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Interesting passage I found in a history book I’m reading for class. (Regarding Puritanism)

Original Sin Jesus Messiah

“From a modern and secular perspective, the Puritan emphasis on judging has won little sympathy. Today the term is perhaps most often used to signify self-righteous joylessness;H.L. Mencken, for example, defined Puritanism as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” But we can best understand Puritans’ actions by understanding their core belief: humans beings are inherently sinful creatures living in a world created by an all-virtuous God. Puritan spirituality fueled by a perpetual burning desire to be better, sought to narrow this gap. True Puritans, however harsh their judgement of others, were at least as hard on themselves, for they practiced constant self-examination and refused to deny or excuse the selfishness, lush, and mendacity they discovered behind their own thoughts and deeds. “ – Richard Crawford’s: America’s Musical Life

I can relate very strongly to the beliefs/practices of Puritans, it seems. And yet, the underlying points of this brief passage does resonate with developing ideas I’ve had on religious perspectives and human behaviors. Indeed the viewpoints seem to completely contradict actions of all humans and even all human’s capacities. Very similar to 3rd Century Stoicism it definitely seems like the system encourages a constant self-inflicted pain on oneself with no concept of reward or pleasure. It seems spiritually and emotionally torturous – to say the least.

Maybe I do need to re-examine some of my deeper held beliefs that have sustained me for so long…

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