I was watching a show on A&E the other night. It’s a show I usually enjoy watching called A Haunting or something similar (the exact name escapes me). Each episode features a “haunting” involving a family plagued by unknown spirits. Some spirits are benign and friendly and some are evil and threatening. It’s usually interesting and somewhat educational and I’ve always found it to be open-minded and informational. But, this particular episode surrounded a single mother and her son who were being visited by evil, demonic forces and the devastating ways their lives had been affected. The ensuing story was ridiculous and laughable.
The story was told in flashbacks because it had supposedly occurred in the 1960’s. According to the re-enactment, the woman had “always” been interested and somewhat obsessed with the Occult, Wicca and Witchcraft, much to the dismay of her husband at the time (apparently her interest in the occult had precipitated their eventual divorce). She read “Witchy” books and (gasp) set up an Altar. Her son was mortified with her evil behavior and eventually the two had become estranged. Suddenly, evil beings began visiting this poor, misguided heathen and her life became out of control. By this time her son had left for college and was quite relieved to be free of his devil-worshipping mother. In fact, during a rare visit he was forced to take down a picture of the devil his mother had hung over his bed. His mother was now dressing in all black and even wore a pentagram necklace. What was a good Christian son to do? And so on the story went in the same idiotic way. Eventually, the woman saw the error of her ways. Mother and son blessed the house, said a few prayers and all was well with the world again.
The whole story left me shaking my head and wondering if it had been written by Jerry Falwell. Had I stumbled upon an episode of the 700 Club by mistake? The entire episode was ridiculous. Wicca is a real and recognized religion. There are millions of practicing Wiccans all over the world. There is absolutely no devil worship involved. Wiccans don’t even believe in heaven, hell or the devil. The devil is a Christian myth and nothing more.
Now, I ask you this: Is there a difference between setting up an Altar in one’s home to meditate and going to a building, kneeling, placing hands together, looking skyward and saying prayers? Why isn’t sitting, standing and kneeling several times in one hour considered odd behavior? How about kneeling at a church altar and lighting candles to pray for guidance and healing? What about partaking in wine (juice) and wafers as a way to show reverence to a deity? No one shakes their head and questions these behaviors. No one thinks there are evil consequences to prayer and candle lighting ceremonies. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these things. Prayers are answered. “Miracles” do happen.
There is no difference between Wicca and Christianity except that they are different ways to obtain the same results. Misinformed television shows and movies only serve to perpetuate the ignorance and intolerance of the Wiccan religion. I know stories like these sell tickets and commercialized products, but come on people, enough with the “you’ll go to hell if you practice Wicca and Witchcraft”. Freedom and tolerance of religion means freedom and tolerance of ALL religions. Stop giving Wicca a bad rap.