Saturday, May 31, 2008


Because it's so important, I'm bringing this comment by Judith Laura up front into its own post:

Re: Writing to Pew with our comments about their categories. I think it will have more influence if MORE than just one of us writes. Y'all write!!! They give the following email address for comments:

I just sent them an email.Although I didn't mention this in my email to them, I think another problem with their data might be that many Pagans, Wiccans, and Goddessians identify with more than one spiritual path, and if they were asked to pick one, might pick the most "conventional" to give to a person taking a survey. For example, a person who is an Unitarian Universalist and also a Wiccan, might just respond, "Unitarian Universalist." These would then given an underestimate of the number of Wiccans (or Goddessians or Pagans). Maybe someone else wants to write to them about this.

Here's what my email to Pew says (please don't copy it word-for-word though because it lessens the impact if they get the exactly the same thing from a lot of different people--use your own words :-)

I would like to point out what I feel are some errors in your categorizations:

1) You have not listed Goddess Religion or Goddess Movement at all. Some Goddessians see their faith as a sub-category of Pagan and others, (particularly those who identify as Goddess Christians or Goddess Jews) see it as a separate category entirely. This religious path has at least hundreds of thousands of participants in the US--and more worldwide.

2) Most Pagans would not consider Paganism a sub-category of New Age. There are some very important distinctions. A good explanation of this, in particular as it relates to contemporary Goddess religion, is on

3) Wicca is more accurately a sub-category of Paganism, not a separate category. Many Wiccans would consider its listing as a sub-category of New Age inappropriate.

Judith Laura

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