Monday, March 1, 2010

Witches and Little Women

Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the Salem Witch Hysteria in 1692.

In February, 1692 several teenaged girls exhibited strange behavior and attributed their ailments to witches. Under pressure of questioning, a West Indian slave, Tituba, admitted to being a witch.

My question would be, How do you tell that teenaged girls behavior is strange, and not just normal? That should have been a clue right off the bat.

By April, 19 women had been accused of witchcraft and were in jail…including a 4-year old child. Governor Sir William Phips ordered trials held.

By October, when the trials were ended due to public outcry of unjust proceedings, 19people had been hanged, 5 died in jail, 1 was tortured to death and more than 150 had been imprisoned. Two dogs were executed.

By 1711, all those accused of witchcraft had been pardoned by the colony legislature. I'm sure that was comforting to those who had been killed.

Looking back 300+ years the witchcraft episode seems so…primitive. But, we’re doing the same thing today, just with different issues.

How often in our lives do we paint our fears on other people or situations? If they are gay, or a different race, have different religious beliefs, or belong to a different political party they must be exhibiting strange behaviors and should be feared, hated or worse.

‘Bout time to smarten up, don’t you think?

And by the way, the majority of what teenaged girls do is strange…and that makes it normal.

But ya gotta watch out for the dogs!

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