The Sacred Fox

BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN

We stumble across many weirdoes in our lives. It’s part and parcel of the interconnected environment within which we exist. In the pre-Internet era, green-inkers were relatively disempowered outliers who kept to themselves. They were Twitter-free curtain-twitchers and entirely Post-Office dependent. Nowadays all the nutters on the bus and spotty attic dwellers possess (literally) social media accounts. In 2021 ‘Care in the community’ translates as ‘on Twitter’ – lobbing insults at wicked Tories or piling on those unsuspecting, tax-paying corporations who refuse eunuchs a widdle in their ladies’ privy.  

Take the likes of this poor fellow (below) who goes around town collecting rusty old screws which he then photographs and splays across the Internet. Today he actually has followers. Back in the day he’d be shuffling around town in a pair of manky trainers avoiding pavement cracks getting about as much public attention as a cacking pigeon.

As Editor of this magazine I receive some very bizarre material, some of which I delete for fear of prosecution – talking of which, Mabel from Church Broughton, our ‘Dog of the Week’ feature ended last year, so please refrain from sending in any more pics of your grubby puppies. Still, I have never received anything quite so peculiar as news of the latest religion that is attempting to sweep across the country – that of ‘The Sacred Fox’ (peace be upon the ginger vermin).

What fresh nonsense is this, I hear you ask?

A (really silly) idea conjured up by some anti-hunt extremists who are taking zealotry to a new level by asking supporters across the country to list ‘The Sacred Fox’ as their religion on the national census form when it arrives later this year. I kid you not:

The new religion has a Facebook page here. And it seems the first fox disciples are busy spreading their good news and proselytising by targeting Christians:

No news yet on plans for a Sacred Fox church or temple but devotees have circulated a symbol of worship – an eerie mash-up of the Eye of Providence, a Malaysian flag and a Tamagotchi fox – no doubt bashed up during a Microsoft Paint class for beginners while nurse popped out for a well-earned ciggie:

The loons have even adopted an anthem (apologies in advance for linking you to this tat – yup, be forewarned, the musical equivalent of the M25):

“Ah, but you can’t insult a religion!” so the antis will chorus. Indeed, article 144 of the Penal Code makes it an offence to insult religions at either places of religious worship or during public religious celebrations.

In this instance, stuff that.

Let’s face it, antis, your new religion is, err, barking. Was it not only a matter of time before your absolutism morphed into religious form with the fox as your prophet and you as supplicants on bended knee before it? Your Satan – the Tory landowners protecting their evil chickens and brainwashed lambs? Your street stalls like Al Muhajiroun’s infamous trestle tables on Stratford High Street, promising salvation in exchange for a uniquely fringe and fanatical form of extremism.

The thing is that your religion, antis, though warped, is unoriginal. If you’d bothered googling fox worship before taking it upon yourselves to personify God’s word then you’d have stumbled across the Fox Cult of China:  

For more than five centuries the shamanistic fox cult attracted large portions of the Chinese population and appealed to a wide range of social classes. Deemed illicit by imperial rulers and clerics and officially banned by republican and communist leaders, the fox cult managed to survive and flourish in individual homes and community shrines throughout northern China.

You could at least have given your new religion some much needed hinterland rather than going the problematic Icke route by promoting yourselves as a novel cuckoo sect. Why didn’t you think about using Chris Packham as your John the Baptist? (Any of the Country Squires would happily have volunteered to play the part of Herod). Fox basher Jolyon Maugham could have been convinced to be your Saul and you could have spun his newfound commitment as some kind of a Damascene conversion, showing him handing in his blood-spattered baseball bat to your fox-Pope?

But – putting aside the fact you are both deranged and demented –  you might actually be onto something:

The fox, among many other animals, was used as a symbol of premonition in ancient Chinese texts.

After just a few seconds staring at your weird fox symbol, there was a crack of thunder and I experienced a premonition too …

The Sacred Fox shall indeed feature on the census under religion but will only be listed by a mad and pious few. Then the peoples of the earth shall unite and all point at you who remain faithful to the Sacred Fox, exclaiming, “what a bunch of wingnuts. If they weren’t already committed, they should be taken without dither to the asylum yonder and be force-fed coloured pills and pastilles until they see that foxes can be a ruddy menace for farmers and that humans are still the highest life form on God’s great earth.”

Dominic Wightman is the Editor of Country Squire Magazine and a Sacred Fox heretic.