Articles/Essays From Pagans
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How itís Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Responsibility Sometimes Means Being Tough
Article ID: 9757
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,201
Times Read: 5,481
RSS Views: 21,841
Author: Carissa Stormbringer
Posted: June 5th. 2005
Times Viewed: 5,481
I love my fellow Pagans, but it broke my heart to read that there were some in the Pagan community who were defending the teacher who desecrated our sacred circle by ďmarryingĒ a 14-year-old student. I must admit that I am biased when it comes to this subject. Iím not a psychologist, so all I have to go by is what I see and observe. Without whining or going into details, Iíll simply state that I suffered many kinds of abuse as a child. Through hard work in therapy and with the help of modern medicine (thank you, Lord Asceplius Ė I love you), Iím able to lead a mostly normal life.
I remember very clearly the people who hurt me and what their mindsets were. Yes, these mindsets were taught, but thatís little consolation when I go into a panic attack or wake up screaming in the middle of the night. My abusers found it gratifying that they were getting away with what they were doing. They even laughed about it. There was nothing in their words or mannerisms that indicated remorse. They got away with their abuse of me while I got a hefty case of PTSD. I have to say, there is no justice in that. Rape without a weapon usually only carries a two to three year sentence. I donít think thatís fair or just. What makes the problem worse is that light penalties like the one I just mentioned arenít limited to rape. Murder no longer makes front page news in most areas, and is commonplace in large cities. This isnít the kind of America my ancestors worked to build. What good is freedom when youíre afraid to even go outside of your home?
As a Pagan, I always strive to be kind, but when faced with someone who has shown no regard for law or human life, my opinion is firm. I support capital punishment in all cases of proven (and I do mean proven) rape and multiple murders. In other cases, I think the penalties need to be tougher. I wish that sadists didnít exist, but the hard, cold reality is that they do. I think the clinical term for the most brutal rapists is ďdacrophilia, Ē which means ďarousal from tears.Ē Some people simply enjoy hurting others, and thatís just not acceptable.
I run a rape and sexual abuse survivors group, and some of the stories are hard for even a fellow survivor like me to stomach. The worst case Iíve ever heard of is what happened to a girl Iíll call ďRachel.Ē Rachel was kidnapped and tortured for three days. Iíll try not to be too graphic here, but her attacker ruined her face and injured her so badly that she nearly died and spent two weeks in a coma. The man who did this to her also attacked other women. I wonít make an issue of the light punishment that he got, because this didnít happen here in the States, but I dare anyone to convince me that someone like that deserves my pity or my tax dollars.
As a Witch I realize that there are different shades of gray in this world, but even in the very worst cases, criminals spend forever on death row before they are finally killed. Many of them profit from their crimes by writing books and selling paintings and movie rights. They get free college when the rest of us have to pay for it. They get recreational facilities when the rest of us have to pay a membership at a local gym or YMCA. In most cases, life in prison is better than life on the streets, so there is nothing to deter criminal activity. This is all done out of pity for the criminal because of their mental illness and upbringing. Well, you know, I had the worst kind of upbringing a person can have, but I have a $235 a month student loan bill, a $75 a month bill for my martial arts classes and I work every day to pay for my food, clothing and housing. I donít expect society to take care of me because my parents failed in their duties. The very thought of doing so is ludicrous to me. How can we expect people to fear prison when it offers more than they already have out on the streets? How can we defend Mother Earth without also defending our fellow citizens? It just doesnít make sense to me.
Itís my opinion that I have a responsibility to the victims of violent crimes, not the criminals. We donít live in a perfect world, and our failure to stand up against violent crimes is making it worse by the minute. I donít know who coined the phrase ďThe best way for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing, Ē but I firmly believe that itís true. As Witches, weíve been gifted with special abilities. Iíve sworn an oath by the river Styx to use my abilities to help society and protect the innocent. I always strive to be kind, but when faced with evil I have no problem using my art against it. Waiting for someoneís karma to catch up with them simply isnít feasible in cases where the person is an immediate threat to society. In real life, there are hard decisions to make. I wonít refuse to make them out of a selfish desire to keep my own karmic slate clean. This is my world as much as it is anyone elseís, and I have a right to live free of crime.
In my life Iíll make the best decisions I can, and count on the Gods to grant me wisdom. If and when the day comes when I have to sit on a jury and decide another personís fate, Iíll have no problem doling out a hard punishment if the evidence shows that that person unduly harmed another. To do otherwise would be to give license to these crimes, and eventually destroy law itself, which must be the foundation for any civilized society. When we identify more with the criminal than the victim, we are in essence telling the victim that their pain isnít important. When we let violent criminals out on the street we are telling the victim that the criminal is more important, and in essence that vice is of more weight than virtue. This isnít the kind of America that I want to live in.
Location: Georgetown, Kentucky
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