Of course, we’re all entirely rationalists. Given our tagline around here we can hardly be otherwise, can we? But we can extend this a little more. Every grouping, every culture, insists that there are certain hard truths about the world and the one that comes after it. And witchcraft is being on the wrong side of those obvious and evident truths.
People from other groupings and cultures are going to be guilty of that witchcraft given that they’ve got a different set of such truths.
We can work from the relatively trivial, does the bread and wine represent or truly become the body and blood of God but then we’ve got to recall that millions died in wars over this very matter in our own Dear Europe. Moving on up, it’s obvious that female sexuality is so voracious that it must be controlled with body modification (that too, the voraciousness and control, if not the modification, having been a European belief), through the possession of children by devils (well, yes, historically European) to albino body parts being powerful juju (not, as far as I know, something our own ancestors really went with).
That is, what is witchcraft depends upon the time, place and beliefs of the surrounding society. It’s when there’s a different set intruding that the claims and incidence rise:
Almost 40 cases a week linked to witchcraft and child abuse, councils report
Witchcraft child abuse cases have risen by a third in two years, as experts blame “cultural sensitivity” and “political correctness” as barriers to protecting children.
Abuse of children based on faith or belief – which includes witchcraft, spirit possession and black magic – increased from 1,460 to 1,950 cases between 2016/17 and 2018/19.
This marks an increase of 34 per cent, with councils dealing with the equivalent of 38 such cases a week.
The figures, published today by the Local Government Association (LGA) also show that the number of children identified by councils through a social work assessment as either having or being at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has reached a record high – with 1,000 such cases in 2018/19, up 6 per cent on the 940 cases in the previous year.
Large numbers of people with different belief systems have been arriving recently. In some to many cases what we call child abuse these other groupings and belief cultures call obvious truths. What we call witchcraft they call obvious reality.
All of which should be obvious really. For isn’t the insistence that we should be welcoming this new diversity? And what is diversity if it isn’t a difference or two in belief?