Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Before Salem...

A little more history...

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1998
Photograph by Jim Richardson

On a dark night, lights cast mysterious shadows on the Edinburgh Castle. The Edinburgh Castle has a long haunting past, one of which involves the Witches Well. Located in the northeast corner of the castle, the Witches Well commemorates the death of more than three hundred women. They were accused of practicing witchcraft between 1479 and 1722.

From the monthly National Geographic newsletter.

A friend recently sent photos of a drowning pond in Iceland where women dress in white each year and gather to commemorate the deaths of ancesters in that pond, women drowned because they were accused of having sex outside of marriage.

Wives were also expected to die on their husband's funeral pyre with them in some cultures and we won't even get into how Henry the Eighth handled divorce.

And yes, men have their share of torture, too, but it has never seemed gender related, with the exception of African American men in America, who were tortured/castrated and then hung. To my knowledge, there were no female tortures and hangings, though they met other types of abuse by the Klan. Tell me if I'm wrong.

If you can stand to look at these, the site, Without Sanctuary, tells the story of these men in photographs.

What's even scarier is that in the Salem burnings, the drowning well, and the lynchings, the persecuters all claimed to be good 'god-fearing' citizens. I'd like to meet their god sometime.


Pat Paulk said...

We masturbate our sludge into rivers, lakes and seas, why not God? Pris, as always thought provoking.

Brian Campbell said...

I wouldn't.

Pris said...

Hi Pat
So many people killed in the name of 'god'. Amazing.

Hi Brian,
I wasn't sure what the wouldn't referred to. Wanting to look at the photos. Can't say I blame you. It's a horrid time in our history.

tom said...

brian might mean what i would - i wouldn't want to meet that god

amazes me the hate that people generate in the name of religion - but it no longer suprises me

hope all is well

might post some soon

Pris said...

Hi Tom
Yes, that makes sense. Glad you'll post soon. I check your blog ever so often and see you haven't been there. Would love to see more of your work/thoughts/creations.

tom said...

thanks - posted a bit today

mouse said...

Hi Pris, I'm back online, although not quite settled yet. Speaking of unsettling, this is a gruesome post with beautiful pictures. I am too timid to touch that link! If I could ignore some of the things going on in the world right now, I would say that we live in an enlightened age. However, I do find that religious zealots and racists are alive and well and as fanatical as terrorists. It was appropriate for you to do this post at this time of year. Although horrific, it is important that we do not forget!

Carl Bryant said...

Hatred and self-interest will use any tool available - even and especially religion.

When it's no longer pc to respect hatred in the name of God, we'll all move a step forward.

Pris said...

I'm glad you're back online!

and Carl, I wonder if that day will ever come??