Historian John M. Barry: "Rick Santorum is John Winthrop"Historians in the News
Joe Nocera is a columnist for the NYT.
“Rick Santorum is John Winthrop,” the historian and author John M. Barry was saying the other day.
Barry is in a unique position to make such a judgment. His most recent book, published last month, is entitled “Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul.” To call it a biography sells it short. What it is, really, is the history of an idea — an idea that Williams articulated before anyone else — about the critical importance of separating church from state. So revolutionary was this idea that it caused Williams to be banished from Massachusetts and to seek refuge in nearby Rhode Island, which he founded. In doing so, Williams created the first place in the Western world where people could believe in any God they wished — or no God at all — without fear of retribution.
In opposition to that idea, always, were Winthrop and the other Puritans who first came to Massachusetts. Puritans fled to America in the 1600s because they were being persecuted in England for their hard-edged, Calvinist beliefs, and their rejection of the Anglican Church. Having one’s ears cut off for having deviationist religious beliefs was one of the lesser punishments Puritans suffered; being locked up in the Tower of London, where death was a near certainty, was not uncommon....
comments powered by Disqus
- Middle Tenn. State President Wants to Strip Confederate General’s Name From Building
- Trump will get more GOP primary votes than anyone in history (because more people are voting)
- Labour Party suspends former Mayor of London for implying Hitler supported Zionism
- At Virginia home of President Monroe, a sizable revision of history
- Thirty Years After Chernobyl, Debate Rages About Nuclear Power
- The Unconference Movement Grows – And Historians Are Taking the Lead
- New appeal to "Bring Back Military History"
- Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger discusses his controversial career
- Annette Gordon-Reed subjects herself to Reddit, the “anything-goes” social media website
- Historian Nick Turse says the Pentagon has blacklisted him for making multiple FOIA requests