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Article Specs

Article ID: 1894

VoxAcct: 1

Section: cases

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 6,409

Times Read: 54,697

Religious Hate Sites

Author: Wren
Posted: February 2nd. 1997
Times Viewed: 54,697

MEAN PEOPLE SUCK!

This page is where we document the religious bigotry that resides on the net... Typically these hate sites (always ugly in design) are authored by loney people with incredibly low self-esteem crying out for attention... Hardcore fundamentalists of any religion are not a pretty site and are almost never an accurate representation of the "faith" they are "defending".


WITCHCRAFT, SATANISM, AND THE NEW AGE

3/16/97: Thank you Gavin Bone for making us aware of the following religious hate site...
Here is a sample of Steve's "open mind" quoted from his web site entitled "Balaams Ass"

"Here, we report on the activities of witches, Satanists, and the New Age. Some of these are right in the pulpits of churches, while, on the other extreme, we have Laurie Cabot of Salem, Mass and other dedicated and up front witches. Our chief objective should always be to see if we can give these folks the Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ. Don't get involved if you cannot take a swift kick to the groin in spiritual warfare. These folks come back hard and heavy. On the other hand, many witches have come out of the occult, been born again, and now serve the Lord with zeal. All things are possible.

We are very interested in hearing reports from your area as to the activity in the occult and New Age. We would like to know if they are moving from the Western world and India into the developing world so that we can warn our Brethren in Christ there.
"

Earlier this week we sent Steve a piece of email detailing the basics Witchcraft and basically giving him the benefit of the doubt... He quoted back 4 words from our post and then offered his thoughts...

"Witches are good people"

"Witches, in fact, sacrifice their babies to Satan, would you prefer Lucifer? Our neighbor in Ca did so. A witrch in 29 palms in CA sacrificed her husband. On your high day, Oct. 31, from Haiti to Hollywood, babies and John and Jane Does are sacrificed to Satan.

I have my research done, friend.

In Christ,
Steve Balaams


Thank you Steve for sharing your "thoughts" with us and may the love the Lady be always in your heart...


"WICCA IS AN ANCIENT RELIGION
REQUIRING HUMAN SACRIFICE
"

Oh Boy! Did we get Email on this one !



June-1996: The following essay is Wren's statement to only one of the articles found on the site known as Champion and Media House . Feel free to check out this site for yourself and tell them how you feel.

In the last couple of weeks, numerous concerned Witches have pointed out a site on the Net that features pages that contain such inflammatory statements such as the one quoted above. In all fairness to Jay Rogers, Eric Holmberg, et al. at Media House International, we recognize their rights to hold opinions that may not reflect the true feelings of all those who profess allegiance to the Christian Religion or the sentiments of general public. We support their First Amendment Right to Free Speech and we do not advocate censorship of any kind in print, art , media or other forum in which the citizen's right to speak out on issues is supported by law. We understand the importance of a free Internet and can only hope that it will, more often than not, be used to allow a free exchange of ideas that promote mutual understanding in a society made up of very diverse cultures and beliefs. That said, let it be known that we are addressing the site listed under "The Champion" and "Forerunner" on it's own "merit" and our comments are not directed to any other Christian organization or individual believers of Christianity.

People who profess Witchcraft as a Religion are among the most tolerant folks in the world today. Part of the belief system of Witches is that each person must be free to discover the spiritual path that is right for that person. We do not seek to "recruit" new members..we tell no one that they must become "Be-Witched Again Believers" in our Traditions in order to experience true spiritual connection to the divine. In fact, it is this very benign outlook on other faiths that leaves us so open to attack. Since it is inconceivable to us to interfere in how another may choose to pursue their religious beliefs, we sometimes forget that there are those who follow a way that will not tolerate any who do not believe as they do.

The reasons for this type of behavior as demonstrated by the authors of the articles which hold such titles as "Child Sacrifice in The New Age: Salem's Witch Cult and America's Abortion Industry" written by Jay Rogers, may lie in a narrow minded interpretation of the intentions of their god. In their zeal to offer a simple solution to a complex social problem, they have chosen to incorporate a tactic known to be effective by propagandists everywhere..scapegoating.

Scapegoats are traditional forms used in the Bible ..a token animal onto which all the sins of a nation are laid and then the scapegoat is sent out into the wilderness to die, therefore ridding the people of their collective transgressions . By putting the issue of abortion on the backs of Witches, they hope to link Witchcraft with what they perceive to be a crime, ie."sin". (Abortion is not a crime..It is a legal right upheld by the court system.) In this case, the tactic that they have selected is: Witches are the cause of abortion. Get rid of Witches, and you get rid of abortion. This is not only bad logic; it is dangerous hate mongering.

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."

Like it or not, we ARE neighbors. We share the same communities and, indeed, the Earth herself with millions of other people.When Robert Frost wrote "good fences make for good neighbors", he was not saying that we are not to care for one another, nor was he promoting isolationism. Frost made the point that people can be so "concerned" with what was going on in the neighbors back yards, that they can neglect their own business..tending one's own garden is a good way to keep the "weeds" from getting out of hand. We would suggest some internal pruning may be overdue within Media International.

The use of innuendo has indeed run riot in these articles. The use of outright lies and defamation of the characters of the people named in the article constitutes a vicious attack. Patricia Baird-Windle has not declared herself as a Witch (although to quote a Seinfeld episode "Not that's there's anything WRONG with that!") She is in fact, known in the community in question as a Christian..albeit a Christian tolerant of feminists, Witches and Women's Rights. To protect himself, Jay Rogers states that she "allegedly" is to have remarked that "My (Patricia's) Religion is a holy religion of child sacrifice", however, he then goes on to treat this statement as IF IT WERE TRUE. No one is fooled into believing that he is in fact striving to be fair in his "documentation".The use of the word "allegedly" is a mere buffer between him and a libel suit.

As the result of Mr. Rogers "further investigative research", he states that "The promotion of abortion is not just a political issue for members of Wicca; it is part of a religious agenda- the religion of witchcraft and child sacrifice".

Well , his "research" obviously did not uncover the fact that Witches are not "required" to shed blood. While it may be true that "all ancient cultures have practiced some sort of human sacrifice", we know of no modern religion that still does. The fact that Abraham was "commanded to sacrifice his son" by the PRE-CHRISTIAN god of the Old Testament, can not be developed into a "requirement" for the Jewish people of today to be willing to further this practice. Of course, those familiar with the story will point out that this "god was only kidding!" What sort of loving god would even suggest such a thing? To wait until Abraham held the knife to his son's throat before calling the whole thing off is cruelty beyond human belief.The blood sacrifice is an obsession that is connected to "atonement for sins" that has no basis in Witchcraft. We do not believe the "shedding of blood" is necessary , as we do not believe that we have any "sins" that may require this ghastly sort of torture. This is a traditional viewpoint of Judeo-Christianity, and while Witches do not care one way or another, if other faiths hold this belief, we most certainly DO resent being connected with self flagellation and murder. Our "libations" (which he describes out of context) consist of the water, herbs and oils that we use during our rituals which we respectfully return to the Earth from which they came.

When Mr. Rogers goes on in the "Witchcraft and Child Sacrifice" section of the same article, he describes the Witch Trials of 1692 in Salem, Ma. He quotes that "genuine instances of demonically inspired activity recorded with documentation" was the basis for the death penalty imposed on those unfortunate victims of Christian hysteria. The fact is that the "documentation" of which he speaks was the mere delusional rantings of two misguided young girls..encouraged by the attention they received by those religious zealots that saw the "devil" everywhere. The "documentation" was known as 'spectral evidence"..this meant that the fact that these young girls SAID that they saw the accused "Cavorting with the devil and demons" was taken to be true with no questions asked! It is interesting to note that when "spectral evidence" was removed from the grounds of charges, the accusations could no longer be" proven " and the hysteria abated quickly. To use the "Malleus Maleficarum. as a legitimate source of information effectively destroys all Mr. Rogers "attempts" at credible historical accuracy.

In the Journal of Interdisciplinary History (Spring 1979), Richard A. Horsley, an Associate Professor in the Study of Religion Program, University of Mass. Boston, wrote an article titled "Who Were The Witches?: The Social Roles of the Accused in The European Witches Trials". In this study, he points out some of the social developments that led to the Church's stance concerning what constituted the definition of Witchcraft.

"The official concept of Witchcraft vs. the Popular realities: Some Methodical Observations.. In Increasingly sophisticated recent scholarship. historians have reached the consensus that the official concept of witchcraft among the ecclesiastical and secular ruling groups of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was a composite which had developed over several centuries. At the risk of oversimplification we can, with Cohn, schematize the official theory of witchcraft as it emerged in continental Europe late in the fifteenth century into four components: (1) Maleficium, or causing harm through supernatural means; (2) flying through the our at night to desolate places for evil purposes, such as eating babies; (3) participating in a sect or cult that met in periodic "sabbats" to worship the Devil and engage in sexual orgies. and (4) making a pact with the Devil. in a Christian society, since witchcraft could only be apostasy from a true religion, witches had therefore been seduced by satanic forces and had made a formal contract with the devil. Hence, all magic done by (non-Christian) supernatural forces, beneficent as well as maleficent, was viewed as diabolism.

Here we have the final fusion of heresy and sorcery. The first and second components had been traditional ideas in Europe at least since classical antiquity. As for the third and fourth, to quote Midelfort, "The late Middle Ages did indeed make two fundamental contributions to the witch hunt; notably the idea that all magic involved a pact with the Devil, and the idea that a massive witch cult threatened Christendom." The fears expressed in these ideas became powerful factors in the great witch hunt, an enterprise in which many of the most distinguished intellectuals of the age took an active part.

However, some of the very historians who explain that this late medieval view of witchcraft was a composite theory proceed in their own expositions as if it were neither composite nor a theory, but a common social fact...Such scholars leave us with the impression that despite the overlay of Christian demonology and distortions of inquisitional tortures, those burned WERE essentially Witches- that is, malevolent sorceresses and enemies of fertility and society.
"

Later in the article he writes:

"A few records of depositions by peasants at legal proceedings BEFORE the witch hunters(magistrates and churchmen) entered into the act have been examined..These provide a picture different from the official witchcraft theory...insofar as we can determine, ...statements by the peasants themselves as they brought accusations against their neighbors..when left to speak for themselves, accused their neighbors of merely certain maleficia. There is little or no mention of the Devil in these dispositions. Night flying, cannibalism, sabbat, and the pact with the devil are introduced into such trials only by witch-hunters- or by the victims themselves in fearful anticipation of, or painful subjection to, various degrees of torture."

The importance of the above research becomes clear at once. The local people had no real knowledge of Witchcraft as defined by the witch hunters until after the witch hunters themselves had provided the "Evidence" under threat and torture. That is what Laurie Cabot means when she says "that it is time for Witches to define themselves..and it is time for people to ask us who we are, not ask our enemies."

Selective translations of truth are nothing new. While the injunction "Thou shalt not Kill" has been conveniently "retranslated" to "Thou shalt not Murder" in order to appease the Christians who have killed others in secular and holy wars beyond count, the "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" call to intolerance still stands in it's obvious false trappings. The word translated as "witch" is known by academia to really mean "poisoner". However those interested in "truth" have not seen fit to make this correction. No degree in rocket science needed to presume why this is so.

Mr. Rogers pursues his poor logic even further when he tries to link Nazi Germany under Hitler with paganism and Witchcraft. In one paragraph he attacks Ms. Cabot on her statements that the "old religion" viewed homosexuality as "normal " ( his use of italics here infers that he does not share this view). Mr. Rogers then produces the argument a few sentences later, that the Nazis wanted to revive paganism. Since homosexuals were one of the groups most viciously singled out for extermination as unsuitable to exist in the Aryan Nation, obviously the Nazis did not adhere to the same "paganism" to which Ms. Cabot was referring.

If you reread the scholarly research quoted above by Mr. Horsely and then read the following quotes from Mr. Rogers article, we are sure that as an intelligent person , you can see that the same fallacies that ran rampant in the Fifteenth century are still what are considered the "truth" about Witchcraft today.

'...The idea that a massive witch cult threatened Christiandom.' - Horsley

"Americans are turning to pre-Christian religions because the Church is culturally irrelevant and is not having an impact on our society. Christians are losing the battle for the same reason that the pagans are gaining a foothold. Pagans take pains to appear as "nice people" (oh..those italics again! *author's note) are involved in community causes; give generously to political lobbyist groups such as NOW; and are aware of the threat that activated Christians pose to their continued existence." - Rogers

Yes, Witches are politically active, give to social causes and conduct themselves as all nice people should. We care for our neighbors on Earth..We wish them health, prosperity, love and the right to think and make choices for themselves. We define ourselves by standards of morality as expressed in the Witches Rede. We seek to live in peace..and leave others to live in peace within the law.

Since one of Mr. Rogers closing comments in this article was for Christians to "Pray also that if they don't repent that God will purge their sin with his fiery judgment.", the desire for peace, love and the good health of his neighbors does not appear to be a basic tenet of his personal religious practice.

Author's note: This was a very difficult piece to write for a variety of reasons. We seek only to dispel the lies and misrepresentations that Jay Rogers has perpetuated against Witches and the Religion of Witchcraft. Articles of the sort printed on the Media House site can only serve to target Witches and Pagans as objects worthy of verbal harrassment or, even worse, physical attack. It is our hope that by pointing out the fallacies contained in such libelous attacks, we can help stem the tide of such religious bigotry and intolerence. It is our wish to live in peace in a society where all people are valued.

Walk in Light & Love,


Wren Walker
(Chairperson - Witches' Voice)




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