Roger Williams Banished

On this day in history–October 9, 1635, Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because he questioned the colony’s politicized religion. In 1644, Williams went on to write The Bloody Tenent of Persecution, which laid out his critique of civil states enforcing religious doctrine or practice and his constructive case for religious freedom. In the preface to that book, Williams summarized his basic arguments: First. That the blood of so many hundred thousand souls of protestants and papists, spilt in the wars of present and former ages, for their respective consciences, is not required nor accepted by Jesus Christ … Continue reading Roger Williams Banished

Council of Chalcedon

On this day in history–October 8, 451–the Council of Chalcedon convened. The council met to resolve theological disputes about how Jesus Christ’s divinity related to his humanity. After several weeks of deliberation, it concluded that Jesus Christ is one person with two natures.  So, following the saintly fathers, we all with one voice teach the confession of one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and a body; consubstantial with the Father as regards his divinity, and the same … Continue reading Council of Chalcedon

The Battle of Lepanto

    On this day in history–October 7, 1571–the Holy League defeated the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto. Michael Novak calls Lepanto the first of “Two Battles that Saved the West.” G. K. Chesterton wrote a poem about the battle in 1915, which includes an allusion to Don Quixote at the end. Here it is: —– Lepanto White founts falling in the Courts of the sun, And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run; There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared, It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his … Continue reading The Battle of Lepanto

Washington’s First Thanksgiving Proclamation

On this day in history, George Washington issued his first presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation. Here’s the text: [New York, 3 October 1789] By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation. Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor–and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful … Continue reading Washington’s First Thanksgiving Proclamation