Today in English lit class, everything I ever learned about Pilgrims was blown out of the water.
We read the writings of Winthrop, Bradford, Anne Bradstreet. The kind of stuff we’d have to read in 6th social studies around Thanksgiving time. And what I’ve always been told as the noble, triumphant, righteous story of the Pilgrims’ and Puritans’ search for religious freedom was called an artful, controlling, proud quest for theocracy. (“These are the kind of people we dressed up like in preschool!” my professor exclaimed.) The history of the Christian elementary school versus the history of the big secular university.
The truth, as T-bird would say, is somewhere in between, I think. Either way, I have some research and rethinking to do about what I’ve been told. Not so much to prove one or the other wrong. This isn’t exactly a life-changing discovery. But I’d like just to find that space between sentimental nostalgia and cynicism about my country’s religious background, something about which I’ve been spoon-fed my whole life.
History is so not objective.