Believe it or not, I’m reading the journal of the first governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop. The manuscript is missing teeth. (There are gaps in the words where the ink faded or never printed correctly.) The first thing that struck me is the Puritan’s anger at the Church of England. In their new colony, they were embracing new worshiping methods, like the laying on of hands. History tells of their cruel oppressive ways regarding religion, something most modern people don’t agree with, myself included. But the new colonists wanted to do things their way, not the old way dictated by the church of England. It was their revolution, like the 1960’s when young hippies wanted to do things their way. Believe me, I lived through the 1960’s and there was oppression and religious push back everywhere.
Massachusetts’s Puritans probably thought that they were the “in” thing. They believed in their new spirituality and America was the place where they could grow it. As far as the intolerance and cruelty placed on those who didn’t go with the program, well… that was the status quo for everything back in 1620. But the two groups share one thing in common; they had new ideas about their spirituality and they were determined to keep the establishment from imposing the old ways on them. They came to America to live a new way… their way.
Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78