The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has been following the story of Sarah Palin's connection with a witch-hunting pastor from Kenya. Pastor Muthee is known for identifying sorcerers within his community, accusing a local woman named "Mama Jane" of casting spells, telling fortunes and causing car accidents in the town. Mama Jane was threatened. Her pets were killed. Muthee demanded she either be saved or leave town--and she left!
In 2005 Thomas Muthee visited Sarah Palin's Assembly of God church, where he laid hands on the future Republican Vice Presidential "in the name of Jesus" and asked that she be protected from witchcraft on her road to political success.
What would the founders say about our witch-crazed Alaskan governor? Ben Franklin, born just a few years after the witch trials in Salem, wrote a biting satire of the hysteria that was still common in his time. Nineteen people were hanged in Salem, and two dogs executed (like in Kenya). One of the accused wizards, Giles Corey, was crushed to death under heavy stones for refusing to plead either guilty or not guilty to the offense of witchcraft. If the founders were careful to build into our constitutioin protections against cruel and unusual punishment, the right to confront your accusers in court, trial by jury, and other procedural safeguards, it was because "guilty until proven innocent," torture and trial by ordeal were not so far in the past.
You can listen to an interview on our founder's faith I did this morning with CBC host Anna Maria Tremonti at http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/.