November 1, 2014

JUST BECAUSE MAGIC IS FALSE DOESN'T MEAN WITCHES AREN'T REAL:

The Case for Witch-Hunts (Jeremy Lott, 10/31/14, Splice Today)

In his wartime radio broadcasts to rally the U.K. behind God and country and decency against the Third Reich, C.S. Lewis briefly addressed the subject of burning witches. The Oxford don told BBC listeners that one fellow had asked him pointedly, "Three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death. Was that what you call the Rule of Human Nature or Right Conduct?" He would concede nothing.

The only reason we don't execute witches these days, Lewis explained, "is that we do not believe there are such things." If that were to change, things would be very different. "[I]f we really thought that there were people going about who had sold themselves to the devil and received supernatural powers from him in return and were using these powers to kill their neighbors or drive them mad or bring bad weather, surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then those filthy quislings did."

The word "quislings" has lost most of its rhetorical punch now but at the time it meant something awful. Norwegian strongman Vidkun Quisling was roundly hated for his Nazi-backed coup. After the war, he was tried and executed by firing squad for his crimes, including sending most of his country's Jews to the ovens. By calling witches quislings, Lewis was saying that if such things existed they were traitors to the human race, collaborators with an occupying power, opportunists of the deadliest sort.

Simply the attempt to manipulate magical forces places one beyond the Pale.

Posted by at November 1, 2014 6:50 AM
  

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