Religion in the Thirteen Colonies

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In what ways are some of the Puritan ideals (whether religious or secular) still evident in our 21st century lives? 

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In order to find Puritanical ideals still existant in the United States, one need look in what is called "The Bible Belt."  This area is composed of the south-eastern and south-central states where the Southern Baptist faith prevails, a faith that is fundamentalist in theology.  Like the Puritans, many people in these regions share certain beliefs:

  • They feel that there is a direct connection between their lives and God
  • People read daily or very often from their Bibles.
  • The blood family and "church family" are revered.
  • Ministers and leaders employ the plain style of the Puritans, feeling that it is more effective in revealing truth.
  • People believe that God has a "plan" for them and for the world (predestination as in Calvinistic Puritanism).
  • People believe that once they are "saved," they are always saved.
  • Like the Pilgrims, the journey of their lives is a journey to salvation for these Christians
  • People that are conservative Christians believe in the original American constitutional democracy that was believed by the Puritans to be a spiritual compact between God and humanity.
  • People believe in self-reliance
  • Many conservative Christians believe in temperance (They do not drink alcoholic beverages).
  • Churches have no hierarchies.  The minister is appointed by the congregation. (Puritan notion of election)
  • State governments such as that of Alabama are under the control of fundamentalist politicians; much as the governments of Puritans were theocracies.

Source:  Fire and Ice: Puritan History and Biography.



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