Rare Common Sense: September 2002 Archives

September 25, 2002

Counteracting superstition

Pregnant women in Malawi are now more willing to go for voluntary HIV counselling and testing. Previously, there have been problems because HIV/AIDS, and most other diseases, have been associated with witchcraft:

People in the villages have the misconception that most of these sicknesses are caused by witchcraft which is not the case. If only they could go for testing, they could live longer other than waste money on witchdoctors.

Thyolo women opt for voluntary HIV tests - The Nation, Spetember 25th 2002. (This link is incredibly slow)

September 18, 2002

Fundies ignored

A small group of extremist Christians were disappointed one Monday this August when school officials in Cromwell, Connecticut, decided to do precisely nothing about their petition calling for a ban on any reference to witches and witchcraft in the school system.

The petition specifies two books, "The Witch of Blackbird Pond," by Elizabeth Speare, and "The Bridge to Terabitha," by Katherine Paterson, that the group feels glorify the practice of witchcraft.
The petition also calls for the ban of things such as a worksheet on the spells and practices used by people accused of being witches in the Salem witch trials, as well as the annual field trip to Witch's Dungeon and Museum in Salem, Mass. It also calls for a ban on more abstract references to witchcraft, such as the title "Cast a Spell," used to introduce spelling techniques in grades one through eight, as well as the practice of some members of the faculty dressing up as witches for Halloween.

They argued that this was all specifically related to Wicca and promoting a particular religion violated the separation of church and state. Book ban petition heard - The Middletown Press, August 27th 2002, (Thanks Jan - the newspaper coverage is in-depth and interesting, and the comments suggest that at least one part of the US isn't infested with blethering fundies!)

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Rare Common Sense category from September 2002.

Rare Common Sense: August 2002 is the previous archive.

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