Today, January 15, in 1697 a day of fasting and prayer was called in Salem, Mass. over the small matter of the horrific persecutions conducted five years before. The main reason given was
"so all of God's people may offer up fervent supplications unto him, that all iniquity may be put away, which hath stirred God's holy jealousy against this land; that he would show us what we know not, and help us, wherein we have done amiss, to do so no more."
Interestingly enough, the site of 19 killings during the famous witch trials was recently located. If you are interested there is a new book out last October about the Witch Trials by Stacy Schiff. Or you can read and watch this bit from the History Channel.
You don't need me to tell you about the Witch Trials, there are plenty of links above.
What you might need me to point out is that the people of Salem were under a great deal of stress -starvation, native attacks, societal issues - and all it took was a little bit of paranoia added to some over the top rhetoric (in some cases delivered by people we have all been taught to revere in our history books) and jealousy and the next thing you knew everyone was seeing witches under the bed and accusing the easy targets. They were stressed and they took it out on people who couldn't fight back.
Oh how things have changed, right?
Because your discomfort with the way the world is must be the fault of the immigrants, homosexuals, and Muslims.
There were no witches in Salem. All the devils were in the minds of the crowd. All the evil in the mouths that spoke and hands that grabbed.
We are Salem.
How long will it take for us to have a day of mourning?