April Tea Party winners: DEBUT author PEGG THOMAS's signed copy of The Pony Express Romance Collection is Bree Herron, Angela Couch's book,Carla Gade's, Carrie Fancett Pagels' "Tea Shop Folly" goes to Faith, Denise Weimer's print winner of WITCH is Connie Saunders, Joan Hochstetler, Debra E. Marvin Betti Mace wins ebook ,
Friday, June 19, 2015
Roger Williams - The Founder of Freedom of Religion in America
Williams was born in London in 1603. While he was young, he saw numerous burning at the stake of Puritans and heretics which later influenced his freedom of religion views. In 1630, his controversial views became a source of contention, and he escaped to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1631.
He preached first in Plymouth then in Salem, but his sermons went against Puritan doctrine. He preached that the king of England had no right to give away Native American land or to force people to hold certain religious beliefs. In the Bloody Tenet of Persecution, Williams argued against doctrines that permitted religious persecution.
The Puritans had decided to banish Williams and send him back to England. But he knew that persecution for his beliefs awaited him there. So he escaped the colony in the middle of one of the coldest winters in Massachusetts. He survived because he was befriended by local Native Americans near Narragansett Bay.
Williams purchased the land from the Narragansett Chiefs and named is settlement Providence in thanks to God. Later his settlement grew to encompass the colony of Rhode Island. To protect the land, he also gained a charter from England.
Providence and Rhode Island’s charters were the first to allow freedom of religion. Because of this, many Jews and Quakers made their way there. Later Williams founded the first Baptist church in North America.
Roger Williams died at Providence in 1684, but his descendants continued to establish Rhode Island as a colony and state that allowed people freedom of worship and religion that became a cornerstone for the United States of America.