Monday, December 1, 2008

Witchcraft Versus Poverty?

The idea that one should stop using magick in order to alleviate poverty is kind of surprising, given that many spells exist to produce wealth. If you're a magician, you presumably believe that your spells work and can therefore make you more prosperous, whereas if you are a skeptic you presumably believe that such spells accomplish nothing and therefore can't make you poorer unless you spend a lot of money on materials or hire a con artist to cast them for you.

However, this never even occured to me. Addressing the Ugandan Alur people, Anglican archbishop Henry Luke Orombi comments:

“People still share one grass-thatched hut with goats, children, chicken and ducks. You Alur people should have trust in God and stop witchcraft. Stop giving yourselves names like Kumakech (I am unlucky), Ajaruva and Masedi (disturbance), among others associated with poverty,” he said.

“An Alur will not want to see his fellow Alur prospering; they prefer seeing other tribes developing as they bewitch themselves. An Alur will wake up at night and sprinkle blood on the doorway of his fellow Alur who is developing. We must stop this backward habit.”

The remark about having trust in God is pretty much standard for a Christian official addressing witchcraft believers, but if the rest is what actually is going on in Uganda the country must be full of lousy magicians. One of the main arguments against cursing is that in many communities misfortune rarely effects only one person, but instead spreads across the entire group through the local economy. A wise magician works magick for personal success and also for the success of others close to him or her. Such magical work is good for the magician and good for the community.

Hopefully Orombi's remarks either stem from ignorance or Christian propoganda and don't reflect the real situation in Uganda, but if they do I have better advice for these magicians than to cultivate "trust in God" - just quit being stupid and start using your powers for constructive ends!

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

No comments: