posted by Chris Tilling @ 2:29 PM
Hit or a miss?It depends, I'd say, on what you were aiming at.
A happier, simpler time in the criminal justice system.
The witch text in the Bible remains; the practice of executing them changed. The slavery text in the Bible remains; the practice changed. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the Biblical texts that authorized them remain.Is it not well worthy of note that of all the multitude of Biblical texts through which man has driven his annihilating pen he has never once made the mistake of obliterating a good and useful one? It does certainly seem to suggest that if man continues in the direction of enlightenment, his religious practice may, in the end, attain some semblance of human decency. Mark Twain, “Bible Teaching and Religious Practice”
For centuries the Catholic Church proclaimed the reality of the crime of “witchcraft,” backed by the Biblical command, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” The Protestant Reformer, Martin Luther, said about witches, “I would burn them all!” John Calvin stated, “The Bible teaches us that there are witches and that they must be slain… this law of God is a universal law,” and also pleaded in 1545 that the government of Geneva, Switzerland, should “extirpate the race [of witches] from the land” of Peney.A few centuries later, after the smoke cleared, the famed Christian evangelist, John Wesley, lamented, “The giving up of witchcraft is in effect the giving up of the Bible.” (The Journal of John Wesley, 1766-1768) My how times change.
We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our New England forefathers. For if it hadn’t been for their amazing wisdom and foresight over two hundred years ago, we’d be up to our ass in witches.Cecil Wyche & Tom Weisel
The “witch-hunting” mania continued until the 18th century. In Scotland, an old woman was burned in 1722 after being convicted of turning her daughter into a pony and riding her into a witches’ coven. In Germany, a nun was burned alive in the marketplace of Wurzburg in 1749 after other nuns testified that she climbed over convent walls in the form of a pig. The last legal execution of a witch occurred in Switzerland in 1782. By that time, various scientists and scholars had raised doubt about the reality of witchcraft to bring an end to the madness. [p.78]A profound irony of the witch-hunts is that they were directed, not by superstitious savages, but by learned bishops, judges, professors, and other leaders of society. The centuries of witch obsession demonstrated the terrible power of supernatural beliefs. [p.79]James A. Haught, Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious Murder and Madness (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1990)
MODERN DAY WITCH HUNTSIn 1928, a Hungarian family was acquitted of killing an old woman they thought was a witch, and as late as 1970s, a poor German woman was suspected of being a witch after the people in the small town ostracized her, pelted her with rocks, and killed her animals. In France, a man was killed for suspected sorcery in 1978, and in 1981 a mob stoned a woman to death in Mexico because they believed that her witchcraft incited an attack on the pope. W. Sumner David, Th.D., Heretics : The Bloody History of the Christian Church
IF A WITCH CURSES HER ENEMIES IT’S CALLED “WITCHCRAFT.” SO IF A CHRISTIAN INVOKES GOD TO CURSE PEOPLE, SHOULDN’T THAT BE CALLED “GODCRAFT?”In 1994 the Capitol Hill Prayer Alert, a Washington D.C.-based prayer group, produced a list of twenty-five Democratic incumbents, and urged prayer partners to petition God to bring evil upon the people on that list. “Don’t hesitate to pray imprecatory Psalms over them,” wrote one of the group’s founders, Harry Valentine, in the group’s newsletter. “Imprecatory” means to “call down evil upon.” Such Psalms include: “Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.” (Ps. 109:8,9) “Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into Sheol.” (Ps. 55:15) “The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance: he shall wash his own feet in the blood of the wicked.” (Ps. 58:10) (How is this different from sticking pins in voodoo dolls, or whipping up a witch’s brew and mumbling curses? I guess it’s all right for Christians to “curse” people so long as they use a “Biblically sound” method.--E.T.B.) Skip Porteous, “Election ‘94 Observations,” Free Inquiry, Winter 1994/95)Imprecatory prayers against those in political office continue of course, even in the new millennium.
MORE MODERN DAY WITCH HUNTS are taking place in African nations, against "child witches." Africa has also been blessed with huge anti-gay sentiment due to both Christian evangelical preaching and Muslim doctrine. Huge in Africa: The American Evangelicals Goading Uganda to Kill Gays Jan 4, 2010 ... They have been emboldened by three American evangelicals who went to Africa to spout their hate. Let's meet these men.West turns Africa into gay battlefield - Times OnlineJan 17, 2010 ... Some argue that the African rows over homosexuality are really a ... with both evangelicals and gay rights groups in the US pouring in money and support. ... His minister for ethics, Nsaba Buturo, says homosexuality is a ...U.S. Evangelical Leaders Blamed For Uganda Anti-Gay Sentiment : NPRDec 18, 2009 ... Rev. Lively explains what he told lawmakers in the African nation. ... who's a very prominent evangelical minister, who spoke at President ...
LOL and Uber-LOL at the video and comments. There is some truth in the satire of the clip, but it wasn't just Puritan England which had a bag on with witches... All Europe was involved in some kind of hunt or another.It's the modern day witch-hunt which is rather more scary...
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I am New Testament Tutor at St Mellitus College and St Paul's Theological Centre, London. I'm also a Visiting Lecturer at King's College London. Less well known is that I am also the original writer of the now famous song “Beans, beans, good for your heart…”, and inventor of the “you must have fallen out of the stupid/ugly tree” repertoire of insults. I am the main proponent of the Human Faecal Matter for Brains Opening in chess (actually not what I wanted to call my brilliant and original opening Knight manoeuvre 1.Na3, 2.Nc1), and I also claim to have independently discovered the haiku™ poetry form (© Copyright Chris Tilling 2007) without any help from the Japs. My blog, Chrisendom, is primarily occupied with biblical and theological themes – especially those Apostle Paul shaped, but I try as best as I can to squeeze in a decent amount of inappropriate baloney on the way.
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