An error which permeates the book is Metaxas’ claim that the Pilgrims and Puritans advocated religious freedom for all. Just one example represents many such statements: He writes, “Since the Pilgrims came to our shores in 1620, religious freedom and religious tolerance have been the single most important principle of American life.” He claims that the principle of religious freedom, so important for most of the founders, was derived from the example of the Pilgrims and Puritans. This is false.
Quakers and Catholics and other dissenters were banished or imprisoned in Massachusetts during that era. Some were killed for their dissent from orthodoxy. Roger Williams who Metaxas also cites was banished from Massachusetts and founded Rhode Island as an alternative bastion of religious toleration. Despite these facts, Metaxas upholds the Pilgrims and Puritans as worthy of emulation.
What makes a book like this troubling is that Metaxas writes so well he lulls the reader into complacency. Readers who don’t know their history can’t evaluate what they don’t know. After reading the book, they feel confident but are ill equipped to defend the important principles of liberty. Metaxas has a much higher responsibility to get the facts right and should take responsibility for these errors by publicly correcting them.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Throckmorton's Daily Caller Article on Metaxas' New Book
From the good Dr. Warren Throckmorton here. A taste: