Comparison is Drawn between Salem Witch Hunt and Mid East Terror

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From Islamic jihadists to Christian evangelists the firmly-held belief that we are right and others wrong about God’s will has caused incalculable human suffering.

A Witch in the Family

Stephen Hawley Martin, the author of the widely-discussed new book on the Salem witch hunt called “A Witch in the Family,” says that things haven’t changed much in 300 years. Even though people everywhere have access to the scientific knowledge of the twenty-first century, individuals and groups from Islamic jihadists to Christian evangelists still point fingers and accuse others of being in league with Satan.

“Perhaps the most dangerous people known to man are those who think they have the inside track on God’s will. Throughout the centuries, from the Spanish Inquisition, to the Salem witch hunt, to Islamic fanatics ramming jets into the World Trade Center, to Hezbollah firing Iranian rockets into Israel, they have been responsible for torturing and killing countless people,” he said.

Martin added that judging from recent events the idea some have that they have a direct pipeline to how God thinks and acts will not go away any time soon. Not long ago a Pakistani imam declared that the earthquake that struck his region in 2005 was an act of vengeance by a god enraged that some residents had defiled their homes with cable television. Christian evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy, said New Orleans had been home to satanic worship and sexual perversion, and "God is going to use (Hurricane Katrina) to bring revival." A Texas clergyman, Dwight McKissic, suggested Katrina devastated the city because "they openly practice voodoo and devil worship in New Orleans." Jerry Falwell announced that "the ACLU's got to take a lot of blame" for the terrorist attacks for "throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools."

Martin said, “The desire to blame God or Satan for human misery probably arises from a deep seated need to make sense out of the senseless. The notion so many might suffer so much for no reason seems too much to bear.”

Yet the fact is our planet is a violent place, full of fire and brimstone. Cataclysms strike everywhere, and they have been doing so since long before humanity's forebears crawled out of the prehistoric mire. Scientists continue to study an enormous crater off Virginia's coast created by a huge object that slammed into the planet 35 million years ago. Debris from the impact fell across an area of three million square miles.

“It's hard to imagine what the creodonts, amblypods, and condylarths that populated the planet back then did back then to make the Almighty so irritated,” Martin said. “What do you suppose he was trying to tell them?”

Then again . . .

Several years ago Pat Robertson suggested Orlando, Florida, was "right in the way of some serious hurricanes because of the local [Gay Days] festival. I don't think I'd be waving those [Gay Days] flags in God's face if I were you," he warned. Shortly thereafter Hurricane Bonnie detoured around Florida but slammed into Virginia Beach -- home to Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network.

“Maybe sometimes the Almighty is trying to send a message,” Martin said.

Martin said his new book is intended to transport people back to a time when just about everyone –– not only those on the radical fringe –– believed that witchcraft was real, and that Satan was actively working against God and the righteous.

“My goal is for people to understand what really happened, and what really happened is not what most of them think. I offer an explanation for the Salem witch hysteria that’s never before been put in print. I think most readers are going to find this book to be truly spellbinding.”

Published by The Oaklea Press, the full title is "A Witch in the Family: An Award-Winning Author Investigates His Ancestor’s Trial and Execution." It can be purchased at the publisher’s web site, http://www.OakleaPress.com, or at Amazon.com. Search ISBN 189253844X.

For more about the author see http://www.shmartin.com.

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