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The Hammer Against Witches

Kevin in a comment to an earlier post mentioned that ‘No bigot I have ever known was as scientistic or as vicious as the writer of this article in EB,’. I think the following book Malleus Maleficarum (1486), written as a guide to witch hunting beats the Negro definition from the Encyclopedia Britannica. The book was second only to Bible in popularity when it was published (watched the History Channel video). Some excerpts from the chapter titled; “Concerning Witches who copulate with Devils. Why is it that Women are chiefly addicted to Evil superstitions”-

“…For S. Jerome in his Contra Iouinianum says: This Socrates had two wives, whom he endured with much patience, but could not be rid of their contumelies and clamorous vituperations. So one day when they were complaining against him, he went out of the house to escape their plaguing, and sat down before the house; and the women then threw filthy water over him. But the philosopher was not disturbed by this, saying, “I knew the rain would come after the thunder.”

There is also a story of a man whose wife was drowned in a river, who, when he was searching for the body to take it out of the water, walked up the stream. And when he was asked why, since heavy bodies do not rise but fall, he was searching against the current of the river, he answered: “When that woman was alive she always, both in word and deed, went contrary to my commands; therefore I am searching in the contrary direction in case even now she is dead she may preserve her contrary disposition.”

And indeed, just as through the first defect in their intelligence that are more prone to abjure the faith; so through their second defect of inordinate affections and passions they search for, brood over, and inflict various vengeances, either by witchcraft, or by some other means. Wherefore it is no wonder that so great a number of witches exist in this sex.

Women also have weak memories; and it is a natural vice in them not to be disciplined, but to follow their own impulses without any sense of what is due; this is her whole study, and all that she keeps in her memory. So Theophrastus says: If you hand over the whole management of the house to her, but reserve some minute detail to your own judgement, she will think that you are displaying a great want of faith in her, and will stir up a strife; and unless you quickly take counsel, she will prepare poison for you, and consult seers and soothsayers; and will become a witch.

“Ignorance Is Bliss”


“Ignorance Is Bliss” by Saira Wasim
“With a tip of the hat to Norman Rockwell, “Ignorance is Bliss” illustrates a recent conflict between Western Europe and the Islamic world involving religious freedom and artistic expression”

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