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Puritanical Gratitude

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  • rlbaty@webtv.net
    Copied from another s post: Puritanical Gratitude Joel Mark Solliday     Have you ever been called, puritanical ?   Count it as a compliment!    The
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 1 3:54 AM
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      Puritanical Gratitude
      Joel Mark Solliday
       
       
      Have you ever been called, "puritanical"?   Count it as a
      compliment! 
       
      The myth of the joyless Puritan began during the era of 'Prohibition'
      (1920-1933) with a crank journalist named H. L. Mencken.  He called
      Puritanism "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."
       Yuk yuk. 
       
      Mencken blamed the Puritans for the "Victorian America" he disliked
      so.  He editorialized during the Scopes Monkey Trial that on the
      creationist side was "bigotry, ignorance, hatred, superstition, every
      sort of blackness that the human mind is capable of."  Far from being
      an objective reporter (and far from the fact that he ended a sentence
      with a preposition), his references to Dayton creationists as "local
      primates..."  "yokels... morons..."  and "half-wits," betrayed a
      vociferous and dehumanizing bias.  And It caught on.   
       
      The REAL Puritans, however, carried to us a legacy of literacy, hard
      work, religious freedom, adventure, education, democracy, creativity,
      discipline, equality, and the rule of law.  They were not the sole
      custodians of these virtues and values nor did they practice them
      perfectly, but they bore more than their fair share of the load in
      carrying these treasures to us. 
       
      We need not wait for Thanksgiving to be thankful for the Puritans. 
      America's present and future would surely be more polluted without the
      Puritans in our past. 
       
      If you oppose slavery, you stand side-by-side with your Puritan
      forebears who opposed it long before it was popular to do so.  They
      also endured incredible daily hardship (beyond our imagination today)
      without calling their God on the carpet.  They knew a few things that
      we have largely forgotten--that there are no blessings without
      struggles, no rights without responsibilities, no trips to paradise
      without a dry spell in the wilderness, no glory without sacrifice, no
      succor without service, no position without preparation, and no
      forgiveness without repentance.  And for Jesus, they knew there was no
      throne without a cross.  
       
      Puritans were more diverse than you've been told.  Mencken wanted
      his one-sided stereotype to pollute the truth  about Puritans.  Like
      any group, they were a mixed bag of virtues and vices.  But they
      exerted a positive influence on American culture disproportionate to
      their numbers and I am thankful!  

      ########################## 
    • w_w_c_l
      ... of Prohibition ... Rick: If somebody calls you a Puritan they certainly don t mean it as a compliment. And what collective America thinks of Puritanism
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 1 7:15 AM
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        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, rlbaty@w... wrote:

        > Puritanical Gratitude
        > Joel Mark Solliday
        >
        >
        > Have you ever been called, "puritanical"? Count it as a
        > compliment!
        >
        > The myth of the joyless Puritan began during the era
        of 'Prohibition'
        > (1920-1933) with a crank journalist named H. L. Mencken. He called
        > Puritanism "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be
        > happy..."

        > ...Mencken wanted his one-sided stereotype to pollute the
        > truth about Puritans...

        Rick:

        If somebody calls you a Puritan they certainly don't mean it as a
        compliment.

        And what collective America thinks of Puritanism is due more to its
        remembrance of the Salem witch burnings and Nathaniel Hawthorne's
        masterpiece, *The Scarlet Letter*, published in 1850, than anything
        Mencken ever wrote.

        But as far as that goes, what is a "crank journalist," anyway? "One-
        sided" on the other side?

        YECs have some "haunting fears" of their own: more fossils will be
        found, bigger and better telescopes will be built, their children
        will learn to think for themselves...


        Rick Hartzog

        Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
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