Thursday, April 29, 2010

To The New Puritans: Religious Freedom's Tough, Isn't It?

At Least, for the "Christian Only" Crowd! 

Did the landing of the Mayflower signal the first country to have true religious freedom? Were the Pilgrims establishing a society based on the freedom to worship (or not to worship) as one sees fit?

Of course not. Puritans were simply fleeing Anglican rule. If there would have been a Puritan-tolerant country that was more civilized while offering free land, you can bet your last dollar that they would have settled in it instead of North America. The Puritan arrival was simply the result of intolerance fleeing intolerance. How long did they put up with Native American religions? Long enough to survive through the first winters on the benevolence of the Indians. It's a wonder the Indians were compassionate at all - the smell of hypocrisy can be quite a strong deterrent, even to people as empathetic as the Massachusett tribe). But eventually, the Puritan Ethic reared its head and the heathens were sorry that the Mayflower ever made it across the pond:
The first Native American translation [of the Bible], completed in 1663, was made into the language of the Massachusett tribe, which the Puritan colonists then promptly wiped out.
                                                          - Ken Davis, Don't Know Much About The Bible.

Back across the Atlantic, after Puritans gained prominence the most prominent Puritan, Oliver Cromwell, had this motto emblazoned on his heraldry:

Pax Quaeritur Bello
Peace is sought by War

Anyway, let's fast forward and concentrate on today's New Puritans.

By the way, who are today's New Puritans? Well, they're the ones who scream "Anti-Christian!" the loudest while softly whispering "Christian Only." The New Puritans are the ones who want tolerance for themselves, but insist on intolerance for other religions. The New Puritans are seeking their fortunes in the New World of Africa while being kept busy keeping their fortunes (and what dignity they have left) intact in America. And throughout all of their attempts at defense and expansion, a transcendent theme is becoming more evident: Christian Supremacy. Rick Warren slyly presented snippets of Christian Supremacy to Muslim-Americans last July 4th. Men like Rod Parsley and Pat Robertson have openly declared the preeminence of Christianity over every other religion, declaring them to be evil. And with his warped sense of history, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council shows just how much of a Supremacist he really is:
"While it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage. Our Founders expected that Christianity--and no other religion--would receive support from the government as long as that support did not violate peoples' consciences and their right to worship. They would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference."
Yeah. And some animals are more equal than others.

Christian Supremacy has been simmering for many years under the guise of "freedom of religion," simply because there were no formidable religions other than Christianity. Protestants could be content with bashing Catholicism, Catholics could revel in labeling Mormonism a cult and the most adverse enemy of all, Judaism, was never really a threat. What Christian Supremacists didn't expect was that the notion of religious freedom would somehow work against their notion that eventually everyone would become Christian. Blinded by the arrogance involved with the "One True Religion," they've been broadsided by America's determination not to show deference to any one religion. 
In other words, the New Puritans have at last noticed the Indians: True Religious Freedom.