Why are some people including John Proctor inclined to stay away from Sabbath meeting?

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John Proctor makes it clear that he is not a fan of Reverend Parris and believes that he is a superficial man, who does not possess the light of God. In act 1, John Proctor admits to Thomas Putnam that he does not appreciate the fact that Reverend Parris only...

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John Proctor makes it clear that he is not a fan of Reverend Parris and believes that he is a superficial man, who does not possess the light of God. In act 1, John Proctor admits to Thomas Putnam that he does not appreciate the fact that Reverend Parris only preaches on hellfire and damnation. He tells Reverend Parris,

"Take it to heart, Mr. Parris. There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God anymore" (Miller, 29).

Rebecca Nurse even agrees with John's assessment of Reverend Parris's preaching and says that there are many citizens who refuse to bring their children to church for that reason. In addition to preaching solely on hellfire and God's wrath, Proctor is also tired of Parris's greedy personality. Proctor views Reverend Parris with contempt for demanding a deed to his house and insisting on having golden candlesticks at the altar. Overall, John Proctor and many other citizens are tired of listening to Reverend Parris preach about hellfire and are beginning to take note of his greedy, superficial personality, which is not becoming of a minister. Parris's judgmental, severe preaching style and his selfish personality dissuade the Salem citizens from attending church.

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Many people in Salem are inclined to avoid Sunday mornings at the meetinghouse because they dislike the minister, Mr. Parris.  John Proctor tells Mr. Hale that he doesn't see the "light of God" in Parris, and he has even avoided having his youngest son christened by Parris because he doesn't want the man to lay hands on his child.  In addition to these concerns, Proctor says that it "hurt[s] [his] prayer" that Parris insisted on -- and evidently got -- golden candlesticks for the altar when there were already perfectly good pewter candlesticks that were handmade by Francis Nurse, a well-respected member of the Salem community.  When Proctor sees those golden candlesticks gleaming at Parris's elbow when he preaches, it seems to make Proctor feel that Parris's priorities are out of line.

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