Who Said It? A Few Quotes Looking at “Us vs. Them” Sentiments since the Salem Witch Trials

Who said it? Guess the speaker of the following quotes to see how much we’ve progressed since the Salem Witch Trials.

1. “It’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor.”
Is this quote from

(A). A Puritan minister warning about the punishment of God for tolerating sinners in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

(B). A televangelist informing people of God’s potential wrath for a gay pride event at Disney World

2. “He appears to have been a principal promoter & encourager of this most horrible & Detestable piece of Villainy a Scheme which must have been brooded in a Conclave of Devils, & hatched in the Cabinet of Hell.”
Is this quote from

(A). A judge during the Salem Witch Trials remarking on the guilt of an accused suspect’s involvement in the witch plot to destroy God’s Kingdom

(B). A judge commenting on the guilt of a slave accused of joining a conspiracy to burn the entirety of the city of New York

3. “The way they treated you, you felt like you didn’t even want to try to do anything.”
Is this quote from

(A). A third grader responding to discrimination based on eye color

(B). A student explaining the hardships African American children faced after the desegregation of public schools

4. “We are to Resist and Repress them, in the Name, and by the Spirit, Grace and Strength, of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Is this quote from

(A). A Puritan minister calling the congregation to prepare for the spiritual battle to defend God’s Kingdom from witches and devils

(B). A preacher urging his followers to dedicate themselves to Christianity to pray the gay away from the community

5. “We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined.”
Is this quote from

(A). Puritans encouraging the conversion of Native Americans to Christianity to limit the amount of bloodshed cause by wars with neighboring tribes

(B). An advocate for gay conversion therapy discussing the need to educate homosexuals of their sinful nature

6. “They came to this valley to work, and they stayed to take over.”
Is this quote from

(A). A slave owner commenting on the discovery of a slave plot to rebel against the white population of a town

(B). A spokesperson for a farm organization justifying the sentiments of farmers pleased to see the internment of Japanese-Americans

7. “If it kills a few of them off, it will make society a better place.”
Is this quote from

(A). An American colonist expressing his lack of sympathy for Indians dying from smallpox

(B). A doctor expressing his lack of sympathy for gay victims in the early days of the AIDS epidemic

8. “And God, in his infinite wisdom, has so ordained it that when man destroys his ________ purity, it can never be redeemed.”
Fill in the blank. Is it

(A). A politician justifying segregation defending the idea of “racial purity”

(B). A Puritan minister stating that witches within the church damages the “church’s purity”

1. B
Pat Robertson of the 700 Club expressed his belief that God would send his judgement for Disney World’s Gay Days. “I would warn Orlando that you’re right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don’t think I’d be waving those flags in God’s face if I were you … It’ll bring about terrorist bombs; it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor.”

2. B
Judge Daniel Horsmanden served over the New York Colony court for the Slave Conspiracy Trials in 1741 when the white population believed a series of fires in New York were started by slaves to rise up against and take over the colony. 17 slaves and 4 whites were hanged, 13 slaves were burned, and 70 slaves were banished from the colony.

3. A
Jane Elliott’s third grade class learned racism by experiencing it. One day Elliott taught the students blue eye students were superior to brown eye students and gave benefits to the blue eyed group. The next day she switched the privileges. The students quickly turned on each other, even reverting to name calling like “brown eyes.” Several documentaries, including The Eye of the Storm document the experiment.

4. A
In March 1692, Rev. Deodat Lawson visited Salem Village, his former church, and gave a guest sermon in light of the first witchcraft accusations. The sermon “Christ’s Fidelity: The Only Shield against Satan’s Malignity” encouraged the people of Salem to “put on the whole armor of God” since he was “commanded to call and cry an alarm unto you.” His militant language helped stir up the passions of a community entering a witch hunt.

5. B
Marcus Bachmann, husband of former representative Michele Bachmann, runs a practice for gay conversion therapy. “We have to understand: barbarians [gays] need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps.”

6. B
Austin Anson worked for the Grower-Shipper Association in the 1940s when Japanese-Americans on the west coast for national security during World War II. “We’re charged with wanting to get rid of the Japs for selfish reasons. We might as well be honest. We do. It’s a question of whether the white man lives on the Pacific Coast or the brown men. They came to this valley to work, and they stayed to take over. They offer higher land prices and higher rents than the white man can pay for land. They undersell the white man in the markets. They can do this because they raise their own labor. They work their women and children while the white farmer has to pay wages for his help. If all the Japs were removed tomorrow, we’d never miss them in two weeks, because the white farmers can take over and produce everything the Jap grows. And we don’t want them back when the war ends, either.”

7. B
When the AIDS epidemic began, doctors failed to investigate the causes out of prejudice. One of the first doctors to look at the disease, Dr. Joel Weisman, called a colleague to discuss this new disease to hear this quote against gays. The prejudice of the time allowed the disease to spread to over 100,000 cases by 1990. The prejudice of the time is linked to the law banning gay men from donating blood today despite the lack of scientific evidence supporting the ban.

8. A
Theodore Bilbo served as governor of Mississippi. In 1946, he published Take Your Choice: Separation or Mongrelization which argued for segregation based on race. He served in the US Senate as well and was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

This post is intended to show the continuing themes throughout history. There is a constant “us versus them” sentiment. Looking back, those who advocate for segregation and witch hunts appear as villains in historical anecdotes. We cannot fully judge those who made mistakes in the past since they lived in a different time, but we must learn. If Salem 1692 and Mississippi 1946 sound the same, it means we failed to learn from our past. We can’t be caught up in this group versus that group. The claims that same sex marriage is an attack on religious liberty uses the same reasoning that fails so often in history. It’s the witch plot to destroy the church in 1692; it’s the slave conspiracy to burn the New York colony in 1741; it’s the segregation of the 1950s. People see this enemy attacking their organization out of fear; fear of Satan or a slave uprising, or being proven wrong. One of my former teachers for a class on the Holocaust began the class by reviewing the concept of hate to explain the Nazi ideology. He said, “Hate occurs when you truly believe something, and then something happens, and you see how wrong you were.” In Germany, there was a belief of the nation’s superiority, and then World War I happened, so hate formed and the Jews were turned into a scapegoat. Belief in racial equality or traditional marriage is a way to hide from differences, so the fear is of people who are different and the result is prejudice. But if you really look at the language, you see that the language of the witch trials hasn’t changed except for the targets, and it occurs again and again.

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