Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Thought To Ponder - Ignorance

An image of suspected witches being hanged in England.
 published in 1665

I know that when I usually post a thought to ponder it is just that, a simple thought.  Yet today my topic needed more than a mere quote and picture to go along with it. 
318 years ago today, John Willard and Reverend George Burroughs were put to death during the Salem Witch Trials.  I have always been amazed at the number of people who were chosen to die via execution simply because they may have been different or there were those who were too ignorant to know better.
In researching to find an approximate number of those put to death for this crime, I found many varying numbers.  I found numbers as low as 35,000 to as high as 9 million.  Considering that the witch hunts took place between the 14th and 18th centuries I would myself consider the number to be a high one. Even the number of 60,000 which I found and was to have been researched and found to be the most accurate seems somewhat low to me.  We are talking about a period of over 400 years during a time when man was not capable of understanding many things therefore anything that was unexplainable was considered evil.
 Let me stress also that there would be those who would argue that the witch hunts started well before the 14th century and continue still today.  Lets not be fooled so easily, ignorance plagues us still.  There are still those today  who pay the price although it may not necessarily be death for what man fears.

To read more of my findings check out my article over at Ewitch

7 comments:

Linda in New Mexico said...

Great post. So many still suffer, in varying degrees every day. Tolerance and acceptance are still way off in the stratosphere for most, even us everyday, live in "free" country witches. Ignorance and fear prevail. Sad but true.
And yet we forget because of our freedom that "those that are suspected" are still being put to death in this world.
Blessings, The Olde Bagg

faerwillow said...

"Lets not be fooled so easily, ignorance plagues us still. There are still those today who pay the price although it may not necessarily be death for what man fears."

how true those words are...sad but the mere reality of the world we live in...thank you for such a thought provoking post and remembering for a moment all those who have passed before us in such a terrible manner...warm wishes and brightest blessings~

Dirgesinger said...

I don't think that any exact number can ever be stated for the victims of the witch trials - through different ages and different locations, it was not even clear what is to be considered a witch trial or what is considered to be witchery. I have heard very distinct numbers - just as You have - but I cannot and as a historian, shall not make a guess. The only thing that is sure - there were thousands of victims and thousands of methods to torture them, all in the name of a misinterpreted God by a Church that named itself the envoy of God's will. And I think that is the most painful part - to drag the holy name in this most foul business.

Judy said...

Just the other day the taliban stoned a couple to death...

Teresa said...

Whether it is witch or just those who are different, it still goes on. Unfortunately, fear of those who are different is ingrained into many of us as small children, and we spend the rest of our lives trying to overcome it.

Bogaman said...

I think it has more to do with fear than ignorance. The christians, in particular the catholic church tried everything they could to wipe out the pagan beliefs and practices. Fear has been at the root almost everytime a group of people are persecuted. To me, what is really frightening, is that it can and probably will happen again in one form or another. America is not exempt from this sort of craziness.

Celia (Head Witch of the Hollow) said...

So you are still alive then Janie?
I thought maybe you had forgotten us witchy folks ;0)
Thought I'd pop into your little piece of turf...see how you're doing...you look very well my sweet pea...

My uncle had a real set of the so called "witch trials"...he "acquired" from a friend (in the church!)...it was a set of really large brown books...they were the most revolting things that I have ever read, there was not a piece of love or compassion in any of them...they were just big books of torture really, written under the guise of moral teachings...in the name of the law...
I was allowed to read them "when I was old enough"...but I would never want to read them again...they made me sick to the bones.
I don't think that one person in them was ever a witch...they were just scapegoats...for a corrupt bunch of hateful people (mainly men)...ooh look at me...now see what you've done my girl!
You've set me off again...you know what I'm like...
I'd best leave your little safe place and head back to my mountain...
See you soon darlin' if you ever decide to visit for tea and crumpets again...:0)