Wednesday, November 19, 2014


My granddaughter has me investigating another English assignment due in December. This one is focused on the Salem witch trials that took place in this country during the late 1690s. While such business wasn’t merely restricted to a small area in Massachusetts (England was also eliminating “the dark side”, an examination of what took place here at home gives clear evidence of what men can do to each other through religious ignorance. In less than sixteen months, nineteen individuals were pronounced guilty and executed by hanging, one man died from being tortured to confess his guilt, heavy stones placed upon him finally crushing his chest, four people died in prison, and two dogs killed that were suspected of participating in the occult. Six women were found guilty, but, nevertheless, pardoned. Five actually pled guilty and were pardoned. One woman, a black slave, whose ethnic origin is not known, but whose belief and practice of some sort of voodoo mumbo-jumbo with a few young girls was admitted, was questioned, never indicted. Just where humanity was in its state of evolution down through the centuries or do we yet “miss it” in many ways, our salvation still far short of knowing perfection in what we claim to possess? A few decades back, my own bunch protested against secular music, movie theaters, and all literature other than a King James Bible interpreted in any manner other than through old time holiness. One evening we had a special service, one addressing “the devil in the world’s songs” and pre-purposed as encouraging a bonfire afterwards for any and all to commit any such trash to its flames. With a few protestors objecting, we gathered on the front lawn in the darkness and into a steel barrel torched with some kerosene went, not only Michael Jackson, Kiss, and whatever else was popular in the late 80s, but also Alvin and the Chipmunks, Doris Day, and George Jones. Nobody was subjected to any sort of inquisition about having so obviously having fallen under the spell of such lyrical enchantment. No questions asked as to who owned what. We didn’t get as much press as the Puritans and only a few of us are left with eye-witness testimony concerning the event. Suffice it to say it was not one of our better moments……..


  1. Three hundred plus years later, it makes for interesting reading but I bet it wasn't fun for the people on trial and their families though I would bet the people on the sidelines got their share of entertainment. The more things change...

    I find history completely fascinating. How can we not look into it in order to try and figure out what makes us tick? In a way, it gives us an opportunity to try on some situations at a safe distance and try to imagine what role we might have chosen to play, artificial though it may be. Inevitably, I have to concede that I could have been in anybody's shoes and perhaps reacted the very same way. But for the grace of God go I, right?

    There's a doc on Netflix called Bugging Hitler's Soldiers that is fascinating. In England during the war, captured nazi officers were "imprisoned" on some fancy estate where hidden microphones were placed everywhere (even the trees were bugged) to record their intimate conversations. It's an incredible glimpse into the different mindsets.

    Also just remembered another one that you might like called Forgiving Mengele. Pretty amazing actually.

    If you don't have Netflix (worth it for the docs alone) you might be able to Google them and see it in parts on Youtube or something.


    1. Don't have Netflix. Will google and see what happens. It is so true, though, that any of us, in different circumstances, other environments, or a number of other ways, could be quite different in our identity. Humanity, in its weakness, connects us all. What we are offered, in Christ, is not "me" perfected, but the gift of walking through this with "Perfection" abiding within, help in our stumble down the path....