The Puritans in black robes

Berry Craig
Berry Craig

Nobody would be more joyful over the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade than the Puritans of old.

Sizzling with self-righteousness, they were the 17th-century religious bigots who dreamed of making America a conservative Christian theocracy in their image, and who forced everybody else to toe the Puritan line or else. (Puritans even hanged some dissenting Quakers who dared enter their “Shining City on a Hill,” aka Massachusetts.)

By overruling Roe, the six hard-right, Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices — in the fanatical spirit of the Puritans — have given the United States a hard shove down the road toward a reactionary Christian theocracy.

What's next for this high court majority? Declaring same-sex marriage unconstitutional? Outlawing birth control? Mandating prayer and Bible-reading in public schools?

The justices and their fans in the GOP didn’t actually get rid of abortions; they really just denied legal abortions for poor folks. They know that to end an unwanted pregnancy for a wife, daughter, or paramour, all they have to do is secretly fund a “vacation” to a Blue state, Canada, or Europe, in the full knowledge that abortions are safe and legal there.

History will not be kind to the justices who destroyed Roe. They will live in infamy with the white supremacist jurists who were the majority in the two most notorious Supreme Court cases heretofore: Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), which held in part that even free blacks weren’t citizens, and Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which said segregation was fine and dandy.

We may not recognize the America that the Republicans and their SCOTUS lackeys are building – but the Puritans certainly would.


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Berry Craig

Berry Craig is a professor emeritus of history at West KY Community College, and an author of seven books and co-author of two more. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)