One Bold Step

Everyone talks a great game about changing the world, or even just their lives, but courage, while free, comes with one price: action. I want to share my bold step with you, and, if you write to me with your bold step, and it's timely, I'll post it on my site every couple of weeks, if not more often.

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Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Director of Research for (aka: The Foundation Foundation). Formerly with Air America Radio Phoenix ("Froggy Went A Marchin..."). Sang the National Anthem at a rally in Phoenix with Cindy Sheehan. Loves: chocolate, flowers, perfume (my grandmother), great music, politics, and a whole-hearted appreciation of the truth (Are there really "conspiracy theories" or do we need more FOIAs?). Seeker of justice and agent for change.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Boldest Americans, The Most Shamefully Forgotten Americans

Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, is little known for being "the first American explicator of religious tolerance and secular government," as described by Reason Magazine. Given the times in which we live, filled with fatwas, terrorism, walls, and competing wills, Williams, more than perhaps any other early American, maybe even more than any of our "Founding Fathers," deserves recognition as the man who gave birth to the dream of our freedom.

Along with Williams, Anne Hutchinson, the famous Massachusetts exile under Governor John Winthrop, and one of our first feminists, provided the most stirring, public example of the early struggle for religious tolerance and secular government in our history. As her web site notes:

"When Anne and her family were still living in England, she had hoped that once in America, she could discuss her faith, and would not need to hide her personal beliefs from other Puritans; but telling others that God had given her the power of clairvoyance, and that she had known in advance of the exact day of their arrival to the colony was a mistake, and this caused John Cotton to question the inclusion of Anne's family into his congregation.
In order to gain acceptance within Cotton's flock, Anne had to confess to being 'guilty of wrong thinking', even though she did not really believe it. Anne and her family were allowed into the congregation, but these troubles over her freely expressing her faith made her realize that the oppressed had now become the oppressors, having already forgotten how they had once been treated in their native England by both the Catholics and the Protestant Church."

Today, the best way we can honor our legacy as Americans, is to take a second look at these people, perhaps our true "Founding Father" and "Founding Mother." This may be the boldest move we could ever make, and, in the end, the safest check mate of our nation.