Thursday, September 17, 2015

History: The Year is 1646

I've uploaded year 1646 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Opposition to Biblical Law in New England Government -- The Puritans of New England are imposing biblical law and some people object. I talk about what I do as an Orthodox Jew when biblical law conflicts with the law of the land.

The Praying-to-God Indians of New England -- Reverend Eliot converts over 1,000 Indians to Christianity after he translates the Bible into their own language.

The Gunpowder Safety Tip of the Day! -- One lightening strike and boom! I talk a little bit about corning.

Opposition to Biblical Law in New England Government

The Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay colony are using the Law of the Bible as the law of the land. While biblical law can be harsh, the court is taking into account extenuating circumstances. Nevertheless, an unrepentant homosexual in New Haven, Connecticut is put to death this year. A small but religiously diverse group has protested to the leadership and have threatened to get the Massachusetts Bay charter revoked. The protesters are arrested and forced to make a bond of 200 pounds (or about $45,000 in 2014 dollars.) One fellow named John Child is denounced for being a scientist, a reformer and for using "big words." John feels he doesn't need the government to coerce him into obeying God's laws. He is doing so voluntarily. (He really is.) With all this pressure, John Child returns to England and his Massachusetts ironworks business fails causing an economic downturn in the colony. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Since biblical law sometimes conflicts with the law of the land, the rule I follow as an Orthodox Jew is: "The law of the land is the Law." Biblical commandments often have more than one way to accomplish them. If I have a choice I am REQUIRED to perform the commandment in a way that does not violate the local law. If I have no choice, I must move away rather than violate biblical law. So... what happens when the Bible says XYZ is a capital crime? Simply put, one is only required to execute people who are convicted in a capital case in a formal court of law. Thus, if I kill someone in the street, I will not be put to death until AFTER I am convicted... even in Texas. It depends on the evidence, the reliability of the witnesses and extenuating circumstances. The Bible does not dictate what the rules of evidence are. In traditional Jewish Law the rules of evidence are draconian in a capital case. It is obvious that Jewish courts do not not want to put people to death.

The Praying-to-God Indians of New England

As one might imagine, the Puritans of New England have been trying to convert the local Indians for some time, and the Indians have been rather bored with the whole business... until now. The Reverend John Eliot of Roxbury, is being called the 'Apostle to the Indians.' What is his secret? He has learned the Algonquin language and has translated the Bible and critical religious documents into their language. He hasn't converted anyone yet (or there is no documented evidence that he has yet) but it is clear that the Praying-to-God Indians will need a place to live apart from other Indians. Experience has shown that Christian ritual practice tends to undermine the Indian social structure of the medicine man and the pow-wow because, frankly, Christian prayer is considered the cure for sorcery and takes the place of medicine men. Reverend Eliot has bought some land so that the Praying-to-God Indians can establish their own churches and government apart from the non-Christian Indians. In the modern day, the site of the first "Praying Town" is called Natick, Massachusetts which is in the Greater Boston Area. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
A Native American Indian named Waban is documented to be the 1st Indian convert in New England. (Remember that the Spaniards had been converting Indians to Christianity for years prior to 1646.) Some historians called Waban the chief of his tribe. It is not clear what Waban was but he was not a chief. He and another Indian were critical in converting over 1,000 Indians to Christianity, but the Praying-to-God Indians were dispersed a few years later after the 1st Indian War. (The war was not between the colonists and the Praying-to-God Indians but their conversion caused a lot of tension with the other Indians.) Waban, Massachusetts is named after the same Indian convert. [9] [10] [11]

The Gunpowder Safety Tip of the Day!

Do NOT store so much gunpowder in a single place that a lightening strike will blow your castle sky high, killing everyone in it and damaging the surrounding city. Bredevoort Castle (or what is left of it) still resides in the Netherlands. [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Serpentine gunpowder was still in use in the 17th century. It tended to separate and be very dusty. The danger of random sparks setting off gunpowder was greatly reduced with the process of corning which involves adding water and grinding the gunpowder slowly and ever so carefully. (Please don't consider this description as actual directions on how to do corning. I don't want your spouse picking pieces of what is left of you out of the trees.) [14]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1646, Wikipedia.

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