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Kevin M. Sullivan

It is a little odd, I believe, that Ms. Sanford should be seeking a pardon for something that happened in 1662. In truth, any unhappy or ignorant event which unfolded in past generations belongs to that generation. A new generation, taking it upon themselves to apologize for something they didn't do is like having an Englishman apologize for the acts of Jack the Ripper. I'm sure it would make Jack smile, but if he were here today, he'd still be killing women. It would be rather silly, wouldn't it?

So too, it would be absurd for this country to wring its hands over slavery or any other long-ago issue, for the participants of such crimes are long dead, and a re-visiting of the issue along with a current apology, may open one up to legal action, and that would be the ultimate in injustice.

As to your statement concerning anyone being arrested for the crime of Satan worship, or anything along those lines; well, the last time I checked, you could think, believe, worship, or speak freely about anything in this country, so I don't really see a problem here. Of course, if someone commits a murder in the name of Satan, that will be investigated with an eye towards other participants, as Satan worship usually involves groups, either small or large. Beyond that, however, I don't believe people care. As a former minister, I've had many conversations with active participants with folks, and their thinking is often radically different from the rest of us. But again, nobody is receiving jail time over it, nor should they.

Lastly, one of the more humorous tirades we've heard over the last couple of decades, is that we should apologize over using the Atomic Bomb in WW2. These statements are always used by those who were not there, nor do they have any idea of what it means to be in what is known as protracted combat. My father was in ww2. His brother was killed in WW2. My father laid down his weapon, not after a 15 month tour, (Today) or a 12 month tour (my day) but he laid down his weapon when hostilities ceased, and not before. The strain of living that way, month after month, year after year, is appalling. And so, as a Marine attached to the 5th Marine Division waiting to invade Japan, waiting with other battle-hardened Marines somewhere in the Pacific, they were overwhelmed with emotion when they learned of this wonder-weapon which, after the second bomb was dropped, ended the war. My dad said he had never seen so many tough young men burst into tears at one time, including himself. They, of course, all expected to be killed on November 1, 1945, the day of the invasion.

And so, in my humble, we don't need to apologize for this either. As a country, we need to stop apologizing so much, unless of course, it's a current matter, and we're really in the wrong, as they say.


Kevin, I agree with you. The UK is in to stupid apologies everywhere, but has Japan ever said sorry? (They killed my brother in law's father for the supreme crime of listening to the BBC world service in Changi Jail)As for this woman wanting an apology, she's wasting eveybody's time. Laura, I don't know whether there will be trials over witchcraft (it went so horribly wrong in Salem) but I am sure there will be for occult/satanic murders.


Now, you guys are very smart, and I respect your opinions.... but I tend to think that in cases of wrongful conviction, the government should formally apologize.

This discussion gets caught up in the other apology/reparations debates, and I wish we could separate them out. Wrongful convictions should occupy their own place in the discussion. Wartime actions are something else altogether....

Wouldn't you agree that if the government secures a conviction later proven wrongful, the government should correct the error and thereby reinforce our faith in the system? Why should there be any exceptions, such as passage of time or death of the wrongfully convicted? I've seen too many cases where the conviction WAS proven wrongful by objective evidence and was overturned, and yet a prosecutor will still defend a case to the last ditch. I think (subject to being persuaded by a reasoned argument otherwise) if the conviction is proven wrongful, there should be a formal apology that sets the record straight.

carole gill

Seeking justice is never wrong. And as far as right wingers not understanding the need for Miss Sanford to do this or indeed the morality behind such a quest, I have to say that I understand their position. After all, by its very nature as a witchunt it makes one think of McCarthyism and what that fiasco "stood" for. No, she's quite right in her desire for a pardon.
And as those who tried and murdered the ancestor are no longer alive, who and why exactly is anyone feeling threatened by her action? That seems very odd to me in the extreme.

carole gill

A further comment on the subject of the Atomic Bomb and WW2: while a moral question perhaps--I don't think it can possibly be viewed in the same light as the State executing a person for being a witch!
It doesn't seem logical to me. Sure, we can broaden the boundaries in order to minimize the horror of the witchcraft trials--of that there is no quesetion. that as I see it is a tactic to bring ridicule and scorn to an otherwise intelligent argument. the issue being one issue--Miss Sanford's issue with the pardon. that being the focal point. Otherwise we have lame arguments and attempts at diversion thrown in for perhaps other reasons, addressing other agendas.

Kevin M. Sullivan

Fiz-- To here the Japanese tell it, we're the guilty party, and they are the victims! Talk about flipping it! But even a quick look at how they treated those they conquered (China, Guam, the rest of the Pacific) will tell you the real motivation of the Japanese in ww2. Then the world should take a good look at how we treated them after we inhabited their country, and the differences are stark, aren't they? They were, I believe, every bit as evil as the Germans, but at least the Germans have come to the world's table asking for forgiveness. But not our dear old friends of the Rising Sun.

Laura-- In truth, I don't mind Ms. Sanford seeking this pardon, but when I hear such things, I see it as an act with no power. If her person is pardoned, what will it really mean? Those who convicted her of such things died believing they were right. The powers-that-be made a decision, and then the-powers-that-be passed away. So, if Ms. Sanford wants a piece of paper stating how sorry they are from another group some hundreds of years later, and that makes her feel better, well, let her have it. But it will have no real meaning, for it's coming from those not responsible. And yes Laura, I do respect your opinion in these matters. You're a smart and, I believe, compassionate person, who leans to the conservative side, and I like that. But it's this thing between my ears that keeps me thinking a certain way, and I can't get beyond it, Ha,Ha!

Carol--I am not a right-winger, and those like yourself who toss about such terms often pat themselves on the back for having used them. It makes them feel better, I suppose. It also identifies you and a common stream of thought you folks have. I'm sorry that time does not permit me to go into this further now, but let me say that if you were a bit more of a deep-thinker, and perhaps a bit more informed, you would understand the lines connecting everything we've been putting into print here, so to speak. Just as Ms. Sanford is seeking an apology from the government, so too, many people around the world have been screaming (from time to time, of course) how we in this country should grovel about using the Atom Bomb to end the war. Everybody wants something they can't really have. My family would like the two dead members from that war returned to them, but they can't have them. I would like to erase the memory of the pain I saw in my father's eyes every time someone asked him about the war. I feel cheated! Perhaps the modern-day leaders of Japan can say they're sorry and make all things right again? That would make me feel better...NOT! So it's all foolishness in my eyes. Let the Ms. Sanford's of the world seek an apology from time to time. When I hear of it or read about, I will inwardly smile and move on.

An Avid Reader

Mr Sullivan is comparing apples and pears. The fact that he will not feel better should the Japanese government apologise for acts of war, - or even war crimes, does not mean that a person who was put to death for for acts labelled criminal that we can now see were nothing of the sort should not be pardoned. I realise they do not use custom as law in the US; but in the UK they do, and even with no personal stake in the matter, I would personally feel happier, if precedent such as a hanging for witchcraft is overturned.

Kevin M. Sullivan

At least you didn't sign your comment "Avid Fan" as in the movie "Man Hunter".

carole gill

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I don't appreciate you suggesting to me that I'm not a deep thinker. And hey, when you have to resort to insults, you automatically lose whatever the debate is.

carole gill

I'll have to leave this board now in order to try and improve my mind so that I can struggle to discuss future issues with you. It's my greatest aspiration. My one true wish--is to be better informed. Meanwhile I can only read your comments (in my limited capacity)and ponder their wit, intelligence and insight. I leave you to smile inwardly at all of the Miss Sanfords of the world--to continue on, smiling and smirking and never, ever trying to see another person's point of view especially if it doesn't agree with your own.

carole gill

I do apologise for making ANOTHER comment, but I happened to think of something interesting: didn't Judge Samuel Sewell of the Salem Trials--eventually make a rather eloquent apology to all those who had been tried and executed for the "crime" of witchcraft at Salem? It's interesting to consider in light of this discussion, I feel.


You're right on that score - there's a book out about it:
Judge Sewall's Apology: The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of an American Conscience

Kevin M. Sullivan

Carol--I never smirk at people; even those I disagree with. My wife has often told me that I'm too direct with people and that I'm sometimes misunderstood. And, I believe this is the case here. I believe that the moder-day Ms. Sanford has every right to seek the outcome she desires. I inwardly smile at the reasoning behind it as my previous statements clearly reveal, but I in no way think less of her for trying. It's just that for me, the world is much more cut-and-dried than that. I suppose that during my life I've been exposed to some very bad things, especially in my youth, and I have seen more than my share of the worst life has to offer. As such, my thinking automatically compares such efforts as Ms. Sanford's, (perhaps perceived by many as truly important and worthwhile) as silly. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't think so. Still, I do not think less of her, or you, for believing otherwise.

Please forgive me, but I must return to the war one more time. Take the current opinion of most Japanese today. Like young Ms. Sanford, they believe they are owed an apology by the United States for using the Atomic Bomb on their country. You have millions of people in Japan and elsewhere distraught that "a great evil" as they say, was visited upon their land. So in this direction you have the confused Japanese clamoring for an apology that they do not deserve, and over here you have the descendant of a woman stupidly hanged by foolish and superstitious people asking for an official apology from people who (like herself) understand what happened was horrible. What's the difference here? Well, while both want an apology, the Japanese don't deserve one, but they believe their owed one anyway, and even if we did owe them an apology, what good would that do? Would it change what happened? Of course not. And, (forgive me for saying this) the current Ms. Sanford is owed nothing, and can receive nothing from those who owe the Ms. Sanford of 1662 an apology for they are all dead.

How about I walk up to a black person and apologize for an ancestor of mine who may have owned slaves? I had nothing to do with it, and he's never been a slave. Believe me, I have black friends, and on more than one occasion we've laughed about such things.

Finally, I also smile when I watch a current president awarding a medal to a deserving combat veteran, (usually black)who has passed away, so they have to award it to a family member. Believe me, the family will never be able to enjoy the benefit of such a thing because it will be a constant reminder of how cheated was their loved one. Of course, whenever they do this while the person is alive I am very thankful as it's always better late than never.

To sum all of this up I should say that making past wrongs right is almost impossible to do. Yet folks will still seek avenues to make them feel better about it. Well, I say, to each his own.

carole gill

Okay Kevin, I understand. And let me tell you something you'll find interesting. My father served in the Pacific during the war. He enlisted the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed. He was under age and my Grandmother had to sign for him. he would have been part of the land invasion of Japan and I wouldn't have been born (I'm sure) if that had happened.
My Dad was filled with loathing for the Japanese, he saw atrocities that he told me about he couldn't tell my Mom.
As for the bomb, it was horrible, but it was used to stop the war from continuing God knows how long. it was a decision that was made and it can't be changed. i always thought that debate was a non starter. Naturally, the Japanese feel it was wrong--but we also know they didn't surrender until after the SECOND bomb was dropped. it was tragic, but that's the way it goes.
I see what you're saying with regard to apologizing for everything--I understood that the other day actually. and by the way, you were not one of the right wingers I had in mind when I wrote my comment. I didn't think you sounded right winged at all!
A further point: although born and bred in Manhattan, I have lived in the U.K. (marriage) for twenty years--I have learned much about the Pendle witches and good old Mathew Hopkins the witchfinder general--I've seen papers and documents, broadsides--I've read the horrendous things King James 1V said and did with regard to witchcraft. He not only wrote about it, but he believed in it and participated in the interrogation of a woman (can't recall her name) who had already been tortured. It is a terrible blight on him and the state and times in which he lived. I am touchy on that subject, the subject of witchcraft I'm afraid. Having said that,healthy debate is always interesting. I apologize to you for getting on my high horse before. You are a gentleman. and I respect you for that.
just wanted to say that before I put my feet up. I love this site, I love shooting the breeze and chatting with informed people such as yourself and others!

carole gill

Yes, Laura thank you for that reference. I love the title referring to the forming of the American conscience--that alone is thought provoking.

Kevin M. Sullivan

Carol-- Ah, the Pacific War. So different from most conflicts. The first thing my dad was told by the veteran Marines after signing on the dotted line as they say, was: "We don't take prisoners. Got it?" When my dad asked why, they said it was too dangerous, and then the guy laughed and said "You'll see!" This man was later shot by a Japanese sniper and spent a year in the hospital. Years later he would come to our house and talk to my dad and sometimes my mother would hear something she didn't want me to hear and pull me away from them. I never found out everything, of course, and there were times when I was older and he would try to tell me certain things, and he would have to stop. I never pushed it, of course.

Say, I do love the U.K. I was there in '72, '74, and '77. I don't go over the water much these days, but I'd like to go back one day. And oh yeah, it's good to be touchy on a subject. It makes it more interesting!

It's great talking to you and everyone at this site. See you all soon.

carole gill

Thanks Kevin,
Yes, that front of the war was a whole different ball game to be sure. the thinking being so different on the part of the Japanese--regarding defeat, p.o.w's. Kamakaze (sp)--goodness! anyway, a pleasure hearing from you.

Inland Empire

Satan is a christian deity. Witches have nothing to do with him (or her).

carole gill

Inland Empire: interesting and rather thought-provoking name!
You make a good point.
But are there no witches who are Satanists?
Seriously curious.

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