Posted on April 30, 2015 at 11:32 am
Posted in Uncategorized
Pilgrims and Puritans came to America seeking religious freedom for themselves. Roger Williams arrived seeking liberty of conscience for all: Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Muslim, unbeliever and pagan.
“Williams was really America’s first individualist, the first contradictor of authority, the first rebel,” explains John M. Barry, author of Roger Williams and The Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty. While best known as the founder of Rhode Island and for being a leading proponent of a “wall of separation” between church and state, Barry argues that Williams’ imprint on America is deeper than most recognize. “When I started writing the book I quickly realized that I was not simply writing about the emergence of the idea of religious liberty, but liberty itself.”