Confrontation was human nature at play


February 13, 2019

I’ve never cared much for puritanism.

While the Pilgrims came to America to avoid religious persecution, they mostly wanted to exchange the rigidly enforced rules against their brand of Christianity for the right to impose their own equally rigid code on each other.

In a puritan society, there are usually authorities all must answer to.

That usually means the authorities give their own biases and notions, whatever their origin, the weight of Gospel truth.

They also have the power to define and punish transgressors according to their personal preconceptions.

Since everyone is a sinner, the puritanical authority then has the right to punish people because the authorities don’t like them or see them as rivals. It’s too easy to find sin.

It usually means, also, that if the authority commits the same act, it’s not sin.

Example: Goodman Tolliver imbibes five shots of gin (the Pilgrims did drink gin), and, being disliked by the parson’s committee, he is deemed a drunkard and spends time in the stocks.

If Parson Mayhew downs five shots, however, it is medicine for anxious melancholia. He staggers from the joy of being cured.

That kind of hypocrisy is why I have always distrusted puritans, whether they be television evangelists, ayatollahs or communist apparatchiks.

While puritanism has always been a hallmark of conservatism, it has lately come to dominate thinking on the left, as well.


n The rush to judgment when a confrontation between a police officer and a minority member results in death. The immediate conclusion is that the cop is a racist and must be punished. Minority neighborhoods are dangerous for police, largely due to pervasive hostility for police among minority members.

n The calls for resignations of Virginia state political leaders because they posed for pictures in blackface when they were young. Until quite recently, edgy humor based on stereotypes, actually making fun of the stereotypes themselves, was normal. People even used stereotypes to make fun of themselves. Times and people change.

n Intolerance of speakers who disagree with leftist faculty and students on college campuses. This defeats one of the key reasons for higher education in the first place.

In recent weeks, there was rush to judgment of the kid in a video who is seen facing down an elderly Native American who is chanting and beating a hand drum.

The kid is wearing a red MAGA (Make America Great Again, Donald Trump and all that) cap, so leftists assume he is the aggressor and since MAGA means racist, he must be punished.

Video taken before and after this confrontation shows much less than meets the eye.

The boy was among Catholic private school students who had come to Washington to participate in a demonstration against abortion.

The students were being harassed by members of a group called the Black Hebrew Israelites. The Native American gentleman attempted to defuse the situation by stepping between the groups. He advanced toward the kid in the MAGA cap, drumming and chanting.

The kid, being 15 years old and surrounded by cheering classmates, stood his ground.

We witnessed human nature. That’s all.

Especially now, everyone needs to develop more tolerance and understanding of the beliefs and behavior of others.

And we need to grow tougher hides.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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