History of the World

Martyr

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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The word itself originally meant a witness;  more specifically, a witness who suffered and/or died because of his steadfast refusal to forsake his belief or allegiance.

There have always been martyrs in the history of our world.  I could be said, I suppose, that Adam and Eve’s son Abel was martyred by his angry brother, Cain, because Abel chose to obey God’s specific demands for a sacrifice. That ticked Cain off, because he had chosen to change God’s terms to satisfy his own ideas, so he killed his brother.

And so, down through the centuries, people have been killed by other people because they won’t deny what they believe, or who they are; they continue to speak up (witness) for their cause, and it really ticks people off when these martyrs aren’t intimidated or won’t just shut up when they are told to do so.

Has America seen anyone suffer and/or die for their beliefs, or for who they are?

Of course. Slavery was a form of martyrdom, wasn’t it? We could look at the treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. Government; we could look at the internment camps for the Japanese during WWII.  We could talk about Americans who were determined to gain freedom from England, and who were hung or shot as spies and traitors. Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence suffered greatly for their boldness; some died.

Image result for patrick henry give me liberty

Every country, every nation in the history of the world has its history of martyrs and martyrdom.  That’s because, with the shifting of power from one tribe or nation to another, there is always death and destruction. It has been so since the Tower of Babel when God confounded the language of mankind, and people were dispersed all over the known world according to the languages they spoke.  Why did God do that?  Because mankind had become so arrogant as to think they could build a tower high enough to reach God Himself, and become as important as He was.

Silly.

We can all respect those who have faced death and been steadfast in the face of suffering. What we don’t like so much is a person who really creates his own tragedy and drama, and wears his “suffering” like a badge of honor. The woman who trumpets her self-sacrifice for her family to anyone who will sit still long enough to listen. The man who lets everyone know that he has given up everything to take care, for instance, of aged parents. We don’t like people who brag about how much they are suffering.

Such behavior demeans the true nobility of one who gives his life without flinching because he believes in the rightness of his cause.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/martyr/

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3 thoughts on “History of the World

  1. I’ve heard people say history is subjective, and I guess so is martyrdom when it comes to individuals. Some people go down in history as rebels who deserved to be executed, while others go down as martyrs. Was Joan of Arc a heroic martyr or a fanatic insurrectionist? Depends on who’s telling the story, the English or the French?
    But your second application is very true: some people suffer and die simply because of which “side” they were born on, like the Jews in Hitler’s day.

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    1. Martyrdom has always been subjective. I would say that Joan believed she had to do what she did, that God was speaking to her. If she hadn’t believed that, she could have quit. Of course, no one knows what was actually going on in her head 🙂 Maybe she was just plain nutty! Your perspective is your reality, so they say. Some would think, for instance, that Martin Luther King was just a rabble rouser who needed to die. Others–rightly, in my opinion–see him as a hero and a martyr. So yes, this conversation could go on for a long time. Ghandi–martyr or folk hero? Nelson Mandela was a terrorist in his early years. Was he a hero, or was prison where he belonged? Good debate material there.

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      1. History does tend to sort things out. It’s the “right now” where people are in a fog. The main thing is, we’ll almost always be safer if we don’t kill or afflict anyone for their beliefs. Live and let live, I say, as long as they don’t commit criminal acts in carrying out their politics or faith. Too many governments/religions have taught, “Away with them,” if they aren’t “our kind.”

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