1. The Puritans were not anti-sex; they were anti-fornication.
I noticed this usual smear against them come up once again in the blogosphere, in this post.
Cutting-and-pasting my response:
“Puritans hated Christmas and men having sex with women.”
They hated Christmas, but no; the puritans hated fornication, not heterosexual married sex.
In fact, rather the opposite; it is well established that spouses who withheld themselves from their spouses, were ill thought of, and sometimes ended up facing excommunication for it!
Here’s some education for you:
BTW, as a bonus, if you read those links, you’ll see they were fun-loving folks who not only enjoyed marital sex, but also drank alcohol, wore clothing of all colours, and were not the continuously stern-faced sourpusses they’ve been portrayed as. And there are other myths exploded as well, for those who care about such things.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a fan of their theocratic tendencies, their persecution of those who disagreed with them, Cromwell’s dictatorial behaviour (and the removal of the rightful king from the throne by the Roundheads), their punishing people who went for walks other than to church on the Sabbath; their banning of Christmas customs such as mincemeat pie, and Cromwell’s troops entering homes on Christmas and removing geese from ovens and throwing them out in the snow, punishing young courting couples for holding hands under apple trees on the Sabbath, etc.
The Puritans, both in England and in New England, were guilty of a great many things, and I’ll be the first to accuse them of those real offences. But they aren’t guilty of what now gets labelled, or I should say, libelled, ’puritanism’, oddly enough; that smear is a modern invention. They loved their fun, just as much as they loved punishing those who disagreed with them.
2. As per Jim’s main contention in that post, that Nazism is directly descended from Lutheranism: I don’t agree with it, either.
Now, Slumlord recently showed correlation between voting patterns in 1930s Germany and religious tradition, i.e. Protestant versus Catholic (see here, here, and here), which clearly do show an unfortunate clear faultline between which areas tended to vote National Socialist and which ones tended not to, but he himself noted that:
sound Protestantism would have probably prevented the rise of Hitler. It’s the watered down version of it that is toxic.
With which I agree, and commented thus:
And many if not most of the Protestants, by then, were not the more orthodox kind that their forefathers had been, but more mainline, liberal; Germany had been at the forefront of Protestantism’s devolution, what with liberal modernism having been entrenched in the seminaries since the mid-late 19th century; I presume you’ve heard of Friedrich Schleiermacher, and the impact he had had… And Walter Rauschenbusch brought the liberalism he had picked up in Germany, back to America, greatly impacting the denominations we call mainline Protestantism, today…
So, yes, it was much more Protestants who sadly embraced National Socialism, than Catholics, to a much greater degree. But, many of them were liberal Protestants, far removed from the ways of thinking of their forefathers, who were far more like Roman Catholics, in their ways.
So Jim is wrong about Nazism flowing naturally and directly out of Lutheranism. It doesn’t; it only flows out of a deformed Protestantism, one that has strayed rather far from its roots.