Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Witches - Some People Put Them in Novels; Others Think That They're Real

As you've probably figured out by now, I write fantasy. Magic swords, mythical creatures, spells and omens, it's all good. But when I write fantasy, I KNOW it's fantasy...that is, something that is not real. But there are places in this world, places with indoor plumbing, F-16 fighter jets, smartphones and air-conditioned shopping malls, where they honestly do not understand the difference between fantasy and reality.

Because in Saudi Arabia, they have religious police, and the police have instituted special divisions DEVOTED TO HUNTING WITCHES.

There are no checks on the power of the judges in these witch trials. They have become a good way for abusive employers to get rid of servants who complain of ill-treatment. And the penalty for witchcraft is death. This reminds me once again how special and irreplaceable was the Enlightenment. It makes me want to kiss Voltaire and John Locke and David Hume, all of 'em, right on the lips.

Separation of Church and State. The Scientific Method. Free Speech.

Never forget.

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