Witchcraft & Christianity

Written by Kathryn A. Graham

Why Do Some Christians Fear Witches?

During my 28 years as a practicing Wiccan, or "witch" if you prefer, I have had occasion to ask myself this difficult question many, many times. Withrepparttar recent political controversy overrepparttar 127013 United States Army permitting pagan services to be held on military bases in Texas and aroundrepparttar 127014 world,repparttar 127015 question suddenly has more than its usual immediacy for me and for my brothers and sisters in Wicca.

First, let me getrepparttar 127016 usual questions out ofrepparttar 127017 way. Wicca is a real religion, born inrepparttar 127018 1950s as a recreation ofrepparttar 127019 Old Religion of Northern Europe, which some believe dates back about 25,000 years. Inrepparttar 127020 mid-1980s,repparttar 127021 U.S. Courts accepted Wicca as a legitimate religion and granted us 1st Amendment rights and freedom from taxation. Sorepparttar 127022 point is moot, really. The same U.S. Constitution that protects Christianity protects our religious freedom – and a good thing, too. We arerepparttar 127023 fastest growing religion ofrepparttar 127024 20th Century.

We do not believe in an evil deity, and would not worship one if we did. We do not practice human or animal sacrifice. The most sacred commandment our religion demands of us is to harm no one. If you think about that last statement carefully, it pretty well covers most ofrepparttar 127025 Biblical Ten Commandments -repparttar 127026 important parts, anyway. Even more important, we do not attempt to convert our friends and neighbors to Wicca. Our faith teaches us that when they are ready for what we have to teach, they will seek us out.

What about me, personally? Am I a New Age nut? Well, that depends on what you mean. I'm an environmentalist, certainly. I am also a feminist. Onrepparttar 127027 other hand, I do not do illegal drugs of any kind. I am a computer technician working for one ofrepparttar 127028 largest employers inrepparttar 127029 United States. I am a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. I am an aspiring science-fiction writer and screenwriter, actively peddling stories and novels torepparttar 127030 publishing industry in New York and motion picture scripts to Hollywood. I am a licensed pilot and a licensed aircraft mechanic. I am a licensed private investigator. My favorite hobby is reading physics textbooks, and I apply such knowledge to my science fiction. I am a veteran ofrepparttar 127031 United States Air Force,repparttar 127032 United States Air Force Reserve, andrepparttar 127033 Texas Army National Guard, and duringrepparttar 127034 time I served, I held a top-secret security clearance. I served my country well and was honorably discharged. I've been arrested only once in my entire life, as a 17-year-old runaway, and I've had a grand total of three traffic tickets in almost thirty years of driving. In what way am I such an evil and dangerous neighbor?

Why have I been forced to practice my religion in secret for most of my life? Why, during my active duty years (early to mid 1970s), was I forced to record "No Pref" on my dog tags? Am I a pacifist? Hardly! Women have never been drafted inrepparttar 127035 United States, so why would I have enlisted voluntarily (and duringrepparttar 127036 Viet Nam war!) if I were a pacifist?

Why does publishing my real name on this article cause me to riskrepparttar 127037 loss of my job, vandalism to my home and my car, harm to my animals (and children if I had any)? Does this make any sense to a rational human being?

Where doesrepparttar 127038 knee-jerk hostility torepparttar 127039 word "witch" come from?

Not fromrepparttar 127040 word, certainly. "Witch" is a corruption of "witcraft," or "craft ofrepparttar 127041 wise." In fact, my religion is sometimes called "The Craft ofrepparttar 127042 Wise," or just "The Craft." There is nothing sinister there. Do we practice magic? Yes, most of us do. Do we have supernatural powers? Of course not. Oddly enough, those who believerepparttar 127043 practice of magic is so evil are often those who most sincerely believe in faith healing. Just think about that honestly for a moment, and try to explainrepparttar 127044 difference to me. I'm waiting . . .

Let’s get back torepparttar 127045 Craft ofrepparttar 127046 Wise. Duringrepparttar 127047 Christian Inquisition, nobody really knows how many accused witches were burned atrepparttar 127048 stake. It is known, however, that a number of village wise women were accused of witchcraft and burned for curing fevers with nasty stuff like moldy bread. Were they followers ofrepparttar 127049 Old Religion? Probably - although I wasn’t there, and I honestly have no idea. Were they wise? You bet they were! Did you ever hear of penicillin? How many centuries of medical knowledge were lost because of a bunch of frightened priests?

So where didrepparttar 127050 idea come from that we were (and are) Satanists?

The most obvious answer is thatrepparttar 127051 moldy bread cure worked, and was unexplainable. A number of other herbal and common sense remedies were surprisingly effective, as "alternative" medicine is re-discovering today. The only wayrepparttar 127052 church could admit these cures worked (and it was a little too obvious to deny) without admitting this was a really good thing was to makerepparttar 127053 claim thatrepparttar 127054 women practicing these cures had made a pact withrepparttar 127055 Devil. Heavens, they couldn't be physicians! Medicine was firmly inrepparttar 127056 hands ofrepparttar 127057 priests, andrepparttar 127058 practice of medicine was expressly forbidden to women. Atrepparttar 127059 time I write of, formal medicine consisted mostly of applying leeches torepparttar 127060 sick.

Wererepparttar 127061 village wise womenrepparttar 127062 only problem? No. During this early medieval period, whenrepparttar 127063 Christians were converting Northern Europe at sword point, a lot of dirty tricks were played. The country folk, whom we believe to berepparttar 127064 ancestors of modern Wicca, worshiped a Goddess we considerrepparttar 127065 Mother of Life, and a God we callrepparttar 127066 Horned Hunter, or God of Death. For us, death is merely a door to rebirth, so there is nothing at all fearful for us in a God of Death. In an effort to make non-Christianity something horrible,repparttar 127067 monks who drewrepparttar 127068 medieval Biblical illustrations "borrowed" our Horned Hunter when they drew depictions ofrepparttar 127069 Christian Devil. You needn't take my word for this. Any educated person knows thatrepparttar 127070 Greek Pan predates Christianity by some considerable period of time. Take a good look at a drawing of Pan in your nearest encyclopedia. Look familiar? He should. You've been looking at him in biblical illustrations dating back to your first Sunday school. Pan isrepparttar 127071 Greek form of our Horned Hunter. They are one andrepparttar 127072 same god. Read your mythology. Pan was never evil, just playful.

If all that weren't enough, Exodus 22:18 was horribly mistranslated inrepparttar 127073 King James Version ofrepparttar 127074 Christian Bible. The original "Suffer not a poisoner to live among you" became "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." Some pretty bloodthirsty fundamentalist preachers want to enforce that mistranslation literally, even today. In August of 1999, Rev. Jack Harvey of Killeen, Texas, was quoted as stating publicly that all witches should be killed. He organized a “March Against Wickedness” for that Labor Day Monday in Killeen (which flopped pitifully), and I believe he was hoping and praying it would erupt into real violence, because he advised members of his congregation to carry guns, in case some of us witches decided to snatch his kids.

Can you spell “bizarre?” We would never, of course, kidnap children, but could someone please explain to me why we are supposed to want them? And, in particular, why we would want his offspring? I thoughtrepparttar 127075 idea of sacrificing Christian babies was discarded whenrepparttar 127076 Nazis falsely accusedrepparttar 127077 Jews of it. This is more ofrepparttar 127078 same bigoted excrement.

Who Is Jesus? -- Why Was Jesus Born?

Written by Stanley T. Crawford

Please feel free to use this article for your newsletter, ezine, or web site, in its entirety includingrepparttar resource box. Please notify me of publication by sending a website link or a copy of your ezine when published mailto:scrawford@whatismyname.com. Thank you!

Who Is Jesus? – Why Was Jesus Born? by Stanley T. Crawford

Simon Peter answered and said, “You arerepparttar 127012 Christ,repparttar 127013 Son ofrepparttar 127014 living God.” (Matthew 16:16)

And Jesus said to them, “I amrepparttar 127015 bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men,repparttar 127016 Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (I Timothy 2:5 & 6)

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower thanrepparttar 127017 angels, forrepparttar 127018 suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, byrepparttar 127019 grace of God, might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9)

As we readrepparttar 127020 Bible, we see several names that are used to describe Jesus Christ. Each name reflects an important aspect of Christ’s character. Let us take a look at some of these names.

Jesus isrepparttar 127021 Lamb of God. Jesus took awayrepparttar 127022 sin ofrepparttar 127023 world by sacrificing himself (John 1:29, I Timothy 2:5 & 6). He was perfect and without fault. These qualities allowed Jesus to berepparttar 127024 ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Even so, each man and woman must makerepparttar 127025 choice to accept God through Christ, or reject him. It should be remembered, Jesus seldom forces himself on any man or woman.

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