In The Desert Of Seth

By G. B. Marian

An Open Letter to CNN

While I was at lunch today, I saw a report on CNN about U.S. airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq. I can’t help it; it just gets on my nerves when our media continue to use the name “ISIS” in reference to this group. While it might seem pointless or even petty to some people, I decided to write the following letter to CNN, and I submitted it to their website.

Dear CNN,

I have been a supporter of CNN ever since I first witnessed your footage of the Gulf War in the early 1990s when I was but a child. Since that time, your channel has always been my first preference when it comes to cable news. I do not care much for Fox News or MSNBC; if I want the news, I always turn the TV to CNN first. But there is an issue that has come up and which makes me uncomfortable with watching your station at this time. I hope that since I have always had great respect for your channel, you in turn will give this letter the proper respect it deserves.

I am very distraught that you, along with all the rest of our media, still insist on referring to the terrorists who are currently terrorizing Iraq as “ISIS.” I realize that you will naturally prefer to use the translated acronym that has “the best ring” to it, and that you will most likely continue referring to the terrorists by this acronym regardless of what I or anyone else might say or think about it. But I am at least entitled to share my own opinion with you, whether you choose to do anything about it or not.

With that being said, I am a polytheist, a Pagan, and a believer in the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Egypt. As such, I am a firm believer in the existence of Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of fertility, agriculture and motherhood. I would like it to be known that Isis still has many believers and worshipers today. Her following has never completely faded away; in fact, it has been experiencing a thrilling revival since the middle of the twentieth century. It may interest you to know that whenever you see an image of the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus, you are looking at an image that was directly based on older images of Isis holding Her baby, Horus. So while there may not be as many people who believe in Isis today as there are who believe in Jesus or Mohammed, we are still here; we still exist.

Isis is a gentle and merciful Goddess who loves all women and children; She does not enslave or senselessly slaughter women and children like the Islamic State (IS) terrorists do. She stands for the miracle of birth, the healing of the sick and the protection of the weak. She is to Kemetic or Egyptian polytheists as the Virgin Mary is to Catholics. Can you imagine what might happen if there was a terrorist group out there that news stations called “JESUS” or “BUDDHA”? It would probably seem pretty blasphemous to most people. Well for some of us who continue to believe in Isis, your insistence on referring to the IS by Her name is equally offensive.

I am well aware, of course, that there are also computer programs and comic book characters that are named after the Goddess, but I do not care about them. Computer programs and comic book characters do not harm people, but terrorists obviously do. I am also well aware that other news outlets would most likely continue using Her name for the terrorists even if CNN were to stop doing so. I do not care about them either, for I have always held CNN to a much higher standard than, say, Fox News.

I realize that I cannot stop you from referring to the IS terrorists as “ISIS,” and that this letter will most likely be ignored and forgotten. Furthermore, I am not some “fire and brimstone” preacher who is trying to invoke the Goddess’ divine retribution upon you. I am not attempting to speak for Isis Herself, nor am I attempting to persuade anyone else to believe in Her. My only purpose in writing this letter is to express why people like myself take issue with the terminology you are using, and I pray that this letter will make a difference to someone in your employ.

Thank you, and for further information about people who believe in Isis, please consult the links below.

Later on this afternoon, I saw someone post a rather scathing and accusatory statement against Pagans like me who object to the acronym “ISIS.” It’s one thing to disagree with someone on an issue like this, but the person who made this post was quite inflammatory about it. I’m not going to name this person or link to the post because I don’t want to incite some kind of “flame war.” But I do wish to point out that this isn’t just a matter of the terrorist group calling themselves “ISIS”; it’s a matter of the same terrorist group having multiple names (here’s an entire list) and of our Western media latching on to “ISIS” just because it’s “catchier” than the rest. So I think people like me have every right to be offended by it (as well as by the fact that when you say the name “Isis” in a public conversation now, some people seem to automatically think you’re talking about the terrorists). Also, I should point out that President Obama seems to prefer calling the group “ISIL” and I personally think that’s a much better choice.

I’m not sure how we got to this point where people seem to think that we just shouldn’t be offended by anything, or that if we are, we should just remain quiet about it. There’s nothing wrong with sharing my opinion about something like this; this is still the United States of America, and I shouldn’t have to “shut up” just because someone else out there disagrees with me. If a total asshole like Rush Limbaugh can get away with popping off the damaging things he says, surely I’m justified in saying the things I have to say (which are pretty dang harmless in comparison).


2 responses to “An Open Letter to CNN

  1. henadology September 23, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I think that the media have a lot of nerve choosing their favored term for the group when the entire administration, from the President right on down to all the State Dept. and Pentagon spokespersons, *unanimously* and *without exception* use the term ISIL. What gives them that right? And what sort of quiet agenda is at work? Even if it isn’t a matter of deliberately choosing to recklessly abuse the name of a Goddess, it’s clearly a matter of snubbing the President on foreign policy, showing that they take everything he says, even down to nomenclature, with the proverbial “grain of salt”. What a shame they didn’t feel so independent under a Republican administration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • G. B. Marian September 23, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      I totally agree. There’s also the fact that there are lots of women who are actually named after Isis, too, and many of them have also been experiencing fallout from how the media’s been handling this.

      And as you pointed out, it’s awful damn ironic how these people aren’t enjoying the same federal scrutiny that critics of the Bush Administration were suffering back in the early 2000s. It’ll be real interesting to see how the media behaves under our next Republican President. (Much as I hate to admit it, I’m sure it’ll happen.)


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