Gil Burroughs: The pilgrim precedent

March 27, 2014 

Rick Warren (“ Our 1st freedom, in practice,” March 25 column) needs to brush up on his U.S. history. His claim that “the first people who came to America from Europe were devout pilgrims seeking the freedom to practice their faith” overlooks the Spanish in Florida in the 1560s and the English at Jamestown in 1607, both preceding the pilgrims in Plymouth in 1620.

Those pilgrims are not the founders of religious freedom as expressed in our founding documents as is commonly believed. Quite the contrary, they were rather intolerant, denying any of a faith different from theirs the freedom to practice their faith. This denial of religious freedom eventually led to the founding of the Rhode Island colony by Roger Williams.

Gil Burroughs

Edenton

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