Puritanical, indeed!

As I mentioned in a previous post, moving to the Midwest has made me more aware of the religiosity of Iowans. While religion has always been an interesting topic for me–I am a product of mixed religions–living in Iowa has alerted me to the depth to which Americans hold their faith.

The majority of those we have met here use religion as a compass. It is their community, their network, their foundation. To me, this is a revelation. In fact, I have been marvelling at the incredibly large amount of blog traffic I have received from my post related to praying before a triathlon.

So when I come across an Iowan who has as cynical a view on religion as me, I chuckle. And I cling. And I feel more at home.

I came across this blog post, by a University of Iowa professor, who aims to dispel the reality of the omnipresent devil. Here’s an excerpt:

The Puritan ghost believes that the devil is part of the “elect or non-elect” spiritual delivery system. And if you think you can’t argue with that, you’re right. In fact the only way you can win an argument with Puritans is by kicking them out of your country as the British did. And how thankful the Brits continue to feel about their ancestor’s wisdom each and every day.

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  1. Bookling

     /  February 3, 2010

    I know how you feel about the ubiquity of religion. I am a Lutheran myself, so for us faith is pretty much a personal and non-doctrinal thing. It’s definitely not about who’s gonna be saved and who isn’t.
    But all my American friends, all of them from the South, grew up in the kind of environment you’re living in now. Very often when we hang out the topic of how in-your-face-Christianity scared them when they were little comes up. Each and every one of them had a pet fear – of Mary standing by the bedside in the middle of the night, of angels suddenly popping up out of nowhere, or of the devil. Jesus is pretty scary too, for some children.
    One of the commentators on your previous post on praying said that Christians don’t mind if you’re not one of them, and I would disagree. There certainly are zealous evangelicals out there who will be shocked to find that you’re not even trying to be a believer.
    I am grateful I didn’t grow up in evangelicalism and that I can appreciate the world for what it is right here, right now, without always having to invoke Jesus and without always having to look to the beyond or up above or wherever for guidance.
    I think in your situation you probably just have to get used to them being that way and talking that way. There’ll be cool people even among the evangelicals though, for sure.

  2. I am a life long New Englander. And while I am quite sure none of my ancestors were actually ‘Puritans’ I know the outlook well. I love the quote “In fact the only way you can win an argument with Puritans is by kicking them out of your country as the British did.” — I’ve become a bit of an Anglophile in the past ten years (I’d move to England in a heartbeat if I could.)

  3. Randy

     /  October 13, 2011

    There is a testimony that better explains the absence of a High Priest on earth then many have been taught. A testimony that wasn’t done in a corner. Jesus holds the keys of David. The one sitting at the right hand of God. The one David calls Lord. The one whose Priest Hood is not based on genealogy but by appointment. (In the order of Melchizedek) A appointment term that is forever. (A priest forever..) Psalm 110 It has never been for man to chose how God forgives sin. Mortal flesh and blood can’t inherit the eternal kingdom God promised to Abraham. Those that listen and learn from the Father go to the son and Jesus will raise them up on the last day. That is the Fathers will. The Hebrews were astonished that the same Holy Spirit that they received was poured out even onto Romans. Whoever calls on the Lord shall be saved. Much is written about how God writes this new covenant on our hearts. Seek and you shall find. Ask and you shall receive. Jesus Lives and the law/command of Christ is Love.


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