The Daily Mail managed to offend large numbers of pagans in an article by Melanie Philips on October 4 entitled Druids as an Official Religion? Stones of Praise Here We Come. The piece was written in response to news that the Charity Commission has recognised druidry as a religion.
In her article, Ms Philips said: "Elevating them [druids] to the same status as Christianity is but the latest example of how the bedrock creed of this country is being undermined. More than that, it is an attack upon the very concept of religion itself."
She continued: "How on earth has our supposedly rational society come to subscribe to so much totally barking mumbo-jumbo?"
And she went on to say: "There is nothing remotely enlightened about paganism. It was historically tied up with both communism and fascism, precisely because it is a negation of reason and the bedrock values behind Western progress."
Now, a group of pagans are putting together a petition to send to the Daily Mail and Melanie Philips, asking her to apologise "for the entirety of said article as it is no more than an ill informed attack upon the religion/faith/spirituality of Druidry." You can find the petition and sign it at http://www.petitiononline.com/druid1/petition.html
To be honest, I would be very surprised if I found myself agreeing with anything written in the Daily Mail, and I suspect the article was deliberately controversial in the hope it would attract more people to the Mail's website and potentially increase the rag's revenue.
I also suspect that responding to the article will only encourage Ms Philips to write more offensive features in future.
However, I may just sign that petition anyway. Maybe it will do some good.