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Nits make lice.

Metaphor is a powerful thing. In a few spare words, metaphor renders vivid such height of feeling and depth of meaning, more powerful for its brevity and elegance than can be expressed in plain speech.

Nits make lice.

"Nits make lice" is most famously attributed to Colonel John M. Chivington, former Methodist minister and perpetrator of the infamous Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado, 1864. It is often misattributed to General Phil Sheridan, who, rather, said "The only good Indians I saw were dead."

Nits make lice.

Chivington did not originate the phrase. As early as 1810, "nits make lice" is attributed to Tennessee governor and Indian fighter John Sevier, or one alternately, to one of his men, Thomas Christian, who killed a captured Indian boy.

Nits make lice.

No doubt these instances were not the first time the sentiment was uttered, nor would they be the last. Only in recent years have we proclaimed our intent to war against another country's government, but not its people. It's easier to wage war on an "other" less-than-human, monolithic mass. It's easier to exterminate vermin than to kill people.

Slay them all. God will know his own.

Metaphor is a powerful thing.

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