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Puritanism

Puritanism

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Published by Daria DaDy
essay about : The haunting fear that someone somewhere may be happy, puritanism, puritans, The crucible,
essay about : The haunting fear that someone somewhere may be happy, puritanism, puritans, The crucible,

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Published by: Daria DaDy on Dec 14, 2011
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11/28/2012

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 Mid-term essay
Comment upon the following statement:
“Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy”.(H.L.Menken)
Henry Louis Mencken
(September 12, 1880 - January 29, 1956), better known as H. L. Mencken, was a twentieth-century journalist, satirist,social critic, cynic, and freethinker, known as the "Sage of Baltimore"and the "American Nietzsche". He is often regarded as one of the mostinfluential American writers of the early 20th century.The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants inthe 16
th
and 17
th
centuries.
Puritanism
is a religious reform movement in the late 16
th
and 17
th
centuries that sought to “purify” the Church of England of remnants of the Roman Catholic “popery” that the Puritans claimed had beenretained after the religious settlement reached early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Puritans became noted for a spirit of moral andreligious earnestness that informed their whole way of life, and theysought through church reform to make their lifestyle the pattern for thewhole nation. Their efforts to transform the nation contributed bothto civil war in England and to the founding of colonies in America asworking models of the Puritan way of life.Puritanism may be defined primarily by the intensity of the religiousexperience that it fostered. Puritans believed that it was necessary to bein a covenant relationship with God in order to redeem one from one’ssinful condition, that God had chosen to reveal salvation through preaching, and that the Holy Spirit was the energizing instrument of salvation.
Puritanism
was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergyshortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as anactivist movement within the Church of England. The designation"Puritan" is often incorrectly used, notably based on the assumptionthat hedonism and puritanism are antonyms: historically, the word wasused to characterize the Protestant group as extremists similar tothe Cathari of France.Puritanism has a historical importance over a period of a century, andgeneral views must contend with the way it changed character andemphasis almost decade by decade over that time.
“Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, maybe happy”
in other words “A Puritan is someone who is deathly afraidthat someone, somewhere is having fun” are two quotes from H.L.Mencken. I think we could also say that for religious abusers, their 
 
greatest fear is that someone, somewhere may be getting away withsomething they disapprove of. I get the feeling that the worse thingthat abusers and manipulators imagine happening is that someonewho used to be under their influence goes off and enjoys life withoutany reference at all to their former church. The fact that we can beimperfect and lead imperfect lives and still be happy drives them nuts.If they had courage they would be running out in front of us to our newcommunities making sure that none of our new acquaintances makes themistake of actually liking or accepting us.Puritan culture emphasized the need for self-examination and thestrict accounting for one’s feelings as well as one’s deeds. This was thecentre of evangelical experience, which women in turn placed at theheart of their work to sustain family life. The words of the Bible, asthey interpreted them, were the origin of many Puritan cultural ideals,especially regarding the roles of men and women in the community.While both sexes carried the stain of original sin, for a girl, original sinsuggested more than the roster of Puritan character flaws.The quote it is also a cynical and humorous definition of Puritanism and means that Puritans characteristically looked at their neighbors and other townspeople suspiciously, because they believedthat if anyone who was happy or enjoying him or herself, he or she must be sinning so every thing or person that was happy or did things thatoffered him a certain pleasure or a good mood was feared by the others,was avoided and was regarded as the most sinful man. To be happy wasequivalent to being sinful. I sincerely think that is more sinful to fear that somebody, somewhere is happy. The Bible says we have to love our neighbor, it means that we do not need to consider them full of pity, just for being happy and living life differently than us. If that isconsidered to be a sin, then jealousy, hatred, prosecution of a personand its critique, how should we name it?According to what I have learned about the Puritans and what Isaw in “The Crucible” movie many people were much more interested infinding sin in others' homes than in their own. The infamous Salemwitch trials and executions were examples of this trait. In Salem,everything and everyone belongs to either God or the devil; dissent isnot merely unlawful, it is associated with satanic activity, and this for me seems to be totally wrong and stupid and I say this because you must be crazy to think or to expect that anyone should have same religion or same beliefs like you or like majority. It is foolish to punishingsomeone for different way of thinking or seeing things, for what he believes, for what he wants for himself, but it is worse to offer thechance to escape the punishment only if he says and believes whatothers or those above him want. What they did at that time today would be called discrimination and would be punished according to itsseverity.Also,
hysteria
played an important role in tearing apart a communityand enabled people to believe that their neighbors, whom they have

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