"The objection to Puritans is not that
they try to make us think as they do,
but that they try to make us do as they think."
H. L. Mencken
(1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic
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Reader comments about this quote:
This is simply wonderful. Pungent and to the point - and wittily said too.
 -- Maggie, Cuxhaven     
  • 3
    The Puritans... The Taliban... The evangelical right of American today...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
  • 2 3
    Today, the most worrisome are the secular Puritans who can't tolerate word or thought which are not politically correct. Lawrence Sommers, President (for now) of Harvard comes to mind.
     -- Anonymous, Allyn, WA     
  • 2
     -- Anonymous      
    'Nuff said - down with Puritanism!
     -- John-Douglas, Nassau     
  • 2 1
    OK, I understand where he's coming from. I've read some history. With that history in mind, I like Anonymous from WA's comment. I do know some professing Puritans that don't exactly fit the here definition.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 4
    Ambrose Bierce's definition of a Christian in 'The Devil's Dictionary': "One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not incompatible with a life of sin."
     -- David Spinner, Oak Harbor     
  • 2
    Funny how they came to America for religious freedom, but then decided everyone in America should be Puritan. Remember their Salem Witch Trials.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
  • 1
    Five stars. Especially when taken in fair measure with wisdom found in a quote by Mohandas Gandhi - a fairly successful politician and devout spiritual practitioner himself: "I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
  • 3
     -- dick, fort worth      
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx      
    Collectivists of all kinds constantly meddle in everyone else's affairs. I have never met someone who constantly strove for 'purity' that didn't scare the hell out of me.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    This meddling is not restricted to Puritans. It is more likely that liberals and progressives will try to get you to do things their way.
     -- GunnyCee, Durham     
  • 2
    Anonymous from Reston, VA has used a very clever left wing logic trick that blends two goods with a bad in hopes that you will be dumb enough to fall for the fact that the Puritans and the Evangelical Right are equally as bad as the Talliban. And that isn't the only twist of logic he uses. Since when is the Evangelical branch of religion equal to the conservative side of politics? One has to believe this person's premise that anyone is not liberal is as evil as the Taliban. The funny thing is, the ideals of the Talibans are based on liberal tenants of one party rule and the only way to be correct is to be liberal.
     -- GunnyCee, Durham     
  • 3
    Interesting it is that the spiritual, moral, legal, political and economic infrastructures such as were bequeathed to us by the much
    maligned Puritans became the stalwart foundations of a pluralistic Republic which, in its time, has been the greatest temporal engine of human progress that this generally benighted planet has ever known.

     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 1
    Another 5 stars.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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