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    The Puritans’ Extremist View of Religion

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    A religious fanatic is someone who takes his or her religion to the extreme, letting it control everything in his or her day-to-day life. The Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay colony are a prime example of this extremist view of religion.

    They had complete religion-based lives, including the laws they wrote, the way they treated outspoken women, and the way they treated people of other religions. The Puritans, for the most part, were good people, but they went too far when it came to their religious beliefs. In the late 16th century, the Puritans wrote their laws according to what the Bible states in the Old Testament and what they thought should also be a sin against God. These laws made some very petty and insignificant things illegal, such as worshiping a God other than the Lord God, cursing the name of God, a child over 16 cursing his parents, and being stubborn or rebellious against one’s own parents.

    The punishment for all of the aforementioned laws, and for many others, was death. Even interpreting a preacher’s sermon in a different way was enough to get in trouble with the law. For one woman, the mix of being a woman and committing an act against the church was even worse. Anne Hutchinson was a woman in Puritan society with her own religious views, which she shared with a select group of people in the community when she held small meetings at her home to reevaluate and reinterpret what the preacher had said in his sermon.

    For this, she was arrested, put on trial, severely cross-examined, and finally banished from the community. In this day and age, sharing religious views, even from a woman, wouldn’t be thought of as bad, much less a serious crime. But to the Puritans, having different views of God’s word was enough to have a person put to death, even if they were from a different community altogether. The peace-loving Quakers lived in Massachusetts alongside the Puritans but did not believe in the same things as them.

    The Puritan community saw this as a demonic act and believed them to be under the strong delusion of Satan.” Serious injustices were done to them, and most of the time it was to innocent people. People were kept for days without food, women were stripped stark naked, one lay neck and heels in irons for sixteen hours, many were banished, and many more beaten to near death. This mistreatment of the Quakers went on for years before the King of England finally made a decree to end all of the persecutions. All of this was merely because they weren’t the same religion. The Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay colony were good people, but they went so far off the deep end with their religion that they sacrificed their plain old human kindness and forgiveness.

    They just didn’t understand that there were other things in life than their religion. The Puritans were the true definition of religious fanatics. They couldn’t control their religion, so they let their religion control them.

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    The Puritans’ Extremist View of Religion. (2019, Feb 01). Retrieved from

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