Prejudice comes in many forms. Two such forms of extreme prejudice are the Salem witch-hunts and the Ku Klux Klan. In the colonial time, from 1700 to 1775, the Salem witch-hunts took place. The KKK originated after the civil war and is still going on today. These two groups based their prejudice on religious beliefs. People from many different cultures founded our nation, which gives us a unique diversity that was and is not always respected. The Ku Klux Klan states they are based on Christianity and uses such symbols as the flaming cross. Burning the cross is supposed to represent “opposition to tyranny and obedience to God.” The KKK believes they are superior to all non-whites. The people responsible for the Salem witch-hunts feared and persecuted those whom didn’t share religious and personal beliefs. A way of testing your beliefs was being forced to recite the 10 commandments without falter. Ku Klux Klan often expressed their beliefs by putting burning crosses in non-white homes, setting homes and businesses on fire, and even hanging non-whites. In the same way, the witch-hunts would force those who were prosecuted to confess and incriminate, if not, they would be hung, burned, or in one case smashed to death. Both groups use Christianity against other people that differed from them. The KKK was an underground organization, and used robes and hoods to disguise themselves. Rarely did members become publicly known because they were denounced by majority of society. Public leaders such as, reverends and government officials conducted the Salem witch-hunts. The trials were often public events that were well attended by the general population. The Ku Klux Klan was not based on fear of non-whites, rather their own supremacy. While the witch-hunts feared those with different beliefs including what we would now consider, “mentally disabled.” What good are religious beliefs such as Christianity if they are twisted, warped, and used as an excuse for violence. The KKK can no longer get away with their violent acts because of their shrinking numbers and the prevalence of equal rights today. Hopefully nothing as severe as the witch-hunts could ecure today, although, the more recent McCarthy trials were similar in that they were based on fear. We are a nation of cultural diversity and that diversity should be respected, no one should have the right to force their beliefs on others.

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