Historical Forms of Killing That Used to Be Socially Approved and Rampant but Can Barely Be Found Now:
Burning of “witches” and “heretics”
"Pollice Verso” by Jean- Léon Gérôme, 1872; goriest part cropped out. Public domain in a source country on January 1, 1996 and in the US.
Historical Forms of Killing That Used to Be Socially Approved and Widespread Yet Are Now Relatively Uncommon:
Executions for crimes other than homicide
Public killing or torture to “set an example”
Ceremonial human sacrifice
Lynching, tar-and-feathering, and other vigilante mob violence
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Quotation of the Week
Practicing Peace, 2007
Bayard Rustin, chief organizer of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s March on Washington, D.C., once spent a weekend in New York City doing political canvassing . . . tall tenements loomed over narrow streets, filtering out most of the sunlight and darkening the debris-littered sidewalks. His canvassing partner for the weekend said that for the first hours or so he had a difficult time following Bayard because he was erratic in his canvassing . . . After a while, his canvassing partner recognized the pattern: Bayard walked only on the sunlit side of the street and lingered for a few moments on each corner where he took pleasure in lifting his face toward the sun. After observing Bayard finding enjoyment in difficult circumstances, his canvassing partner concluded that Bayard had the strength to survive the abuse and jail sentences he endured as a civil rights organizer, in large part because he so deeply cherished the gift of life.
Photo: Bayard Rustin in center, four children unidentified. From Wikimedia Commons
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