To the editor of THE EAGLE:
While recent letters to the editor were spelling out religious beliefs and separation of church and state, I realized that the only theocracies left in the world right now are the Vatican and Iran, While those letters were published in The Eagle I was gathering together the genealogy of my mother’s family for my sister’s 90th birthday. Her daughter had asked for my help since all the records were in Massachusetts and my sister lives in Augusta, Ga.
Talk about a timely task. Our first American ancestor John Moody fled England along with the Rev. Thomas Hooker and his followers who were persecuted by the Church of England for liberal views. (Imagine Puritans being accused of having liberal views. That tells you something.) Moody and his wife Sarah Doe emigrated to America in 1633 aboard the ship "Mary and John." He took the freeman’s oath in Boston and eventually joined the Rev. Hooker as he established his "congregation" of followers in Cambridge. The Rev Hooker then became at odds with John Winthrop, complaining with fervor that the Massachusetts Puritans had become much too strict and conservative whereas he was for "universal suffrage" for all.
Eventually, the Rev. Hooker and his congregation left the state to go south and establish the colony of Connecticut and the city of Hartford. Moody’s name along with Hooker and all the others is on the monument in the graveyard of the First Church’s burial grounds.
I feel so strongly about freedom of speech and worship that is it as if it is in the marrow of my bones, if not in my DNA. Those Eagle letters to the editor should make us proud that people who may not agree have the right to say what they believed in a public forum. It was very moving and should never be taken for granted.