This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Original sin and the power of faith

Original sin, put simply, is the sin that we are all born because of the fall of Adam and Eve. We are all born with original sin. And if you die before being baptized, you will go to hell.

This isn't something that I really knew anything about, even though I had studied Christianity quite carefully all of my life. And it isn't something that most people talk about. But it is part of the faith. Well, of some people's faith.

I was born with a ruptured hernia. Of course I don't remember it, but I remember my mom telling me about it. And if you can imagine a baby screaming in pain from the moment it was born, you have an idea of the hell my parents were in while preparations were made to do the simple surgical repair.

When my mom told me the story, she mentioned that some well-meaning neighbor ladies came over to the house and suggested that the baby be baptized. They knew what it meant, and she knew what it meant.

Now, faith is meant to comfort us. But well-meaning people who would visit a young mother, implying that not only would her baby die, but it would go to hell, is just about impossible for me to fathom. I have no idea what the conversation was like, but I imagine politeness and drinking of tea. Possibly there were lace doilies. And I know that my mom would have been polite to them. I have no idea what she was thinking, but I'm sure she wished that she could have told these people where to go. A place where her son would never go.
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