It is said that understanding and education are the two best actions against ignorance and fear…. but are they? What do you do when an angry, hateful and overzealous mob of members of a radical religious group come knocking at your door? They don’t want to talk. They don’t want to listen. They don’t want explanations or reason. They’ve come with their minds made up: They want blood. Do you turn the other cheek? Do you become a martyr? There are no clicking of ruby slippers and suddenly, there really is no place like home…..
Just think, it wasn’t until the 1690’s that the persecution of witches really became a problem in the United States, and it began with a couple of naive girls in then Puritan Salem, Mass., (Now Danvers) who played with some divination techniques, got freaked out and cried witchcraft to cover their own back sides…. that act alone cost 19 innocent people their lives, because these girls used the hysteria as an opportunity to point a finger and accuse the people they simply did not like, and it was down hill from there. You couldn’t win for losing, here. Either you confessed to being someone and something you weren’t, sparing your life but living the rest of it basically shunned from those who you once called friends, or you kept your pride and your reputation and had your neck stretched out…. with the exception of old Giles Corey who was crushed to death. They didn’t mean to kill him, they said, it was an accident. They only wanted to scare him into a confession, to which they were faced with a rather unexpected request from the old man just when they thought the weight of all the stones would surely break his spirit. The request? “More weight.”
It was only a few hundred years ago that Christianity attempted to condemn Catholicism… because both were so concerned about their way being the “One true way” that it didn’t matter who died or lost everything, innocent or guilty as long as the prevailing party was right. The Protestants thought the Catholics tasteless and tactless, and the Catholics? Well, they just hated the Protestants for not being Catholic. Queen Elizabeth I of England was faced with this very dilemma on practically a daily basis. Aside from the fact that she was a woman successfully ruling a country, refused to take a husband and didn’t give the country an heir to the throne, she was Protestant. (The very nerve!) … and attempts were constantly made on her life on behalf of the Catholics. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this type of thing continues. It’s horrid over in Africa, all you have to do is be accused and you are immediately condemned to death, often times burned alive right on the street or in your front yard, making it rather opportunistic for greedy family members to immediately inherit any property you own upon accusation.
But we in the U.S. and other religiously free countries have nothing to concern ourselves with, right?
Witch-hunting has NOT gone away. It is still prevalent here in the 21st Century, and not only is it prevalent, it’s gaining speed.
According to a recent article in the NY times, “In recent years, there has been a spate of attacks against people accused of witchcraft in Africa, the Pacific and Latin America, and even among immigrant communities in the United States and Western Europe.”
What’s the matter, the bible thumping upper management afraid the witches are gaining speed? In my sole opinion, the devil and the threats of eternity in hell were both created to instill enough fear to get others to conform….. I was a Catholic once, I get it. There is such a thing as “Catholic Guilt”, I know, I suffered from it for years, despite being raised by witches who hid under the guise of the very church they brought me up in….. as a kid, was it fair to me? Probably not. I was terribly confused and incredibly torn. Here, I had these gifts and this connection with nature and the energies around me, that were fostered and encouraged at home, yet condemned in the very place I was also taught to seek refuge. There were also a great many teachings in the Bible that I felt in my heart, even as a child, were wrong or unjust. After all, people cannot help what they are, right?
Allow me to drop another bomb on the “You’re wrong, we’re right” religious groups: Witches don’t acknowledge in or believe in a Satan, a hell or a proverbial devil. It’s a Christian ideology, not a universal one, and honestly, it makes that lot who protest and raise a ruckus and shout out over horns and loudspeakers the blah, blah, blah about brimstone and hellfire make you all look like nothing but bat shit nuts. That’s right, fifty shades of cray-cray.
Yes. Yes I did.
The same group of religious wacko’s found themselves the butt of everyone’s jokes and giggles last year when they annoyed Jason Voorhees on Essex Street in Salem to the extent that he put his murderous urge aside for a moment to protest how he felt about these folks:
No, wait. We do want to be saved. When we’re handed those pamphlets and “invited” to the retreats and revivals, this is what we envision:
They make Hotel California seem like a 5 star vacation spot.
But on a more serious note, United Nations refugee and human rights agencies have estimated the murders of supposed witches as numbering in the thousands each year, while beatings and banishments possibly running into the millions. The folks who gather this info also report that making it illegal to even believe in witchcraft is not a solution to the problem (gee, ya think?) but respect for customary beliefs , however, does not allow for persecution and murder.
Now, before the rest of the Americans here reading this article starts puffing up their chests and saying “Well, they’d never get away with it here in the states!” Think again. Let the hot air out and your chest deflate, because I’m about to spring some really disturbing news on you.
On March 30, 2013 (That’s right, only a year ago) Kyrja Withers, a Pagan author in Port Richie, Florida reported that shots had been fired at her home, affectionately named, “The Glitter Dome”.
“Someone shot at me tonight – and though they missed, The Glitter Dome is a bit more …. holey … tonight. We’ve had intermittent problems with someone honking their horn outside our house at very late hours and screaming obscenities Once, they threw a firecracker in our front house. Last night, they screamed “F’ing WITCH” – quite clearly. No mistake. Today, we received several telephone calls where the caller said something unintelligible and then hung up, as well as an inappropriate post on one of my Rupert videos. This is obviously personal. And now, they have crossed the line and have caused property damage. And yes – the first window they hit is where I sit. It is time to deal with this. And so we shall. We ask for your assistance in calling for swift justice.” – See more at: http://wildhunt.org/2013/03/shots-fired-at-florida-pagan-authors-home.html#sthash.CpSGDKVJ.dpuf
So as I write this, I think about how far we have come, how much blood has already been shed, and I shake my head… partially in disbelief that there are still so many intolorant and ignorant and partially in disgust at the actions of those who claim they are working for a “God” history and science have already pretty much debunked. Perhaps not the God itself, but what they claim to be truth…from a book that has been molested, torn apart, revised, omitted and rearranged to suit so many times that one is left to wonder….”What the hell??”
I also sit here thinking, and I’ll leave this as a final thought, that witches, for the most part, mind our own business and go about our lives without hindering, being self imposing or intrusive to those around us. Why can’t others do the same? Holy wars are everything but holy.
Resources, references and further information can be found at the following: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NEWSEVENTS/Pages/Witches21stCentury.aspx