Should we accept witches, broomsticks and all?

“Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble!” Macbeth, William Shakespeare.

‘Witches’ are among us, casting spells and calling on their pagan gods in times of need.

In an era where freedom of expressing one’s beliefs reign, this should not be a problem.

But for some people this is a problem, as they consider witchcraft as nothing short of Satanic.

In fact, the negative views towards witchcraft was strengthened through the Witchcraft Suppression Act 3 of 1957, an act which prohibited activities related to witchcraft, witch smelling or witch-hunting.

The Act was based on the Witchcraft Suppression Act 1895 of the Cape Colony, which in turn was based on the Witchcraft Act 1735 of the United Kingdom.

However, as of 2012, the constitutional validness of the act came under review by the South African Law Reform Commission as it was thought it infringed on human rights.

Despite the Act coming under review, the fact that a special Occult Crime Unit was created in 1992 has done nothing to ease people’s views on witchcraft.

witches

In my opinion, the Suppression Act reflected an uneducated view on witchcraft, and the Occult Unit merely created a sense of fear. After all, a person should be punished for their crimes, and not because of their religion.

Murder is murder, whether you were a Christian, Muslim, Jew or Pagan.

While occult books are now freely available from bookstores and the internet, allowing witches to practice their way of life to a certain degree, witches are still met with hostility and a touch of skepticism.

I have met a handful of witches in my life, all of whom were the total opposite of what movies and rumours depicted them to be.

None of them believed in ritual sacrifice, violence, believe in Satan or curse people with sinister ailments. Also, much to my dismay, none of their broomsticks were able to fly.

Rather, they focused on becoming one with nature, helping people in need and fighting the forces of evil.

I stand open to correction, but should we not respect other people’s beliefs in the way we expect them to respect ours?

Why should we be allowed to practice our religion when others are persecuted for theirs?

Do you think the witch Suppression Act should be totally abolished or become more stringent?

  AUTHOR
Quinton Boucher
Journalist

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