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Pop Culture and Puritans

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Puritans were members of the Church of England. They were Protestants who arose during the sixteenth century. They advocated for the simplification of the church doctrine and the way of worship. They became powerful politicians during the seventeenth century. Their main aim was to cleanse the Church of England by thwarting Catholic influence. In the modern world, puritans are firm in matters of sex, leisure and wish to compel these beliefs on other people. The movement created by the puritans was known as Puritanism. The puritans advocated for a simple way of worshiping God just like in the New Testament. They traveled to America in pursuit of religious dominion. On arrival in America, they came across Native Americans. The Native Americans had conflicting ideas and values. Religion was the main difference between the Native Americans and the puritans. 

Puritans were enthusiastic and ambitious. They knew biblical values and to them, life was an ostentatious venture. They however, faced resistance in their ambitions. The religious authorities in the lands they settled opposed their culture. Puritans in modern life are not as strict and powerful as the puritans of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. American culture has integrated the Puritans way of life. This illustrates puritans influence in our modern world. The ideas of free will, emancipation and position of religion in the state also illustrate Puritanical ideas. Puritans are also vibrant in the legal field as well. They have always presented their idea of a nation under God in the high courts. They also offer legal support to Christians who are mistreated by secularists. They have also implored the Supreme Court on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and pornography etc. Puritans mainly air their grievances through various religious ministries. Modern puritans lack the zeal and influence needed to march the puritans of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Emerging issues such as internet, democracy, freedom of worship and modernism have been of great disadvantage to Puritanism. Although they still hold on to their moral beliefs and values, they lack the energy and powers that can help impose puritanical ideas. Lack of unity among its members is another challenge faced by Puritanism.

Songs with a Puritanical meaning

There are various songs with puritanical meanings. Some of these songs are “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, “One Naton” by Rick Ross and “Africa Unite” by Bob Marley. They are contemporary songs which are popular among people. “Grenade” by Bruno Mars talks about this guy who would do anything for his lover. He says, “…..I would catch a grenade for u….” One of the driving factors of Puritanism was the urge to do anything that supported what they felt and believed in. The song brings out the message clearly; the guy would die for what he believes in. The second song is “One Nation” by Rick Ross. The song goes like this, “……..one Nation, one God hallelujah….” The message in the song praises the idea of a nation united under one God. The third song is “Africa Unite” by Bob Marley. It goes like this, “….Africa Unite, because we moving right to our Father’s land…….how good and how pleasant will it be before God and Man to see the unification of all.” The song talks about unity of all people under God.

The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates is a book written by Sarah Vowell. It tells the story of puritan colonists in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The book tells the history of puritans who established a colony in the Massachusetts Bay. John Winthrop was the leader of the puritans. They were righteous and educated people. The puritans brought war to Native Americans and were strict even to their own citizens. The Wordy Shipmates is a book that brings in culture and history. It tells of a legacy which still enacts its influence in the modern world. The book also outlines some crucial historical events e.g., the Pequot war and expulsion of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson. The Wordy Shipmates presents the author as an appealing writer. She brings in an exceptional viewpoint and a contemporary interweave in her chronological wanderings. The book draws inspiration from Puritan sermons and values. This makes the book more interesting and historical. The book also delineates the origin of American Puritanism. It offers judgment on present religious leaders who have glided from Puritanism influence. The quotes in the book have lots of meaning and are remarkable to note down.

There are various quotes that are drawn from The Wordy Shipmates. One of the quotes is, “The only thing more dangerous than an idea is a belief.” A belief is any cognitive substance or content that is true. Vowell says, “&…….And by dangerous I don't mean thought provoking. I mean might get people killed”. This quote talks about belief. Vowel tries to describe beliefs as more dangerous than ideas. She goes ahead to illustrate what she means by dangerous, it can get people killed. Ideas originate from beliefs. This means that beliefs can be developed from more than one idea.

Songs with a Puritanical Idea

There are three songs that I had highlighted as to having some puritanical ideas. The quotes drawn from the book The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell are relevant to just one song that I had highlighted. The song is “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. The song goes like this, “…..I’d Catch a grenade for you…I’d jump in front of a train for you…I would take a bullet straight through my brain….I would die for you because I love you.” The song brings out one message, love. He would do anything all in the name of love. Love in this case is a belief. It represents what the guy believes in and his innermost feelings. He would fight for this belief because he believes in it. Sarah says, “The only thing more dangerous than an idea is a belief. And by dangerous I don't mean thought-provoking. I mean: might get people killed”.

The quotes by Sarah Vowell support the message of the song. The song supports the Puritans ideas of standing for what one believes in. It also supports the idea of defending what one believes in. Puritans believe that life is an adventure. When one walks through the path of life, one acquires various beliefs that make life look like an adventure. Sarah’s quote talks of death. A belief can lead to death. Grenade is a song that talks of death. The kind of death one meets as a result of fighting for what they believe in. The belief in the song which is shaped by love is more than thought lingering. It provides extreme measures that one would undertake while fighting for beliefs.

Conclusion

Sarah Vowell in her book, The Wordy Shipmates illustrates how beliefs can be stronger than ideas. Beliefs do not only invoke the mind, but can also lead to death. The song Grenade is an example of this puritan idea. The song talks of a guy who would do anything including dying for his love. The song brings out a puritan idea. Puritanism is thus, not extinct and still has an influence in the modern world.

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