This Independence Day, 2014, the sweet medieval imagery of the Rider Tarot does not speak to your writer, and even less images of fireworks, flags and eagles. I do love our country, especially my own city, named Providence by the architect of American freedom, Roger Williams.
Roger Williams was a clergyman who began his ministry in the New World in 1631. He immediately found himself at odds with the state religious authorities over his defense of ‘soul liberty’ and his acts of conscience in dealing with the native people with the same respect for others Christians profess to hold sacred. In reaction, the Puritans hardened their stance.
A full-fledged theocracy was set up, and for Puritans only. They hoped to set up the kingdom of God in America and give it to the saints only, and only those saints who agreed with them in both civil and religious matters. Only those were allowed to exercise the franchise. Mr. Cotton contended that ” ‘to erect such a government of the church as is most agreeable to the Word,’” or in harmony with the Mosaic theocracy, was well pleasing in the sight of God. It was not long before laws were enacted to banish all who refused to conform and comply “with the state religion.”
Roger Williams ultimately walked away in the dead of winter, finding shelter with the Wampanoags. With other dissidents he founded the State of Rhode Island, which remains contrary to the present day.
Above image of Roger Williams is from Bible-Sabbath.com which posts some excellent source material about our pioneer of religious freedom, peacemaker and advocate for the Narragansetts and other native peoples of our land.