Anne Hutchinson Separation Of Church And State Essay

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Throughout history, many concepts that started off as controversial soon became accepted norms that have been adopted as standard practice. One such idea is the separation of church and state. In many modern-day countries, this separation is not a belief that looks to be accepted anytime in the near future. Most countries in the Middle East still have no desire to take the religious influence out of their governmental rules. This was also the case in the American colonies prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It took almost 200 years between the first permanent English settlement and the signing of this historic document for America to be persuaded into changing the policies that have stood since this country was …show more content…

An intelligent midwife by the name of Anne Hutchinson wanted to contest many of these firmly held beliefs that had been accepted as standards in the Puritan religion. Hutchinson was well known at the time for her “ready wit and bold spirit” . Anne also had an incredible knowledge of the scripture that allowed her to hold court in her own home and debate commonly held beliefs with prominent church members. She began to challenge local ministers for their views that behavior and church attendance were keys to salvation. Like Roger Williams, Anne believed that religion was a personal affair and people should listen to God directly, and not through the Bible or clergy. Anne was charged with sedition after she confessed that God spoke directly to her. When asked how she knew it was God, she replied, “How did Abraham know that it was God that bid him offer his son, being a breach of the sixth commandment?” Her prosecutor then asks Anne to elaborate so she answers, “So to me by an immediate revelation.” She is later banished to Rhode Island where she plays a role in developing the first separation of church and state in the legislation of the new town of Portsmouth. Author Jon Butler writes about the result of Hutchinson’s banishment, “the affair cast a pall over Puritan New England. It demonstrated that a wide variety of beliefs could in fact be found among the Puritans and that achieving religious uniformity in Puritan New England might come at a very high price.” Anne’s bold defiance in the Antinomian Controversy led to changes in the way many people thought about religious

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