Saturday, December 23, 2017

The 17th century war on Christmas

From Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647, by William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony.
He was writing of Christmas, 1621. 


Apparently, there was a "war on Christmas" long before Fox News' Bill O'Reilly invented one. Puritans, Pilgrim separatists, Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed, and almost every religious group in New England (except a few Anglicans and Catholics) treated Christmas as any other day on the calendar. 

Notice that Governor Bradford said it was a matter of “mirth,” not of “weight,” as if he didn’t want to make a big deal out of differences of opinion on the observance of Christmas. Among the separatist Pilgrims, there were Adventurers, those who were there primarily for commercial purposes, not for religious reasons. Bradford allowed them the liberty of their consciences.

I read a court record in the 1640s, where the Rhode Island colonial assembly met for regular business on December 25, as reported by the Rhode Island Recorder, William Dyer. 

So as the author of this William and Mary Barrett Dyer website, I wish you happy holy-days in whatever traditions and beliefs you and your family are free to cherish. The Dyers were part of the tapestry of religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all, that were encoded as freedom of religion and speech in the US Constitution.

Peace,
Christy K Robinson 



Author of the books:
·          We Shall Be Changed (2010)
·          Mary Dyer Illuminated (2013)
·          Mary Dyer: For Such a Time as This (2014)
·          The Dyers of London, Boston, & Newport (2014)
·          Effigy Hunter (2015)
·          Anne Marbury Hutchinson: American Founding Mother (2018)