Witchhunt in Maine

Pam’s House Blend has the details. Read her whole post, it’s good. Below is a quote from a Christian witch finder, detecting occult influences in his local bookstore…

The customer opens the door to see a brightly-lit, well-kept store. There on the right, however, is an unusual sight. Atop a tall bookshelf sits a large horned devil. The visitor quickly passes by, past rows of bookshelves with nondescript books, and nothing remarkable meets the eye until the section marked “Teenage.”

Curiously, the top three shelves of this “Teenage” section offer one paranormal-themed book after another.

This section is arranged so that an unsuspecting teen is easily lured into occult literature.

On the opposite side of the store, New Age materials are mixed in carelessly with Bibles and a few other Christian books.

Close to the counter, where the owner sits, is a section dedicated to the occult. There one finds scores of books on how to practice witchcraft and cast spells. In a word, the section is about ritual magic.

This kind of thing seems amusing until someone acts out. Ted Haggard, minister of a megachurch in Colorado Springs until his inner demons saw daylight, liked to brag about how his prayer warriors drove people from their homes and businesses because they were targeted as ‘satanic’. A little harassment can work miracles.

Fundamentalist Christians are a strong influence in American politics, and their more extreme fringe wants to use Democracy to impose Theocracy. Prayer warriors don’t need to use guns. Not yet. They have plenty of other weapons.

And powerful friends in the Republican Party. Like these…

“My son Jesse, he’s nineteen years old. God has given him dreams, to go to San Francisco to launch a house of prayer, one block from the Castro District – where the homosexuals boast the dominion of darkness. He’s going there with weeping in his heart. With the dream that prayer is stronger than the dominion of that spirit.

A wise witch, Margo Adler, once said that the challenge or our age is to balance the rational and the mystical.

When we try to use coercion to impose our vision on all of society we become an oppressor.

Our own founding visionaries, Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, showed us the way. Freedom of religion, respect for the religious rights of others, and separation of church and state.

In India, where there are laws on the books against domestic violence and religious persecution, Jug Chaudhary was beaten and is in fear of her life because she is an accused witch. What has this to do with us in the USA? It is a hate crime against her gender and caste, and hate is something we fight here too.

Substitute the word ‘terrorist’ for ‘witch’ and you’ll get an idea of the mindset of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1692, when they hanged 19 of their own for spiritual crimes.

Faith is not such a good thing when it motivates irrational violence. Goddess keep all the store windows intact and the disputes on the level of words not fists.

Parents Beware

It used to be easy. Just throw out all the apples, (in case of razor blades), make sure everything’s wrapped, and tell your kids to stay away from that house on the corner with the barking dogs. Of course, you make sure someone of the age of reason is walking with the little ones, and make them carry flashlights.

That seemed to cover it. We were on to the careless drivers, un-restrained dogs and rumors of contaminated candy (never happened in my neighborhood). But we never thought about the spiritual dangers lurking in that mini Almond Joy bar. The Huffington Post quotes a blog on the Christian Broadcasting Network claiming that most of the candy sold on Halloween is dedicated by witches. I feel very offended that no retailer has offered to pay me to dedicate their candy. Who’s doing all the dedicating? What do they charge? Anyway, link here for a slideshow that rates your favorite candy on the scale of perdition.

Knowing that the HuffPo is a vehicle for card-carrying liberals, I thought that they might be exaggerating, or that CBN might have removed the post by now, but here it is. It’s actually really creepy. If I ever want to read some really scary stories on Halloween, I’ll check out CBN.

Back here in the realm where people believe in the evidence of their senses, and try to practice common sense, October 31st is predicted to be nice, with Waterfire scheduled downtown. And I have the night off. Cool.

UPDATE–Darn it, CBN has removed the lurid post about mysterious Halloween stores that appear in strip malls around this time of year, staffed by temp witches and closing after All Saints Day. Too bad, the writer had a definite talent for the horror genre. I’ll admit I only skimmed it. As an ex-Catholic, ex-Pentecostal who survived three baptisms with my sins intact, and as a Unitarian Pagan, I’ll admit that this stuff kind of creeps me out. If I wanted more of it, I’d re-connect with the Catholic Charismatics or find Kyria Abraham’s Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall. (see Demon-Haunted Pawtucket).

But CBN has a nice condescending post with an amused, superior tone. Did you know that there are only, approximately, 55 shopping days till Christmas? That never fails to scare me this time of year.

UPDATE: Talk to Action has good background on Kimberly Daniels, the author of the infamous Halloween post.