Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
~H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956)
The original Puritans were a horrible lot of 16th century tyrannical god botherers. They believed that our only purpose here on earth was to please God. They banned musical instruments, and severely punished people for drinking alcohol and having sex outside of marriage.
Anything that gave anyone even the tiniest bit of pleasure was subject to prohibition.
Listen up “Christians” who believe that we here in the 21st century are responsible for some ridiculous “War on Christmas: Puritans and other protestant groups actually banned Christmas celebrations. So the next time you want to talk about your made up war on Christmas, you might want to look in your own back yard. Just sayin’.
The Puritans were probably most famous for the barbaric Salem Witch Trials. People accused of engaging in witchcraft were weighted down and thrown into deep bodies of water. If they sank to the bottom, unable to swim, that proved they were not a witch. But they unfortunately drowned. If they were able to swim, they were dragged off an executed. It was a lose/lose situation.
You would think that this type of behavior died out with modern technology and the access we have to an endless source of information.
You would think…
Puritanical behavior is still alive and well in the 21st century all over the world, including right here in the United States.
Who Are the Modern Day Puritans?
Here in the United States, the Puritans are easily identified as people who screech and holler about taking Christ out of Christmas, prayer in school, Creationism in the classroom, and many other things. They insist that this is a Christian nation and we must follow the rules in the Bible.
Instead of Puritans, they are called the Religious Right, or Evangelicals. And they have a lot of sway in our government, just like their forefathers did in New England.
God was put on the dollar bill and in the Pledge of Allegiance because of them. Many basic human rights and things that give us pleasure are prohibited because of them.
The modern-day Puritans want to convert and control you. And if you do not want to follow their rules, then they will find a way to punish you.
What You Can Do to Fight This Societal Cancer
Do not just sit on your couch and allow these people to take over your community. These people exist because we let them exist, and hide under the constitutional “freedom of religion”. Freedom of religion is fine as long as you peacefully practice your beliefs and do not try to force it on others. But these bullies try to force their beliefs on us and make them law. This is unacceptable.
How can you stop it? The following three things are a good start.
- Stand out in front of their institutions and peacefully protest. Or when they go to any number of events to protest (See: Westboro Baptist Church), organize a counter protest to show people that this is unacceptable behavior.
- Arm yourself with facts. A lot of the things they say are pure bullshit. When you run into a modern-day Puritan who wants to beat you with their Bible (or other religious text), come back at them with a long list of sources that prove their bullshit wrong. It is easy to do.
- Demand that the government pull their tax exemptions. Under the current tax code, churches are listed as charitable organizations and are therefore exempt from paying taxes. One thing that will get a tax exemption stripped away is endorsing political candidates. They have found and exploited loopholes in this code to get around having their exemptions taken away. But it is time for that to stop.
Can you think of anything else that can stop this awful disease? I know it is a hard thing to contain and eradicate, but I believe we can finally cure people of this illness. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.