Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Modern World: Abuse of child witches

What is it about the logic of witch accusers? Back in the good ol' days of witch hunts here in the US and in Europe, if they floated in water then they were a witch, if they drowned then they were innocent. Either way, the accused were killed. No logic in it at all.

And here we are, hundreds of years later and this is a sample of more logical wonders:
Christian Eshiett was a rambunctious pre-teen who spent a lot of time cavorting with his friends in southern Nigeria. He would skip school and run away from home for days, frustrating his grandfather, who oversaw the boy's care.
"I beat him severely with canes until they broke, yet he never shed a tear," said Eshiett Nelson Eshiett, 76. "One day, I took a broom to hit him and he started crying. Then I knew he was possessed by demons. ... Nigerian witches are terrified of brooms."

So, fear of a broom means he's a witch.

At least the government of Nigeria is starting to take notice:

Government officials also have joined the fight.

Akwa Ibom recently added a clause into the Child Rights Act, saying that anyone found guilty of branding a child a witch would get up to 12 years in prison.

"This is groundbreaking, and Stepping Stones Nigeria applauds the Akwa Ibom state government for this," Foxcroft said.

Unfortunately, the Christian churches aren't helping:

"The role of the international Christian community in this cannot be underestimated," Foxcroft said. "Unfortunately, the fact remains that this belief system is being spread by so-called Christians."

I really don't think the solution to an irrational belief in magical powers is to replace it with a different irrational belief in magical powers.

Perhaps we should let them watch satire about our own irrational beliefs:

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