Pharyngula

Then you need to turn to the non-scientists for some refreshing expressions of unity. Or not.

A New Age magazine in Minnesota is under new management, and the editor wants to exercise some “quality control”: astrology, fairies, life-force energy, and spiritual quests are OK. Channeling and paganism are out. This has annoyed the so-open-minded-their-brains-have-fallen-out crowd.

Other New Age leaders are appalled.

“He is excluding channeling? Yikes. Or pagans? He should not be doing that,” said Kathy McGee, editor of the Washington-state-based magazine New Age Retailer.

“New Age is an umbrella term encompassing anything on a spiritual path — Bigfoot, Jesus, Buddha. Even worshipping a frog is sort of OK,” McGee said.

She said New Age thinking is all-or-nothing — you either have an open mind to all beliefs, or you don’t. It is wrong for anyone to pick which beliefs are acceptable.

“You don’t want to say, ‘This is OK, and this is not,’ ” McGee said. “There is nothing we would exclude. We are about goodwill to men.”

Her definition, then, puts Bigfoot believers shoulder-to-shoulder beside organic farmers. Along with channeling, she includes the Fair Trade movement, which promotes products that benefit Third World farmers.

Wait a minute…worshipping a frog is sort of OK? Only “sort of”? I am offended. Why is she belittling the faith of frog-worshippers all around the world?

The rest of the story has some interesting information about the cracks in the New Age universe. Organic farmers would rather not be associated with fairies. Chiropractors really hate it — one says, “That New Age connection should not be made. I cannot see how anyone can put chiropractic care and Bigfoot together.” To which I can only reply, well, what if Bigfoot has an aching back, huh? He’s bipedal, he’s probably got the same difficulties we do.

By the way, one psychic also joyfully reports that the poor economy is helping her business.