‘Cancel Culture’ Isn’t New. And It’s Not Going Away.

In March 1787, Founding Father Benjamin Rush already had his mind on the corrosive effects of “cancel culture.”

“Ignominy is universally acknowledged to be a worse punishment than death,” wrote Rush in “An Enquiry Into the Effects of Public Punishments Upon Criminals, and Upon Society.”

“It would seem strange, that ignominy should ever have been adopted, as a milder punishment than death, did we not know, that the human mind seldom arrives at truth upon any subject, till it has first reached the extremity of error,” he wrote.

Rush, a Declaration of Independence signatory, was talking primarily about punishments subjecting individuals to public embarrassment—being held in stocks in a town square, public labor, etc. But he could just as easily be talking about modern day cancel culture—subjecting individuals who speak in violation of woke scripture to public harassment.

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