This is my point of view in response to an article recently published in PanGaia under "Point of View: A Mystical Witch: My Journey to Spiritual Harmony".
I can respect and understand what Wood Stone relates in her article. But I wish that she would choose a different way to say it. Pagans and others, mostly non-Christians, have worked hard to reclaim positive associations with the word Witch. Now that Witch has these positive connotations Christians who like certain aspects of Paganism are willing to share these associations. If Wood Stone wishes to see additional dimensions to Christianity, I'm all for that. If Wood Stone and others like her (because I am sure there are others like her) does not wish to give up the title Christian, because of the value and worth they place on the teachings of Christ, then I wish that she could be satisfied with calling herself a Mystical Christian or a Christian Mystic, instead of (and this may be perceived as a harsh word) usurping the title of Witch.
This is essentially the same as having the opinion of NO, Satanists are not Pagan. Mark Foley and Ed Mayberry's responses in PanGaia 50th issue were perfect. There is no Satan or devil in Paganism. Satanism is so linked to Christianity that it can not be said to be Pagan. Pagans have had to work long and hard to get to a place where the first thing someone thinks when we say Witch or Pagan is NOT that we worship Satan. So much of what we do when we build community is to have to say what we are not. So those who blur the lines, like those who want to call themselves Christian Witches or who are willing to call Satanists Pagans, only serve to make the rest of a very large and already diverse community work harder. Is the discussion healthy? Absolutely. But my hope would be that just as we can respect the rights of others to follow the path they choose, that we can also begin to be consistent with how we view the labels we use to communicate who we are.
Those who follow the path of Stregheria have the Words of Aradia to guide them and there are specific Words Concerning Christianity. As a teaching priestess of Stregheria I have had to have many conversations regarding how we as Pagans can relate and communicate with Christians. The number of times I've had this conversation has caused me to try to capture my starting point for coexisting with those of the Christian faith.