Articles and books by author Christy K Robinson relating to religious liberty, religious freedom, separation of church and state, and (as the founders of New England called it) "soul liberty."

To read the articles (which are spread out on different historical blogs), click the colored titles.

Baptist persecution and religious liberty in early-colonial America

#OnThisDay 11 November: The Mayflower Compact

Their original intent was to form a secular government for both the Saints and the Strangers.

They delight to be persecuted
The Rhode Island Assembly poked Massachusetts Gov. John Endecott in the belly by saying that the Quakers had too much peace and prosperity in Rhode Island, and couldn’t get converts to their faith by speechifying—only by being persecuted, which is why those Quakers kept going back to Puritan jurisdictions and inviting trouble! Rhode Island clearly implied that if the Puritans would just leave the Quakers alone, there would be no trouble at all. 

The battle for religious liberty, though encoded in law and enshrined in the Constitution, rages on even to this day. Stay vigilant. Note that federal and Supreme Courts, Congress, state legislatures, lobbyists, and media influencers have a hard grip on your freedoms. Write or call, and give them a piece of your mind. Do it often. They work for us.  It’s time to summon the courage and vision of Mary Dyer.

Rev. John Robinson, pastor of the Mayflower Pilgrims, and a university professor and minister who had been imprisoned for his religious leadership, was giving advice to his flock on forming a secular (civil) government with the godly principles of compassion and forbearance (restraint, tolerance, and patient self-control).

Revolutionary New Englanders--in the 1600s

Because Anne Hutchinson and Mary Dyer, Roger Williams and John Clarke, and almost every co-founder of Rhode Island, were very religious people (zealous Puritans, Antinomians, Baptists, Quakers, etc.) who sacrificed worldly goods and even their lives for their faith in God, we might think of these "Founders before the Founding Fathers" as desirous of a religious utopia in the New World.
Not. At. All. 

#OnThisDay 20 July 1591 -- Happy birthday, Anne Hutchinson

Liberty of conscience is what Anne Hutchinson, Roger Williams and John Clarke lived for, and in Mary Dyer’s case, died for. They didn’t impose their beliefs on others, but advocated for the full rights of others. They were the great-great grandparents of the revolutionaries of the United States and authors of its Constitution – which is by design a secular document.
Even today, our rights to freedom of religion and freedom from oppression are under sneak attack. As an admirer or descendant of Anne Hutchinson or Mary Dyer, I hope you will work to protect the rights of all people, as fought for by our first founders, Roger Williams, William and Anne Marbury Hutchinson, Richard and Katherine Marbury Scott, William and Mary Dyer, John Clarke, and many others.

March 8 is International Women's Day, and March is Women's History Month.
Here are the FIRST WOMEN IN AMERICA to defy oppression and advocate "liberty of conscience," including religious liberty and freedom of speech. 

Though Mary Dyer was a deeply religious woman, she understood the life-and-death importance of liberty of conscience and the separation of church and state as a human right and protection of all believers and nonbelievers, from government imposing a narrow belief system or particular morals upon every person or group. 

Forcing is not freedom--America is not a Judeo-Christian society
In the more than 20 years I've been researching and writing about Anne Hutchinson and Mary Dyer and their relation to religious liberty, my published articles have often received comments saying, essentially, "Pish-posh! Judeo-Christian beliefs form the basis of American life." 

Anne Marbury Hutchinson: American Founding Mother chapter excerpt
One of the interesting things about Anne is that she was a deeply spiritual woman all her life. But her legacy is that of promoting and practicing separation of church and state, and secular democracy, which was almost unheard of in the 17th century and earlier. Here is the chapter section that shows the differences in the two compacts (a covenant) on which Rhode Island’s government began to form in 1638.

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