A Michigan pro-family group is raising concerns over an article in a middle school student newspaper that encourages kids to experiment with witchcraft.
An eighth-grade member of the newspaper staff at Central Middle School in Midland has written an article stating that she has decided to experiment with the religion known as Wicca and thinks other students would enjoy Wiccan activities such as casting spells and making potions. But Gary Glenn of the Midland-based American Family Association of Michigan says it is inappropriate for a middle school newspaper to promote witchcraft to 11-, 12-, and 13-year-olds.
“We brought this to the Midland School Board's attention,” Glenn says. “The principal said she agreed that it was inappropriate and would take steps in the future to make sure that it would not happen again. But we've made it an issue in the community in hopes that it will serve as an object lesson for school officials in all schools in the city and, hopefully, the entire state.”
Wicca is described as a polytheistic, neopagan nature religion inspired by certain pre-Christian western European beliefs. British civil servant Gerald Gardner, an occult enthusiast, amateur folklorist, and student of magic, is credited with founding Wicca during the 1940s or 1950s. Many Wiccans worship a mother goddess as their central deity and commonly dabble in the use of so-called herbal magic and supposedly benign witchcraft.
Glenn says he has warned the school district of the dangers associated with neopagan religious practices, many of which have been documented by law enforcement and the media. For instance, he notes, a female public school teacher in the town of Muskegon recently married a 14-year-old student in a Wiccan ceremony and sexually molested the child. And just two weeks ago in Ohio, a Wiccan couple was convicted of murdering a 13-month-old baby.
According to local media accounts of the Ohio trial, the boyfriend of the child's mother had allegedly used an eight-inch needle to tattoo Wiccan symbols into the baby's skin. Minutes to hours before her death, the infant's feet and cheek were punctured more than 40 times with the tattoo needle, in what prosecutors called a sort of neopagan initiation ritual.
Glenn says his group has made an issue out of the Midland incident in order to send a message to the schools and the community about the dangers of Wicca and other neopagan beliefs and practices associated with witchcraft. He believes such occult spirituality puts children at risk for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual harm.
“We think it also runs the risk of potential legal liability for the public school,” the Michigan pro-family leader adds. “If a student perceives his or her school to be encouraging the practice of witchcraft and, based on reliance on that understanding, actually does engage in witchcraft and then comes to some kind of harm, we think the school district could be held liable.”
The AFA of Michigan wants Central Middle School officials to act decisively to contain any damage done by the article promoting Wicca. Glenn says his group is calling on the school’s newspaper to print an apology and a retraction, making it clear the Central Middle School does not promote witchcraft.
(This article courtesy of Agape Press).