Early Colonial Women and Religious Education Essay

A Double Edged sword A double standard is defined as “a set of principles that allows greater freedom to one person or group than another when looked up In the dictionary. For Puritan and Colonial women a double standard was defined as a way of life. Women at the time were not supposed to have an extensive knowledge of the Bible, as they were not viewed to be intelligent enough to understand it. On the other side, Puritan mothers were expected to raise good Christian children, so if the child had a religious deficiency the blame would fall on her.

That responsibility has been passed down, as women are still seen as the main source of religious encouragement and guidance, outside of church, in today’s society Although unrecognized then and seldom recognized now, Colonial women where the cornerstone of religious growth In the New World colonies. In charge of every aspect of home life, “Women had to sew, cook, take care of domestic animals, make many of the necessities used In the household such as soap, candles. Clothing, and other necessities like attending the births of livestock. Riving plow horses, and so on” (Sage 1). Colonial women worked from dawn till dusk and often longer, as no part of the New world Life was easy. Along with all of their housework, the women also had to raise their children. For the Puritan settlers, the Bible was the guide to life, and so to properly raise the children, Puritan women were supposed to teach their offspring how to live by God’s word. They also had a more present role in church attendance as “New England women tended to Join the church in greater numbers than men… (Sage 1). These women, through their religious guidance, cultivated the future New world leaders. Many of the Puritan women where very active in their church. And for a few, it name back to haunt them. The most famous example of a woman who was persecuted tort not tolling the rules is Anne Hutchinson. “a woman tot haughty and fierce carriage, a nimble wit and active spirit, a very voluble tongue, more bold than a man,” said Governor John Winthrop (Winthrop X) when describing Anne.

Anne Hutchinson would be regarded very differently in today’s society than she was in 1638. She was excommunicated from the church and kicked out of her colony for holding prayer meetings In her home and, mainly, questioning men’s authority. “Anne was referred to as an American Siebel. Who had gone a-whoring from God… (Leonardo X). Anne held a belief that one could have a relationship with God without d preacher to did the transaction. For this and her outspoken nature, she was banished from the colony. Women at the time had a very thin line to walk.

They had to teach their children God’s word, without being allowed to interpret it themselves. The Idea that women were equipped to nurture a religious belief In their children has been passed down from the Puritans to today’s culture. Even now there are more women than men won attend snuck. ” one possible explanation Tort ten predominance of women over men in some churches is age: a disproportionate umber of churchgoers are elderly, and since there are more elderly women than men in the population at large, we would expect more of them in church. ” (Walter 75).

As more traditional women are still attending church, they are also instilling the belief in religion to the next generation, as the Puritan women did with their children. Another option is the way women view God “Cox (1967) and Wright & Cox (1967) found teenage girls more likely to describe God as loving, comforting and forgiving, while boys tend to view him as a supreme power, a driving force and a planner and controller” (Walter 76). Women who instill the belief that God loves and forgives, have children that are more likely to develop a fondness for religion.

This directly relates to the Puritan women, who brought out the kindness of God to their children, being the light against the harshness of New World life. Tending to the maternal side of the Puritan’s fierce God, Colonial mothers made this religion more palatable for the next generations. Starting then and throughout American history, Christian women have been exampling and fostering a loving and nurturing view of God that has been passed on throughout generations. The Puritan faith is a harsh one, with very little room for the lighter side of God expressed in the Bible.

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