Betsy Newmark, over at Betsy’s Page has even more to add to what we are learning about President Bush’s forebears. Between Catherine Armstrong’s good work, and Betsy’s it’s all getting very interesting. Betsy makes the excellent point that if the left wants to imply that one’s weaknesses are linked to lineage, then one’s strengths must be, as well. Says Betsy:
And the we find out that Bush is also somehow related to Anne Hutchinson, the woman who is now featured in all history books as the first feminist in American history and the fiery spokeswoman for religious freedom. Here is what PBS for Kids says about Hutchinson.
Anne Hutchinson stood trial alone, with no lawyer to defend her. She faced a panel of 49 powerful and well-educated men. She was accused of sedition, or trying to overthrow the government. And she faced banishment if convicted.
Hutchinson’s “crime” was expressing religious beliefs that were different from the colony’s rulers. In the year 1637, in Massachusetts Bay Colony, that was against the law–especially for a woman.
Hutchinson, a Puritan, came to America in search of a place where she could worship freely. But when she arrived, she found the Bay Colony’s religious rules very intolerant. The ideas she brought with her from England quickly landed her in trouble.
Hutchinson believed that people could communicate directly with God–without the help of ministers or the Bible. This was in direct contradiction with the established religion. Local ministers taught that people could only find God by following the teachings of the Bible. And that only they could interpret the Bible correctly. At meetings she held in her Boston home, Hutchinson criticized the teachings of the colony’s ministers.
In Massachusetts Bay, as was the custom at the time, all ministers were men. The Church controlled the political power. There was no Constitution or Bill of Rights. Only those who belonged to “approved” churches could vote. Magistrates, or government officials, used the Bible as their legal textbook. And people who broke the law could be punished severely–jailed, whipped, or even executed. Many considered Hutchinson’s teachings illegal.
Every history textbook features Anne Hutchinson since it is, of course, de rigueur to feature any woman who did anything notable in history. And there just aren’t all that many in colonial America. What is often left out is the exact theology of Hutchinson. She was an antinomian who believed that good works were not necessary for salvation since salvation was God’s gift and could not be earned. Thus, the sermons she objected to were the one exhorting the faithful to a life of good works. That has never struck me as a theology that really appeals to modern students. My kids agree but they love the story of her standing up in trial to her Puritan interrogators while being nine months pregnant. She was a woman of strong faith and deep courage.
So, could Bush have inherited his deep religious convictions and his stubborn resistance to that which he believes is wrong from this famous ancestress? I’m sure the jury is still out on whether or not there is a gene for faith and courage.
If we’re going to play games trying to analyze Bush through the prism of his famous forebears, by all means let us have a complete analysis.
Hattip (again) to the tireless Lorie at Polipundit.
UPDATE: Laura at the Wide Awake Cafe has even more good stuff:
Dr. Samuel Prescott, brother of Lucy Prescott, a direct ancestor of President Bush helped Paul Revere warn the Lincoln minutemen that the British were coming. He actually finished the ride.
Hmmmm…the name of another hero, carried into the present generation in George PRESCOTT Bush. Kewl!