Puritans Influence

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The Influences of Puritan and Quaker Thinking on the American Experience
Puritans left England in large numbers during the 1600’s with the goal of creating a God centered community where citizens worked together in all aspects of life (Butler, Wacker, and Balmer, 2003). Likewise, as stated in Religion in America: A Reader (1998), William Penn planned for Pennsylvania to be a place where people could serve the Lord and Quakers would be an example of Christian values. Although there were differences in beliefs between the two religions, the basic moral values were very much aligned. Whereas the intolerance of the Puritans led to the division of the religion and creation of new factions , the religious tolerance of the Quakers led to contention from within and outside of the religion. It seems that America was founded on religious values and yet the multitude of beliefs led to a diverse culture which saw a diminishing desire to seek and follow the will of God. Has religious freedom led to a stronger America or has religion become so splintered that many Americans lack the desire to serve anyone other than themselves? As Americans we have the freedom to practice whatever religion we choose, but we are a far cry from having religious tolerance as is evidenced by the abundance of hate crimes in the news every day.
Butler, Wacker, and Balmer (2003) described the Puritan religion as “ the belief of God’s omnipotence, salvation by God’s grace alone, predestination, and ..……group

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