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The Puritans' "Christian" Agenda?

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heidler1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:05 PM
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The Puritans' "Christian" Agenda?

John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts Bay, assumed that he could transfer the principles of nationhood found in ancient Israel to the Massachusetts Bay Company with no need for explanation. This led the Puritans to interpret Scripture in an ultimately pretentious way that gave their own state and society the exalted status of a New Israel. Old Testament law was directly, if not exclusively, incorporated into the legal systems of New England. The Massachusetts "Body of Liberties" of 1641 stated that "if any man after legal conviction shall have or worship any other god, but the lord god, he shall be put to death." Death was also prescribed for witchcraft, blasphemy, murder, sodomy, homosexuality, adultery, and kidnapping. Old Testament texts were copied directly into the New England law books. The most notorious cases of major miscarriage of justice in New England were the Salem witchcraft executions. (See: The Search for Christian America, pp. 34-35.)

The Puritans viewed themselves as God's special people, replacing national Israel. Nowhere do the dangers of this assumption become more clear than in the Puritans' treatment of the native Americans. Since the Puritans considered themselves God's chosen people, they concluded that they had the right to take the land from the heathen Indians. The American Indians were the "new Canaanites" in America's "Promised Land." The fruit of Puritan theology was brutal. They saw their mission as convert these "Canaanites" to Christianity; failing that, it was acceptable to slaughter them in the name of Christ.

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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:12 PM
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1. The puritans have been perhaps the most damaging influence on our culture
Only slightly behind the views of the "Social Elite."

Some examples of their dark legacy:

Religion being a determining factor for acceptance in society
Belief that people's sexual choices are everyone's business
Persecution of "Witchcraft" and "Devil Worship"
The acceptance of the idea of thought crime

Poisonous stuff, that is.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:15 PM
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2. A long time ago, I was sub-teaching third graders around Thanksgiving.
History book that day actually stated that the "settlors" considered the "Indians" to be "savages".

I had the kids close their books and gave them the "other" story about Thanksgiving, resembling the original post. I was near tears. Asked the kids rhetorically who were the "real savages".

Implored them to not to entirely believe their government-issued history books, and to read as much as they could on the topic in their libraries until they had as much information as they could find to "what really happened".
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 10:37 AM
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3. I ran into that when my daughter was in first grade.
She came home going on and on about how nice the Puritans were for inviting the Native Americans to dinner and how great they were in general. We had to sit down and have a talk.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-25-08 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. "Addams Family Values," the Thanksgiving play
That, by itself, was worth the cost of a ticket.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:14 AM
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4. And as usual, they call their religious domination "freedom"
The text books told us that the Pilgrims came here for religious freedom, but the facts are clear. The did not allow any religious freedom after they got here.

And to this day, some puritans believe that they are not free unless they are allowed to dominate.
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-25-08 08:09 AM
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5. Talk about internal conflict
Edited on Fri Jul-25-08 08:19 AM by Marrah_G
As a Wiccan (witch) descendant of both Native Americans and's a wonder I don't beat myself silly.
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