Post #4: Puritans

I was fascinated to discover that the Puritans in early America were much more feisty and provocative than I had been led to believe before this class. I was shocked to learn that the Puritans were regularly having pre-marital sex and passing it off as the babies being pre-mature. The group that I would have thought to have been extremely strict on the policy of abstinence prior to marriage was in fact not so strict about it at all. The parents of the couple likely knew and approved of this as long as the marriage was followed through. According to the lecture, illegitimacy rates at around 1600 were as high as 40%! Everything that I had known about Puritans before has been significantly influenced by this new information. Another surprising characteristic of the Puritans was “Iconoclasm.” The Puritans did not believe in the lavish and man-made parts of the church. This is in great contrast with the Catholics who filled their churches with elaborate art. As a part of Iconoclasm. the Puritans would destroy the man-made parts of the church such as stained glass windows, altars, and mosaics, preferring to keep the church simple. I disagree with this method because stained glass windows for example were a way for the illiterate to better understand church services.


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