The story goes on. Justin Moyer wrote a piece in the Washington Post about Witches being upset over the media and the Pensacola Sheriff David Morgan’s use of the words “ritual”, “witchcraft”, and “Wicca” in the press conference concerning the murders. The press further went on to use words like “satanic” and this helped stir the cauldron of contention.
This subject is an example of a huge distance between one group and another, which seems almost impossible to bridge. Misinformation helps create this gap, but biases about the issues of faith also create the tensions. This is what Burning Religion is about: learning to navigate the spaces in between competing positions. So, this is a moment of teaching, which allows us to break stereotypes, and discover truth. Hopefully, we can discover that Witches simply are regular people too.
- Witches are not satanists. Satan or Lucifer is not a part of most Pagan deity systems, it is a construct or being found in Judaism and Christianity. Thus, Witches see satanism as an inversion on Christianity. Yet, the First Church of Satan started by Anton LaVey is an atheist organization, Satan is a metaphorical symbol for self in that satanist’s system. So, real accuracy would identify most (not all) satanists as atheists – neither witches nor Christians.
- Wicca is a subcategory of witchcraft, and their faith system has laws of ethics, which include the Wiccan Rede, “an it harm none, do what thou wilt.” Something like murder is contrary to this value. A Wiccan practitioner can not murder in this way and be said to be practicing their craft.
- Witches really are regular people. They are soccer moms, waiters and waitresses, and bank tellers. They are both men and women, because the term “witch” is generally used for both sexes.
You can read more about the piece in the Washington Post from this morning. I spoke with Justin for about 30 minutes on the subject early this morning and contributed to the information. Unfortunately, things like this can take attention away from the real tragedy of the loss of a family. In this case, even the surviving family members have had to address the issue, and state that this is not related to witchcraft.