By David Coy
She was said to be a healer of the sick with herbs. What happened is a matter of history, yet it is strikingly similar to what we see happening across the country today with history repeating itself. Have you ever been accused of something, slandered in a public way that damages your name, reputation and more? How would you feel if someone publicly accused you unjustly without any evidence of something that progresses to a point of ruining your life? The year is 1706. She is accused of witchcraft by people in her neighborhood and, of course, the local political establishment, which apparently included the legal and court establishments, and the court test was to tie her hands and throw her into a river, which was called ducking. If she floats, she is guilty; if she sinks, she is innocent. The probability that she sinks and drowns is not a problem, nor the irrationality of this idea right!? Three hundred years to the day later, she was ‘pardoned.’ But with lack of records it is difficult to know the full story, except that for a pardon to take place a conviction must also have on some level.
The grief that develops must be uniquely intense. I do not know what it must be like, but I am certain others do. Your life is turned up on its head in a negative way that you never would have imagined in a lifetime. Yet, here you are overwhelmed with sorrow, anger, anxiety, bewilderment, and so much more all because locally you are wrongfully charged with a crime and, thankfully, the attorney general was unwilling to pursue prosecution for lack of sufficient evidence. We should agree she suffered harassment and persecution because she did not conform as others believed she ought. Freedom is not free unless it applies to all.
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