things, while stemming from good intentions, get befuddled in misinformation or miscommunication. A quick look into most 'causes' will show that there is a big difference between what is being protested and what is actually going on. So when I read about Miss Toronto Tourism slighting someone for being a witch I rolled my eyes and thought "Oh, not another one." Unfortunately, it seems that indeed we have a case of discrimination on our hands.
Here's the jist... Reigning Miss Canada Plus was asked to act as a judge for the Miss Tourism Toronto pageant. When the officials read her bio and saw that she listed reiki and tarot cards on her hobbies list they un-invited her witchy ass!
The Toronto Star article quotes Karen Murray, Miss Toronto Tourism pageant director...
"Our board of directors has eliminated her as a judge as tarot card reading and reiki are the occult and is not acceptable by God, Jews, Muslims or Christians. Tarot card reading is witchcraft and is used by witches, spiritists and mediums to consult the dark world."
The letter went on to quote a couple of passages from the Bible, including one from the book of Leviticus that warns, "Do not turn to mediums or seek out spirits for you will be defiled by them."
"We hope that Stephanie Conover will turn from these belief systems and will repent from her practice of them," the letter reads.
When did we all jump in a time machine?
Here's a couple of little snippets taken directly from the Miss Toronto Tourism website...
"Miss Toronto Tourism and The Runner Ups are chosen for their interest in charities, intelligence, persomality (sic), love of Toronto and goodwill towards others. Miss Toronto Tourism is chosen for her charisma, personality and inner beauty."
"Miss Toronto Tourism 2007 is represented by our present title holder, Jessica Barone who helps promote different Events and Charities in the City of Toronto. Miss Multicultural promotes Multiculturalism, as Toronto is the City of all cultures."
Me thinks that these people don't quite understand that Wicca is an religion and that witchcraft has it's place in many cultures. I wonder if they know what reiki is? The whole thing is all sorts of sad.
Anywho, here's links if you are interested...
Miss Toronto Tourism
An article from the Torontoist
The Star article