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“It’s important to remember the scope of Williams’ accomplishment. At a time when few people could imagine religion and government decoupled, Williams stared down the theocrats and created a society based on what he called “soul liberty” – the complete freedom of conscience. His model became America’s reality. “These are unsettled times. Defenders of the principle of the separation of church and state will face many challenges in the months and years to come. Now more than ever, we need the wisdom of Roger Williams.” Rob Boston, Communications Director AU.
Roger Williams was a Puritan, an English Reformed theologian, and later a Reformed Baptist who was expelled by the Puritan leaders from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because local officials thought that he was spreading "new and dangerous ideas" to his congregants. He fled the Massachusetts colony under the threat of impending arrest and shipment to an English prison; he began the settlement of Providence Plantations in 1636 as a refuge offering freedom of conscience.
Williams was the 1638 founder of the First Baptist Church in America, also known as the First Baptist Church of Providence. He was also a student of Native American languages, an early advocate for fair dealings with Native Americans, and one of the first abolitionists in North America, having organized the first attempt to prohibit slavery in any of the British American colonies. He is best remembered as the originator of the principle of separation of church and state.
We hope you will participate in the Women’s March in the morning, and then view this film with us in the afternoon.
Please join us for an interesting discussion.