Old Teen Essays
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Article ID: 2367
Age Group: Adult
Posted: May 17th. 1999
Good And Evil: In The Shadow Of Littleton And The Garden Of The Gods.
In the very same week that media outlets in Colorado and across the nation ran articles on the life and death of Littleton victim, Cassie Bernall (which portrayed her as a modern martyr of her Christian faith), a dangerous innuendo has also been passed along virtually unnoticed.
While still in the process of praising the virtues of a young Christian girl who possibly lost her life because of some inexplicable prejudice held by her killer, The Denver Post published an article which many pagans found incredibly disturbing both in content and in implication.
On May 14th, reporter Cara DeGette wrote in 'School Accuses Girls Of Witchery' about eight Colorado Springs sixth-grade students who spent most of one day being interrogated by school officials on their personal religious beliefs after reading a book on Witchcraft and (perhaps) experimenting with a few spells.
The girls may not be pagan. They may have been simply curious about Witches and Witchcraft. Nevertheless, both the reading of a book on Witchcraft and the rumored allegations of 'casting spells', they were told, "would now become part of their permanent records."
The parents of these students are outraged that they were not notified right away that there was a 'problem" and want an apology. The school officials insist that they did nothing wrong. No apology will be forthcoming. No investigation into the actions of those who, according to DeGette's report, called the children "garbage" and reduced several girls to tears.
A "martyr" according to Webster's Dictionary is indeed someone who is put to death for refusing to renounce his/her religion. But a 'martyr" is also, the definitions go on to explain, "one who sacrifices... something of great value for the sake of principle."
Eight 12-year-old girls were ridiculed, degraded and subjected to hours of lectures on the 'evils of Witchcraft' and endured such interrogation without benefit of either legal counsel or parental comfort. I think it's pretty safe to say that these youngsters probably sacrificed something of themselves in the areas of self-esteem, trust for others, and personal dignity during those long hours.
But I guess in an area where one is so willing to find a martyr, one can also pretty easily find a heretic.
Because martyr and heretic are two words that always seem to travel together.
In times past, Christians were accused by the pagan Romans of all sorts of crimes against the state and rumors about their strange rituals were spread to further increase public sentiment against them. They were persecuted, hunted down and many were killed. Today, they are considered martyrs.
In times past, Witches and pagans were accused by the Christian churches of all sorts of crimes against the state and rumors about their strange rituals were spread to further increase public sentiment against them. They were persecuted, hunted down and many of them were killed. Today, they are still considered heretics.
Walk in Light and Love,
- It would be nice to believe that in a modern democracy built upon such illuminated documents as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that such defining words as 'martyr' and "heretic" would no longer be applicable in quite the same way as they were in those 'times past'.
- It would be nice to believe that any person in this country could read any book or follow any religion without harassment, intimidation or threats to their personal safety and emotional well-being.
- It would be nice to believe that all people who suffer indignities simply because of their religious choice would be defended, honored and offered restitution.
- It would be nice to believe that the school officials in Colorado will realize their grave miscarriage of justice and issue an apology to these girls, their parents and to all those who practice Witchcraft or other pagan paths as a religion.
- It would be nice to believe that the dark days of defining someone else as being either good or evil-martyr or heretic- based upon the religious beliefs that they hold are gone forever.
- And it would be even nicer to believe that this will all happen before anyone else has to die for -- or because of --their religion.
May 16th, 1998
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