Friday, March 9, 2007

The human rights of Witches.

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You know, they are still killing witches these days.

Two elderly women accused of practicing witchcraft in Papua New Guinea were tortured and murdered by a group of men who dragged their bodies to a riverbank and burnt them, police say.

A manhunt is under way for the offenders following Monday's killings near the banks of the Bumbu River in the port city of Lae, regional police chief Giossi Labi said.

He described the actions of the killers from one of the city's squatter settlements as "animalistic and inhuman".

And not far from Salem, Massachusetts, the site of America's first witch trial, there is another one going on right now in Long Island.

A former teacher fired from her job at a Hampton Bays elementary school has filed a $2 million federal lawsuit, claiming she was improperly dismissed because the administration and others thought she was a witch.

While the school district was not under obligation to explain why Lauren Berrios was not granted tenure, its lawyer claimed Wednesday that Berrios didn't get along with co-workers, had a condescending attitude and was eventually reported to Child Protective Services after telling tales about imaginary injuries to her own son.

"It's been quite a long time since we've seen a witch trial in this country,'' defense attorney Steven Stern told a jury of five men and three women during opening statements in U.S. District Court.

The war of Christianity against Pagan religions is nothing new and been hot and heavy for a couple of thousand years now. It flared up here in the US a few years back when then US Rep. Bob Barr sought to deny Wiccans in the Army the right to practice their faith.

If you consider the broader definition of Paganism: a faith which is positive, life-affirming and Earth-centric, Paganism is the second largest religious group in America encompassing not only Wiccans, Druids and other Euro-centric ancient faiths, but the Dharmic religions, Native Americans, native Hawaiians and all the indigenous religions of Africa, South America, Asia and Oceania.

Don't believe me? Try this test. Go to your local Barnes and Noble and measure the shelf space dedicated to New Age, Hindu, Buddhist and other Pagan topics. Now go to the section on Christianity and measure the shelf space. Do the same for Judaism and Islam.

See the difference? Someone has to be buying all those Scott Cunningham books.