Saturday, June 29, 2013

In Memory of Thomas Granger

The first juvenile executed in the North American colonies was a young servant of "about 16 or 17" named Thomas Granger, who was hung in 1642 for having sex with a turkey.

According to Governor William Bradford's well-known history Of Plymouth Plantation*:
"He [Thomas Granger] was this year detected of buggery, and indicted for the same, with a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves and a turkey. Horrible it is to mention, but the truth of the history requires it. He was first discovered by one that accidentally saw his lewd practice towards the mare. (I forbear particulars.) Being upon it examined and committed, in the end he not only confessed the fact with that beast at that time, but sundry times before and at several times with all the rest of the forenamed in his indictment. And this his free confession was not only in private to the magistrates (though at first he strived to deny it) but to sundry, both ministers and others; and afterwards, upon his indictment, to the whole Court and jury; and confirmed it at his execution. And whereas some of the sheep could not so well be known by his description of them, others with them were brought before him and he declared which were they and which were not. And accordingly he was cast by the jury and condemned, and after executed about the 8th of September, 1642. A very sad spectacle it was. For first the mare and then the cow and the rest of the lesser cattle were killed before his face, according to the law, Leviticus xx.15; and then he himself was executed. The cattle were all cast into a great and large pit that was digged of purpose for them, and no use made of any part of them." 

The curious can read more here.

The late Rousas J. Rushdoony (1916-2001) would have been right at home in Plymouth. Rushdoony was a racist minister who strongly influenced American fundamentalism and the religious right. Today he is remembered as the "father of the homeschool movement". Rushdoony repeatedly called for a return to the Old Testament legal code, including the death penalty for homosexual acts as well as for bestiality.

Rushdoony's ideological progeny Pat Robertson (whose law school teaches from Rushdoony's books) And Senator Rand Paul (with ties to Rushdoony's son-in-law Gary North) have each expressed concern that legalizing same-sex marriage is merely a slippery slope to bestiality.

Rand Paul's office now says he was merely joking. So he ought to appreciate this sunny response to Robertson that would have scandalized Governor Bradford:

*Strangely, I do not recall this story coming up when my dad read to us from Bradford's journal on Sunday afternoons, nor when it was read aloud to the staff at IBLP's Oklahoma Training Center. Does anyone know whether it was excised from Vision Forum's unabridged edition?

1 comment:

  1. I am laughing SO hard at that music video. :-) How hilarious. But poor Thomas Granger. :-( It's all so crazy and bizarre!