OK, people, let’s go over this once again.
Homicide, let alone mutilation, definitely causes harm to another. Therefore, IF (and that is a HUGE if) this “person of interest” is Wiccan, they did NOT do so as an actual ritual of the religion. Thank goodness, the NBC journalist actually did their research and states in the article that “The religion does not encourage the practice of ritual killings.”
However, the police sergeant is less careful in his comments.
When asked how the evidence suggests these are ritualistic or Wiccan killings Sgt. Hobbes said, “The injuries to the victims, the positions of the bodies and also the person of interest right now is also a practitioner.”
And comments by the neighbor are just as ignorant:
“It’s frightening to think about. Especially when you have small children,” neighbor Ken Lester said, according to affiliate WECT. “To find out that it was this weird, satanic cult, witchcraft whatever, is just really unsettling.”
Look, Jim Jones, David Koresh (Branch Dividians), and Heaven’s Gate were all supposedly “Christian” groups. Does that make their cults a true representation of ALL Christian doctrine or thought? You’re damned right it doesn’t!
This is NO different than the pedophiles, drug addicts, and other criminals who attempt to use ANY religion as an excuse for their activities.
This is NO different than the conspiracy nonsense in the 1980s and 1990s that is often referred to as the “Satanic Panic.” One Wiccan (the first police officer to “go public” about being Wiccan, and had been a child abuse investigator, as well as being part of a SWAT team, Gang Crime Unit, and a hostage negotiation team) decided to write a book in the late 90s (The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca) to HELP law enforcement understand the basics of the religion.
Look, the pagans in Rome accused the incipient Christian Church of eating babies, and the Roman Catholic church in the Middle Ages accused Jews of the exact same thing. How is this bullshit ANY different from those accusations?
If you would prefer to live in ignorant fear, rather than attempt to understand someone who is different than you are, please go live somewhere else. There is enough fear and hatred in this world as it is. How about we focus on REAL problems, like the active danger to people of color by some misguided members of our law enforcement agencies, or the fact that a certain percentage of men in this country think they are entitled to sex and a woman’s body.