A while back I read an article over at CNN:
Indian ‘witch’ tied to tree, beaten by mob
I know what you’re thinking: “Why were you at CNN and not The Drudge Report?”. Sometimes these things happen. I get to following a trail and like any good sleuth I follow it until it reaches the end. The end in this case was Dumaria (New Dehli, India).
What is shocking to me about this incident is not so much the mob violence nor the police inaction, which are about as predictable pop lyrics. No I am much more interested in the odd fact that witches should be of interest in 2008.
I believe it was Jesus who said “Let he who is without brain cast the first stone”.
Don’t get to thinking that I am pointing my fingers at the denizens of New Dehli alone. Nowhere in the article do they deviate from one vital assumption: witches are a real category of being.
The facts they report include the notion that she is accused of using black magic as opposed to white magic. Are their laws in India which regulate the use of magic? Perhaps we ought to write laws here governing the boarding of unicorns or the fishing of mermaids. What possible value is there in reporting the category of magic she was accused of using?
A couple of years ago I found a two volume set of essays:
A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom
This book was published more than a hundred years ago (1886 I believe). One of the many subjects the author (Andrew Dickson White) embarks upon is the subject of witchcraft. His essays are quite revealing of what happens when reason is set aside in matters of fact, and his assessments of the witchhunts in history are no exceptions.
The very idea that our reporters are granting validity through their reporting to the idea that witches are a category of being which may or may not require regulation and which may or may not be vicitimized by injustice is itself an injustice. I certainly wouldn’t want to be known as the candidate who is soft on witches.
We may have sent all of our tech support to a country that beats witches, but we don’t deserve much better if we are going to work to protect witches as a class of being. Protect humans equally under the law, but abide by reason and good sense. It is no more possible that this woman from Dumaria is a witch or is capable of employing magic (whether black, white, or green) than it is possible that I am a merman or that the Easter Bunny lives in my back yard.
If you would like to feel a little pain at the impending revolt of the massively irrational check out this odd god site.
What Century do you live in?