Unlike America, which can only be viewed from the outside as a thoroughly modern theocracy every bit as fundamentalist as the Muslim nations that it once lead a war for oil against, Great Britain is far less concerned with matters of church than state. This sceptred isle instead breads the sort of heretics that simply want watch both sides in that pointless crusade kill each other over whose Godform has a bigger crozier and the bloodier hands. Yet get enough iconoclasts together under a single banner, throw in a few outspoken pseudo-celebrities such as Brian Cox and Stephen Fry, and you have a movement every bit as dangerous to us magickians as the religions of old.
Despite opinion pieces in the daily print media claiming the failure of the so called Atheist Spring in early Twenty-First Century Britain, that belief system remains a very real threat to our right to think as we please. Add the influence of such unapologetic ultra-skeptics as Richard Dawkins, a man notorious for claiming that bringing a child up within religion is akin to abuse, and you soon start to see the cracks forming in their positivist veneer. While many view the this movement as a harmless diversion, my grass roots experience with them has led me to a place where I can personally attest to the threat posed by their reductionist worldview.
Anyone that holds any form of belief other than the much quoted one commandment, the suddenly staunchly Atheistic scientific method, is damaged in their eyes. No, while they too dislike the Abrehamic religions, the enemy of mine enemy is far from my friend. The Skeptics view us all as opponents of reason, be we occultists, Neopagans, Christians or whatever else gets you through the day. More disturbingly, there is a growing subset of ultra zealots who would go even further, utilising education and legislation to inoculate subsequent generations against the apparently irrational ideas that we carry within our collective psyche.
Many either work or study within the very higher education system that will go on to mould our future teachers and lecturers, if not politicians and kings. Despite the best efforts of members of the modern magickal community such as myself to make people realise that we have fallen into a lethal stupor regarding the continued need to watch our backs, nothing seems to change. While we sit on Reddit and share ideas for sigils, the Christians in the US Senate censor the internet. While Pagans meet up in pubs and chew over the best places to buy candles, the skeptics gather on university campuses and plan entire multifaceted campaigns against those that do not think the same way that they do.
The James Randi Educational Foundation gives awards to groups that regularly re-edit whole chunks of Wikipedia, while the parapsychological community looks the other way and refuses to mobilise to defend their borders. There are Christian, Islamic, Jewish and skeptical lobby groups all fighting over the scraps of Western civilisation, while the magickal refuse to stand together and make their opinions heard over legislation that will one day matter to them. Cowards, we watch mainstream commentators descend like vultures to peck away at any pro-occult piece that somehow gets through the censors as if hiding our heads in the sand and out of the newspapers will keep us safe.
Those who would strive to remain free need to either force those in positions of power within our allied hierarchies to lead us against the tide of anti-occult sentiment or make them stand aside so that the next generation can take up the blade in their stead. We could learn a great deal from the way the skeptical activists approach their chosen targets, in how they have shown unity and indeed ingenuity in finding avenues to create change in line with their will. Yet the greatest shame is that said target is actually all of us, and as such every victory for them is little better than a brick in our collective cell wall.
The bottom line is simple. I can no longer sit by while my fellow Neopagans, witches, heathens and occultists remain oblivious to the wolf at the door threatening to blow the house of cards down around our ears. All must unify as a single movement, even if is one that acknowledges many disparate paths, for our continued survival in an increasingly hostile social environment. Magickians need to open a new front on the internet, commenting on and editing posts that misrepresent us, and make inroads into politics through social interest and lobby groups too. Even without the continued fear mongering of a Christianised media we still face an uphill struggle, because the world is definitely not changing for the better.