Monday, December 26, 2011

CNN Blogger Slams Nazareth's History

CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian opted to use the religious heritage of Nazareth, PA to speak to intolerance in a pre-holiday post (read it here).

Nazareth, PA was founded by German immigrants in 1740. They were Protestants who had “no room in the Inn” for outside faiths. Non-protestants were not allowed to purchase property in that community, according to accounts of the towns history.

(editor’s note: his typo not mine;-)

He does note that we got better and uses our community heritage as an example for Congress to open up and compromise as well:

Perhaps there are lessons to be learned of tolerance, respect, even compromise, from the history of those two U.S. towns. Nazareth and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania have opened their arms since those days when religious differences dictated whose name could be on a deed.

Obviously a big stretch on this post to tie politics to the holiday season via Nazareth and Bethlehem, but this is also coming from the same post that spoils a gift the president bought for his daughters four days before Christmas.

Always enjoy seeing how the town is represented outside the valley, this one I wasn’t expecting.

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker


Geophile said...

Not necessarily a slam, Ross. The fact that no one but Moravians could own land in Nazareth until the mid 1800's is a matter of record. That's why the Henrys made their guns in Jacobsburg, in order to hire non-Moravians for the factory.

NewsOverCoffee said...

I don't argue that it was a closed community, but that doesn't mean it was an intolerant one. I'm using slam, because the use of the word "intolerant" to describe the early Moravians is very out of context, and I'd argue an incorrect use by definition.

The Moravians and many others fled Europe where they were being persecuted. The congregation as a whole owned the land, so it would seem to make sense that as the owners they could choose who could and couldn't live there.

These people weren't intolerant of others, but they were devout in their own faith and wanted to ensure their own safety.

My recollection of the history related to the Henry's is that the move occurred after receiving a government contract that required them to expand the size of their manufacturing to meet the order.

They were located on South Main in the area of the former Us and moved to Bushkill because it was taking the Town Fathers so long to decide whether or not to allow them to expand at their existing site.

Employees may also have been a factor, but the community was by no means intolerant of having the Henry's.

Elyssia said...

Intolerance is relative. One of my ancestors in Massachusetts (in the 1700's) was tarred and feathered by the Puritans for being a Quaker. Considerably more harsh than denying land!

Elyssia said...
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