Picture it. A book store in Madison, Wisconsin, in the mid-’90s. Quite the unlikely place you’d expect to be exposed to the true history of the Pilgrims being totalitarian religionists, not the freedom-seeking refugees in funny hats, bonnets, and buckled-shoes we hear about in grade school.
This took place at a book signing and lecture, not given by a historian, but rather by LGBT activist Dan Savage, whose syndicated sex-advice column, Savage Love, was a favorite of mine back then.
Obviously, I was in the throes of my leftist degeneracy, so I dutifully drank in his half-truths of this seemingly fresh critique.
“Debauchery and Puritanism are two sides of the same coin.”
— Dr. Clyde Wilson
Even though Savage was excoriating the Puritans mostly for their chaste sexual mores, he was also perpetuating the myth that New England history is the whole of American history. You know, “Land of the Pilgrims’ pride” and all that. Savage was simply echoing the increasing mainstream narrative in oh-so puritanical fashion.
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