Diary

Tolerance is very "relative"

39-1/2 years ago, I, an agnostic (baptized but not confirmed Episcopalian), married a Bronx Irish, Ursuline educated Roman Catholic, an “iffy” proposition even post-Vatican II. The first chance I had to vote in NY in 1972, I voted as a Conservative for perhaps a descendant of Quakers hanged by my Puritan Massachusetts Bay ancestors from both sides; Roxbury and Rowley circa 1638. How ironic is that? 31 years ago, I was Baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, apolitical for obvious reasons, if you know any of their founding tenets, and providential in my view, considering the current turmoil, caused by ignorance of the founding principles. Not that religion shouldn’t be practiced by individuals, but that it shouldn’t be force-fed by the body politic. I believe that Jehovah’s Witnesses have done much in their arguments before the US Supreme Court to secure the rights to speak freely, and the right not to speak (recite); protections that serve not only their minority, but ALL Americans.  Incidentally, my Great-great-great Grandfather (a Spafford), a young husband in Temple, New Hampshire, with his young bride (a Seeley) and descendant of William of Orange, emigrated to New Brunswick Canada, either because they were Baptists persecuted by the Congregationalists, or because she had Tory roots. HIS father (Eldad) fought very briefly in the Revolution, memorialized on a monument in Temple, though his expedition was cancelled on account of a Nor’easter. Irony of ironies, as I await the first effects of a feeder band of Hurricane Earl, – – – – that is the first name of the persecuted relative of whom I’ve just spoken.”