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Author Topic: The Death Penalty  (Read 9186 times)

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Offline whitecastleman

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The Death Penalty
« on: October 27, 2008, 10:48:38 AM »
On another topic, I was called all kinds of names (that I do not wish to repeat) because I expressed my view that, being pro-life and being in support of the death penalty were not contradictory views.  I used as partial support of my conclusion the teaching of the phrase "thou shalt not kill" in the Old Testament. 

This phrase, others pointed out, meant that it was wrong to kill any human life (except unborn children) and that the death penalty was wrong.  Others went even further and offered their view that all life, including animal life, should be protected and that it was wrong to hunt or to kill animals.  (I've always wondered if these animal lovers also eat meat.  That, I suppose, should be another topic.)

When I was questioned further on the issue, I explained that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and that the word translated "kill" in this phrase had the more specific meaning in the Hebrew language of "murder" - as in "thou shalt do no murder of human life."  I further explained that governments, or their agents acting on the government's behalf, were not "murdering" when carrying out governmental functions that caused life to be ended.  The executioner and the soldier, for example, may be causing life to end, but they are not "murderers" in either a legal or a theological sense of the word.

The posts that I added on this topic were an attempt to explain my views on the issue.  Apparently, my views were not accepted and I was told in no uncertain terms that they were not appropriate and should be placed in another topic.  It looks like censorship is still alive in some circles! 

So, post away if you want to chime in on this topic.  I know that it is a controversial topic- especially for a forum such as ITP.  I'm really looking forward to hearing from those who might offer Biblically-based support for their opinion.

whitecastleman


Offline Scout

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2008, 11:05:32 AM »
I don't believe this is the forum to debate the death penalty based on the bible.  If you wish to throw your religious beliefs around on such a sensitive topic (particularly sensitive on a prisoner-family based forum), I suggest you take this to IPM.


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It's difficult to have a battle of wits with unarmed individuals.

Offline Scout

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2008, 11:09:19 AM »
As wcm approached me regarding whether or not these topics should be censored, I share my reply to him.  If people care to further discuss this topic, I suggest it be taken to IPM.

http://xsorbit28.com/users5/illinoisprisonministry/index.php



"I agree that these types of topics do not belong on IPT, that is specifically why IPM was created.  If you wish to debate the death penalty in the biblical sense, do so there.  You won't get much support for it here.  As the wife of a man who wrongly faced the death penalty and who is now serving LWOP because of that, you won't want to hear my opinion."
Together, we CAN make a difference


It's difficult to have a battle of wits with unarmed individuals.

Offline Dazzler

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2008, 11:16:16 AM »
You were called 'all kinds of names'?  Do tell....
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Dazzler

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2008, 11:21:57 AM »
'no uncertain terms'?  Then why are you posting this here?  You were told to post your religious topics on our religious forum....Illinois Prison Ministries.  Apparently you didn't understand the 'no uncertain terms'.
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Jims

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2008, 03:55:10 PM »
Before moving on to IPM, I just want to put this out there. Is your argument that the death penalty must be okay since the bible says so? Because if that's true, then you must also accept ALL the reasons for which the bible says one could or should be executed:

For following another religion: Exodus 22:20 states: He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed. See also and Numbers 25:1-15.

For a stranger entering the temple: Numbers 1:51 states (in part): ...when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. See also Numbers 3:10, 18:7 and 17:13.

For proselytizing: Deuteronomy 13:1-10 states that a person who tries to convince an Israelite to convert to another religion must be killed.

For communicating with the dead: Leviticus 20:27 calls for the execution by stoning of all mediums and spiritists (aka spiritualists), both male and female.

For black magic: Exodus 22:18 states: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. This is a mistranslation. The passage has nothing to do with Wicca or other forms of Neo-paganism, which are the only types of Witchcraft that are practiced today in North America in significant numbers . The original Hebrew word is translated "sorceress" in most other versions of the Bible. A more accurate phrase would be "women who engage in black magic, harming others by the use of spoken curses." Men are left off the hook.
 
Other passages required people to be stoned to death or even burned alive for sexual activities:

For adultery: Leviticus 20:10 states: And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. This is repeated in Deuteronomy 22:22

For incest: Leviticus 20:11 states: And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death... See also Leviticus 20, verses 12 and 14. Verse 17 prescribe excommunication for incest with one's sister or step-sister.

For temple prostitution: Leviticus 20:13 states: If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.... This verse is often incorrectly interpreted to refer generally to homosexual behavior. See also Deuteronomy 22:24. Both verses, in the original Hebrew, refer to homosexual prostitution in Pagan temples, which was a common religious practice in the tribes surrounding the Israelites.

For bestiality: Leviticus 20:15 states: And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast.... See also Exodus 22:19.

For sexual activity before marriage: Deuteronomy 22:13-21 concludes: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die...".. Note that this applied only to women who had been presented as virgin brides and could be proven to have engaged in intercourse before being engaged or married. There appears to have been no penalty for men who engaged in pre-marital sexual activity.

For sexual activity with both a woman and her mother: Deuteronomy 20:14 requires that all three be burned alive.

For being seduced if engaged: Deuteronomy 22:23-24 states: If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die. Note that this applied only to engaged women. Her fiancé could (in some cases) have sexual access to her, but no other man was permitted to engage in such activity as soon as she became engaged. There appears to have been no penalty for engaged men who seduced women.

For rape of an engaged woman: Deuteronomy 22:25 states: But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die. A man who raped a single woman who was not engaged would only have to marry her and give 50 shekels of silver to her father.

For prostitution Leviticus 21:9 states: And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. Executing someone by burning them alive appears to be reserved for a narrow range of criminal acts.
 
Some grounds for the death penalty involved activities that were not related to other religions or to sexual activities:

For committing murder (sometimes/sometimes not):  Levitucus 24:17 requires that "he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death." Leviticus 24:21 repeats this requirement. See also Numbers 35:16 and Deuteronomy 17:6. The Hebrew word "ratsach" in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the Greek word "phoneuo" in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) are generally mistranslated into the English word "kill." They actually mean "to murder with premeditation."

However, Exodus 21:20, states that if a slave-owner kills his male or female slave, he shall be merely "punished." The nature of the punishment is not specified. The murderer would presumably not receive the death penalty; if he were to be killed, then one would expect the text to say this directly. However, if the injured slave lives for a while after the beating before dying of the abuse, the owner is not punished at all.

For kidnapping: Exodus 21:16 states: And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. This involves kidnapping for the purpose of selling him into slavery. See also Deuteronomy 24:7.

For human sacrifice: Leviticus 20:2-5 states: Whosoever.... giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death. To "give ones seed to Molech" means to ritually sacrifice one's child to a Pagan God.

For cursing parents: Exodus 21:17 states: And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. See also Leviticus 20:9. The exact meaning of the key Hebrew word is ambiguous; it might mean, in English, to curse or blaspheme, or to degrade or shame.

For abusing one's parents: Exodus 21:15 states: And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

For careless handling of an animal: Exodus 21:29 states: But if the ox .....hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. If an animal has the habit of injuring others, and the owner does not kill it, then the both the owner and the ox may be put to death.

For stubbornness and rebellion: Deuteronomy 21:18-21 states: If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother.....all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die..... Because of the ambiguities in some of the words used in the original text, the death penalty might not have been required in this case.

For blasphemy: Leviticus 24:16 states: And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death. Blasphemy was defined as uttering the name of Jehovah while cursing.

For working on Saturday: Exodus 35:2 states: ...but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Numbers 15:32-36 described a man who was executed because he gathered wood on Saturday.

For ignoring the decision of a priest or judge: Deuteronomy 17:12 states: And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die....

For perjury: Deuteronomy 19:15-21 states in part (with reference to a murder trial) ....if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother.... That is, a perjurer would himself be killed.

For accidentally killing a pregnant woman: Exodus 21:22-23 states: "If men strive [i.e. fight], and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." If two men are fighting and accidentally hurt a pregnant woman so that she has a miscarriage, then: if the woman fully recovers, then the man responsible will have to pay a fine to the woman's husband. If the woman dies, then the man would be killed also. If some other harm comes to the woman, (e.g. loss of an eye or tooth) then that would be inflicted upon the man as well.

Some Bible translations, supported by conservative Christian denominations, translate miscarriage as "premature birth." And they interpret verse 23 to include death of the newborn. However, this translation is rare.

Still more grounds for execution:

A male who was not circumcised: Genesis 17:14
Eating leavened bread during the Feast of Unleavened Bread: Exodus 12:15
Manufacturing anointing oil: Exodus 30:33
Engaging in ritual animal sacrifices other than at the temple: Leviticus 17:1-9
Consuming blood: Leviticus 17:10. This would include eating rare meat.
Eating peace offerings while ritually unclean: Leviticus 7:20
Waiting too long before consuming sacrifices: Leviticus 19:5-8
Sexual activity with a woman who is menstruating: Leviticus 20:18
Going to the temple in an unclean state: Numbers 19:13
Persons teaching another religion: Deuteronomy 13:1-11
A prophet whose prophecy does not come true: Deuteronomy 18:22
Gluttony and excessive drinking: Deuteronomy 21:20

Activities for which God Imposed the Death Penalty Directly:
 
For wickedness In Genesis 6, God was disappointed at the wickedness and evil acts of humanity. He sent the flood in Genesis 7:6 which killed every man, woman, child, infant, new-born and animal, except for those who were in Noah's ark. This is as close as humanity has come to a complete genocide. The exact nature of the wickedness is not defined. God also killed Er in Genesis 38:8 for some unknown form of wickedness.

For being abusive to strangers In Genesis 18:20, God had heard that the people of Sodom were wicked and evil. He sent some angels there, who confirmed the stories. In Genesis 19:24, God demolished Sodom and all of its men, women, children, infants, new-born, plants and animals, except for Lot's family. The crime of the people of Sodom has been interpreted by some to be homosexual rape, and by others to be any form of homosexual behavior. But it was clearly lack of hospitality to strangers, as seen in Jesus' comments in Matthew 10:14-15 and Luke 10:7. This is confirmed in Ezekeiel 16:48-50.

For being excessively curious: In Genesis 19:17, the angels told Lot to: ....Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain.... Lot's wife looked back. God killed her and turned her into a pillar of salt.

For practicing birth control: Onan was required by Jewish law and tradition to marry his brother's widow and have a male child who would be considered the brother's heir. This is called levirate marriage. He didn't want to do this, and so practiced an elementary form of birth control (coitus interruptus). God killed him. This was first interpreted by the Church as punishment for a sexual sin: avoiding pregnancy through the use of a birth control technique. Later, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, the Church said it was masturbation. "Onanism" became a synonym for auto-eroticism. Recent Biblical scholars interpret his crime as refusal to follow Jewish custom and provide an heir.

What's done to children, they will do to society.  ~Karl Menninger

Offline downtownchicago

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2008, 04:17:32 PM »
Jims, you took the words right out of my mouth.  One of my biggest pet peeves is pick-and-choose-at-convenience religious adherence.

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. -- Susan B Anthony


Offline whitecastleman

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2008, 07:56:11 AM »
Jims, you took the words right out of my mouth.  One of my biggest pet peeves is pick-and-choose-at-convenience religious adherence.

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. -- Susan B Anthony



From the various anti-religion posts on these topics (and others) it appears that the biggest peeve of some is not those may appear to adhere to some religious views, but those who dare to speak out for ANY religious views- unless, of course, it advances the humanistic, "I am my own god" type of mentality that is so prevalent in our society today.

Just a though to consider--

wcm


Offline Dazzler

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2008, 09:43:27 AM »
I don't think you're understanding the difference between what you call an 'anti-religious' post and anti-religious posts on this forum.  We decided a year ago to remove religious arguments from IPT.  That's why IPM was created...for those wishing to discuss the Bible and other topics relating to religion.  You've been invited more than once to take your views and topic suggestions to IPM and you haven't. 

The majority of IPT'ers do have faith, they just don't link it to their political views.  One religious faction seems to think their church should run this country and the majority of others believe in separation of church and state....just like our forefathers....
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

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Offline whitecastleman

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2008, 11:25:56 AM »
Thanks for the invitation to go elsewhere.

Does this also to apply to Jims since he posted more Bible verses in one post than I did in all mine together?  A rhetorical question, of course. 

Per your request, I will not post any further Bible-referencing topics on the IPT site.

I would make the suggestion that you might want to look at your mission statement that is highlighted in a prominent place on the IPT homepage.  It appears to need some updating since the decision that you mentioned was made a year ago.  Stating that all opinions are welcome at IPT is no longer correct, is it?

Would it be more accurate to say up front (right on the homepage) that those opinions that may be based on religion, the Bible, Christianity, etc. are not appropriate for IPT and are better suited for IPM?  Since this is the practice and intent, it only seems fair to make it known up front.   In fact, one of the other moderators on this site was honest enough to explain to me that "IPM is where people of faith should post, faith based items.  We opened that to keep IPT more secular..."  [This is her quote, not mine.] It really was never clear to me, until recently of course, that IPT was meant to be secular.  When I first hopped on board, I thought that all opinions were welcome. 

The illustration that comes to mind is one from my childhood.  In order to keep the house clean, my mother required my six brothers and me to remove our shoes when we came into the house after we were playing out in the yard.  I would suggest that you make it clear to all current and prospective IPT posters, that they are welcome to come in to the IPT house, but they must leave their religious shoes at the door.

wcm

(For the record, this particular post did not discuss any Bible content and did not cite any Bible verse.)

Offline Dazzler

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2008, 12:01:33 PM »
You are obviously attempting to twist my words wcm.  Your religious postings are welcome here...as are everyone else's....other members just know where to post them....and that's on OUR religious forum...It's called Illinois Prison Ministries and there's the forum link on the home page.  Jims, a woman, will certainly participate in your theories and engage you in lively debate.  This is an inmate support forum, not a religious site.  IPM is part of IPT, it's just a separate forum that enables more topics than we had room for on this board. 

No one is requiring members to 'leave their religious shoes at the door'.  There are some members here who are offended by you putting your religious shoe in their mouth....not everyone shares your beliefs and in the past our boards were flooded with religious topics and the decision was made to return this forum to the inmate families.

Our mission statement includes IPM....that's the forum for Bible discussions...just as the IPT cookbook is for recipes...
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline downtownchicago

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2008, 01:25:27 PM »
I understand wcm's protest.  It really isn't fair to allow the rest of us to discuss religion and not allow him to.  I'm actually interested in what he has to say.  I want to be correct more than I want to be "right", if you know what I mean.  If anyone is offended, the thread can be turned into another "if you can't stand the heat" thread like the political one. 

Offline Dazzler

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2008, 02:00:21 PM »
And just what forum do you think wcm's religious postings belong on?  Hot Topics....I think not.  The Election forum....same problem...

Fun Stuff?  Tell me where the appropriate forum is....
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline irish45mj

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2008, 02:10:25 PM »
I believe you've stated a few million times - religious stuff belongs on IPM.   :wc94:

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2008, 02:20:46 PM »
WCM, the problem wasn't so much debating religion. A good debate is always welcome as long as it remains respectful. The problem came when the site became flooded with religious posts, with prayers, with blessings, with references to Jesus, etc. We did not want to give the impression to guests that this was a religious site - and it was becoming increasingly religious in tone. It only represented a very small but very vocal percentage of our members and it was at included a fair amount of evangelizing and even proselytizing. We have over 1500 members here and hundreds of guests each month representing a wide spectrum of spiritual and religious beliefs or non-beliefs. We felt it was in everyone's best interest to create a sister site where those who want to pray and discuss the bible could do so at will.
What's done to children, they will do to society.  ~Karl Menninger

Offline downtownchicago

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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2008, 03:31:30 PM »
What if we're talking about something like abortion or death penalty and some of the religious members have religious reasons for their viewpoints ?  Are they not allowed to explain because their explanations are religious in nature ?  It's not like they're proseltyzing.

wcm, you are probably just as surprised as I am that an atheist is supporting your right to express your religious beliefs.  :-)   But honestly, if the religion is secondary to the topic being discussed, if religion explains a person's point of view, I don't want to suppress it.




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Re: The Death Penalty
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2016, 12:52:33 PM »
Another widely-accepted translation of Exodus 22:18 is, "Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner [of wells] to live." In Ancient times, someone with a serious grudge against his or her village would sometimes put organic or inorganic poison in the water source, resulting in an untraceable mass murder. Today, we see the same phenomenon where someone whose anger is frustrated from reaching its intended target, and this results in a school shooting or senseless acts of terrorism. Someone super-glues razor blades to the slide in the local kiddie park. Someone throws a cinder block off an overpass into oncoming traffic. This generalized violence is the modern version of poisoning a well, and is generally equally untraceable. The Ancients responded to this violence - which we today would characterize as "terrorism", whether it was politically motivated or not - with the most serious penalties imaginable, and understandably so.

The later Greek transliteration, PHARMAKOS, translates closer to "drug dealer", but it was not the apothecary that was targeted in Exodus, though we might also characterize a heroin dealer as a "poisoner of wells" and culpable murderer of unseen strangers.

Exodus 22:18 became associated with "witchcraft" during the Middle Ages, due both to the Witches being the only people with true knowledge of extracting poisons from plants, and because Witches and Pagans - heinously persecuted almost to extinction - harbored the sort of deep grudges against their societies that motivated such lashing out. Mass poisonings - including the widespread but accidental instances of Ergotism in parts of Germany where some of the worst witch-persecutions took place - were commonly attributed to witches, whether this was true or not. This became a self-fulfilling prophesy, as those witches wrongly accused and tortured, in some cases, did turn around and take revenge on their neighbors.

Remember that many of the poisons preferred by witches caused hallucinations and deformities as well as eventual death. When people became exposed to these toxins - even by accident, as in the case of Ergotism - they blamed witches.

I thank the author of this post for standing up for Wicca and other witchcraft-spectrum Pagan traditions. We moved a little bit toward political correctness back in the 1990s, but today "witch" is still considered an acceptable substitute for "bitch", per FCC TV censorship guidelines, and the conflation of make-believe witches, horror-movie monsters, and devout practitioners of the Old Religion in our media continues to subject Pagans to bigotry and prejudice. In IDOC, the symbols and practices of the Craft are still generally banned, without any reasonable justification beyond the fear that this media misrepresentation - and the Biblical mistranslation at issue in this post - has caused.

IDOC rules against Paganism are currently under challenge in the Federal courts. Google "Sangraal v. Godinez" for more information...

Blessed be.

Benjamin Sangraal


For black magic: Exodus 22:18 states: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. This is a mistranslation. The passage has nothing to do with Wicca or other forms of Neo-paganism, which are the only types of Witchcraft that are practiced today in North America in significant numbers . The original Hebrew word is translated "sorceress" in most other versions of the Bible. A more accurate phrase would be "women who engage in black magic, harming others by the use of spoken curses." Men are left off the hook.