1600s: Puritans in a British colony in America.
“Puritanism….was founded by some of the returning clergy exiled under Mary I shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England….Puritans were blocked from changing the established church from within and were severely restricted in England by laws controlling the practice of religion. Their beliefs, however, were transported by the emigration of congregations to….New England in North America. They took on distinctive beliefs about clerical dress and in opposition to the episcopal system….
Consequently, they became a major political force in England and came to power as a result of the First English Civil War (1642–46). Almost all Puritan clergy left the Church of England after the Restoration of 1660 and the 1662 Uniformity Act, some becoming nonconformist ministers….Puritans by definition were dissatisfied with the limited extent of the English Reformation and with the Church of England’s tolerance of practices which they associated with the Catholic Church….
In modern usage, the word “puritan” is often used to describe someone who adheres to strict, joyless moral or religious principles. In this usage, hedonism and puritanism are antonyms. In fact, Puritans embraced sexuality but placed it in the context of marriage.
Peter Gay writes of the Puritans’ standard reputation for “dour prudery” as a “misreading that went unquestioned in the nineteenth century”, commenting how unpuritanical they were in favour of married sexuality, and in opposition to the Catholic veneration of virginity, citing Edward Taylor and John Cotton.
One Puritan settlement in Western Massachusetts banished a husband and sent him into exile because he refused to fulfill his marital duties to his wife….Puritans left for New England, particularly in the years after 1630, supporting the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and other settlements among the northern colonies….
Bounds were not set on enjoying sexuality within the bounds of marriage, as a gift from God. In fact, spouses were disciplined if they did not perform their sexual marital duties, in accordance with 1 Corinthians 7 and other biblical passages. Women and men were equally expected to fulfill marital responsibilities. Women and men could file for divorce based on this issue alone.”
FULL DISCLOSURE: As a Chinese-American, I’ve often stated that I feel more of a cultural tether to to England, than I do to China. Is this so surprising? In spite of today’s politicallly correct push for cultural “diversity,” going so far in far left corners of American society to eschew English as America’s de factor official language—we must recognize that our foundation culture, crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower from Britain, in 1620.
We must also recognize, that what we now consider American traditions in every phase of our contemporary lives–stem from England as our “Mother Country.” This is especially believed by bikers of my generation, who were brought up with the all-American concept of “assimilation.”
Simply put, “assimilation” was the tenet that immigrants to America, would quickly and seamlessly adopt American traits quickly. It was “American first” and (fill in the ethnic blank) background second. Yes, we were all American first and foremost, and our ethnic roots went onto the backburner. Believe me, there was no hint of major US cities considering a co-existing Sharia Law, next to civil law. That bullshit didn’t fly, then.
I believe that with the Puritan colonists that emigrated from England, beginning in the 1600s, that Puritanical streaks exist in the Americans of today. I recognize this, in myself.
Here’s an example. I have to admit, that I cringe when bikers use the page-worn expression, “I get a hardon looking at that bike.” The only way I can explain my negative gut reaction to this, is that it’s because of my Puritanical streak that is a residual vestige, of our post-British culture. I mean, hearing that, or that a biker gets a “boner” from looking at painted tin, is not only cringe-worthy, but also ridiculous in the extreme.
Hey man, I love my Shovel “Mabel,” and I do believe that she has a a soul (I really do)–to the extent that I talk to her–but gettin’ a hardon over her? I don’t think so, man. I realize that it’s hyperbole, and “just an expression.” But do I ever cringe, when I hear, “I have a boner from this bike.” Yeesh! It’s enough for me to acknowledge that I’m going the distance with my Harley, for life—without ascribing sexual feelings toward her. Fuck that noise.
Another example of my Puritanical streak, is, although I do use profanity—that when I raised my kids, I discouraged their use of it. At least, in my presence. I find that offensive, coming from my offspring–as my parents found it offensive, coming from me and my siblings. I may say “fuck that,” but I don’t wanna hear it from kids–no matter how old they may be.
I’ll tell you the truth, man. I’m glad that I have this Puritanical streak in me. I’m proud that my parents, along with other parents of their generation, raised me with manners and a sense of propriety. We are all a product of how we were raised, and presents a template for how we raise our kids. It must be because of my “Puritanical roots.”
It is a reminder of a time, when American society, took pride in all people of this great country, being Americans first. After all, that concept of “assimilation” of the 1950s and earlier, did represent Americans’ embracing American culture—and a reminder, that much of American culture, originated in Britain–including Puritanism. Later.