Most children learn that the Mayflower settlers came to the New World to escape persecution and to establish religious freedom. But the early colonists actually pursued purity, not tolerance, and sought to build fervent, faith-based utopias, not secular regimes that consigned religion to a secondary role. The distinctive circumstances that allowed these fiery believers of varied denominations to cooperate in the founding of a new nation help to explain America's contradictory religious traditions — as simultaneously the most devoutly Christian society in the Western world, and the country most accommodating to every shade of exotic belief and practice.Make sure to read it all.
Saturday, November 07, 2015
Michael Medved on the Puritans and the roots of American devotion & tolerance
Now that Halloween is over, it seems that we are not well on our way for the end of the year "holiday season," that strange conflation of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Before we get to Thanksgiving though it might be helpful to look over some timely reflections by Michael Medved on the Puritan goal in colonizing New England in the 17th century: