In the North some form of religious madness can always be found playing itself out rather than burning itself out. Burning is for such things as witches and the torch is invariably in the hands of the incendiary men of god, usually incandescent with hate. Given that their god boasts of hating with a perfect hatred their belief that they were created in his image is perfectly reasonable and at the same time impervious to reason.
In a place where government ministers actually claim to believe that the universe is 6000 years old, and that evolution is some Darwinian ruse to mislead the faithful and prevent them being saved, there is little cause for raising eyebrows at the notion of some devil hating, god bothering fool from Larne having a broomstick up his jaxsy over a call for a memorial plaque to be erected to eight Islandmagee women convicted of witchcraft. The trial of these unfortunate wretches, rather than witches, took place over three hundred years ago and after being found guilty by good Christian gentlemen they were placed in stocks and imprisoned.
Novelist Martina Devlin is seeking to rescue the women’s character from the religious cretinism that condemned them. Following through on her contention that their experience was “a historic injustice that had to be righted” she has written a book about the women. The House Where It Happened.
These women were victims of prejudice and whispering games back in the 18th century, so I am shocked that in the 21st century some people object to correcting a miscarriage of justice ... These were women who were poor, vulnerable and convicted on the flimsiest of evidence and so deserve to have their names cleared just like the innocent men, women and children accused at Salem, who were eventually pardoned.But Jack The Witch Killer McKee of the TUV has opposed Devlin's proposal to erect a plaque on the laughable grounds that it is anti-god. The minutes of a council meeting attended by McKee purport to reveal that he “could not tell whether or not the women had been rightly or wrongly convicted as he didn’t have the facts and was not going to support devil worship”.
With the same sort of jaundiced mindset that to this day promulgates the view that the Birmingham six were guilty, he is also reported as having said he was not yet convinced that the Islandmagee eight were not convicted of devil worship.
What if they were? As the writer Wafa Sultan once said they can worship stones if they like – just don’t throw them at us. Besides that old Christian god McKee worships would be more than a match for the devil when it comes to barbarism. He would scare the bejaysus out of any old demon.
We know that if religious fools like McKee had their way women would still be facing trial for witchcraft. Dawn Purvis of the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast might be first in a very long queue of women, gays and numerous others who offend religious opinion, to be purified by the flame. The burners are merely following their god of whom George Carlin said:
he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! But He loves you.