Friday, November 26, 2010

Some Thanksgiving humor.

This captures the reality of the Pilgrims quite nicely. At no point did they come seeking religious freedom, at least not for anyone but themselves. As written here not long ago:

Consider the Pilgrims as an example. Most people heard the story that the Pilgrims came to America to enjoy religious freedom. That most certainly is not the case, not if you mean freedom for everyone. Their desire was freedom for themselves and tyrannical control over others. Puritan divine Richard Mather said the Pilgrims came to the colonies in order “to censure those who ought to be censured.” Steven Waldman, in Founding Faith, says that “it might be more precise to say most [Pilgrims] were avoiding the harassment of a government that wanted the Puritans to be more liberal". He mentions how the Puritans had banned games and amusement in areas under their control in England. Certainly when they had control of England, under Cromwell, they went so far as make Christmas illegal. Yes, the first real war on Christmas was conducted by fundamentalist Calvinists against all other Christians.
They were most unhappy, later, when King James overturned their bans and granted more liberty to the people. The liberty the Puritans sought was to be able to wield the whip in God’s name, and wield it they did. Quite literally.

This yearning for authoritarianism even inspired some Puritans to rebel against the King when the Revolution came along. Rev. James Mayhew, of Boston, said that rebellion against the King is justified when the King commits crimes against God. Since the King had allowed sports on Sunday and “encouraged papists and popishly effect clergymen,” he was against God and thus oppressing the people. For the Puritan, one reason to overthrow the throne, and seek independence from England, was in order to erect a repressive moral regime far stricter than what the lax monarch had allowed
Read the whole thing here:

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