Friday, June 01, 2012

Mary Dyer died for ... what, again?

painting of the hanging of Mary DyerWhen people tell you, as they will, that America was founded by people fleeing from religious tyranny and seeking religious freedom, it is well to remember Mary Dyer and others like her.

She died today in 1660, executed in Boston in the then Massachusetts Bay Colony. She was hanged, and then buried on the Common in an unmarked grave. Her crime? Being a Quaker in Massachusetts.

And yes, she was an activist, and she was breaking the law. But it's good to remember just what that law was: it was illegal for Quakers to live in Massachusetts.

Our country was founded by a lot of different people with many and varied reasons for coming here. But none of them came here to found a secular, religiously pluralistic and egalitarian state.

They fled a religious tyranny that put them at the bottom, and as soon as they got here they constructed one that put them at the top.

The Founders fixed that with the Constitution. Let's not undo their good work.

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At 8:27 AM, June 02, 2012 Anonymous liz- again had this to say...

RI was founded with the idea of a pluralism in mind and initially so was Maryland until the ugliness of the 100 Years War came over the sea and the Protestants said, "Hell no." Pennsylvania was proud of its general tolerance- it was heavily Quaker...Massachusetts NEVER was tolerant. Most of the South did not turn it into an issue- penal colonies and all. None of them were bastions of 21st century live-and- let-live thought but compared to Europe they were amazingly open. Thank God for the Constitution- it keeps the minority safe from the vagaries of the mob and the changes of political fashion.


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