By Amanda Awanjo
It is safe to read this: Wiccans are forbidden by their religion to hurt you. Yes Wicca is a religion, and, no it has nothing to do with Satanism. Very few people have a true understanding of the Wicca religion and unfortunately the vast majority of those people are Wiccans themselves. With the majority of individuals in our country relating themselves religions that condemn Wicca as an abomination and a subsequent one way ticket to hell, Wiccans are at an extreme minority in our country. While 233,320,000 people in our country identify themselves as Christians, 2.4 million as Muslims, and 6 million as Jews, Wicca followers total only 768,400. Wiccan followers and students battle close-mindedness and ignorance from a culture that has no desire to find out facts for itself. Despite the prevailing attitude that Wiccans lack morals, and because of this, are inherently dangerous to the prevailing society, Wiccans have a very distinct set of rules and regulations preventing them from harming themselves and others, based on the Wiccan Rede, “In it harm none, do what ye will.” There is also the Law of Threefold, where all actions involving witchcraft rebound upon the caster three times over.Because of the nature of their religion, Wiccans and other neo-pagans are in the minority everywhere. While religious freedom allows them to practice openly, there is a lot of stigma unfairly attached to this religion by others. It is important to understand that Wiccans like others are followers of a religion. Our founding fathers worked for the religious freedoms of the smaller religions as well as the more mainstream ones. Despite any of the prevailing morals and attitudes in your own personal religion it is important not to hold others who are not affiliated to your religious beliefs to your own religious bylaws. Religious affiliation is too often associated with morals but certain religious beliefs do not make you more moral than anyone else. Too often, people forget that it is possible to agree to disagree, and make the regrettable decision to only associate with those that share similar beliefs as their own and by default missing out on good people. In order to dispel ignorance, tolerance must be exercised and the long accepted social norms of our elders must be challenged. The prevailing stereotypes about Wiccans, that they are witches, they are scary, they will curse you if you stand too close to them, they are a bunch of overzealous tree huggers, are all false and easily disproved, with a quick trip to Google or a civil minded chat with a follower. Before acting foolishly from ignorance and fear, find out the facts for yourself.