One of my American Heroes

Today, on the Fourth of July, I would like to honor Ann Marbury Hutchinson, who was persecuted and driven out of Boston in 1638. Because she dared to speak her mind–and people listened–the church ministers felt threatened and they banished her for witchcraft. She and her family sought refuge in the wilderness of Rhode Island and then in New York where all but one of her children was killed by Native Americans.

Here is my poem in honor of Ann Marbury Hutchinson, my ninth great grandmother:

What Would She Think?
By Judy Grigg Hansen

I wonder what Ann Hutchinson would think of things now?
She, mother of fifteen, wouldn’t have to stand
ramrod straight in her seventh month of pregnancy,
defending herself in front of self-righteous men,
who, when they had lost the battle of wits,
when the populace valued her opinion over theirs,
when she had dissected their sermons and found them lacking,
appointed themselves her judge and jury,
accusing her of heresy, of sedition, of traducing the ministers
(how embarrassing for the esteemed John Cotton).

But what would she think of things now?
She, so religious, so devout, so Biblical
in discerning and cherishing God’s word;
she, who could seamlessly take her place
next to Sonia Sotomayer or Sandra Day O’Connor,
surely she would champion immigration
and women’s rights and religious freedom,
but what would she think of abortion rights and gay rights,
of unwed mothers and unabashed adultery?
She, who wanted intellectual freedom
even more than religious freedom,
who in the exercise of her facile mind,
in her concentrated study of God’s word,
found flaws in the insular thinking,
the lockstep doctrine of Cotton and his cronies,
what would she think of drive-through churches,
of Super Bowl sermons, of rock-band ministries,
of churchless millions worshipping
celebrities, fashion, money, and fame?

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About Judy Grigg Hansen
I write poetry and nonfiction, and I am passionate about the people, places, and wildflowers of Idaho and the Northwest.

One Response to One of my American Heroes

  1. Dick says:

    Yea! Good job, Judy, a wonderful tribute to a great ancestor. Dad & mom

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