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“The origin of torture and execution in the name of religion is the certainty that your religion is true, and therefore any other religion must be false. This being so, you must regard people who profess a different religion than your own as heretics, and as inevitably damned (as Saint Augustine did). It is your religious duty to persecute them; and because their crime is against God, no cruelty is too great to use towards them. Indeed, anyone who urges mercy towards heretics is suspect himself. The evidence of history shows overwhelmingly that witches were persecuted, not because they had done harm, but because their crime was heresy. Hence the heavy involvement, from the beginning, of the Church in witchcraft trials.”
“The birth and rebirth of all nature, / The passing of winter and spring, / We share with the life universal, / Rejoice in the magical ring.”
Doreen Valiente, English witch, writer, leader of wiccan & pagan movements in Great Britain
(1922 - 1999)