History you can walk around in

There’s something about visiting a town like Philadelphia that makes American History come alive. Sights like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are easy on the camera and fun to see first hand. (Pictures up early next week – I promise!)

Yet, I’m a student and have stuff to read/study. I split off from my parents this afternoon to go back the hotel and get into my American Church History material for next Wednesday’s midterm. Before I made it back, I took time to stop by the Free Quaker meeting house to see some of Church history first hand. After all, this State and City owe much to William Penn who acquired the land from Charles II and, a Quaker himself, allowed for religious tolerance (Quakers were horribly mistreated in Puritan areas like Boston). Pennsylvania and Philadelphia area flourished because of this tolerance and even inspired latter attitudes of religious freedom that showed up in the new American government. (from Mark Noll, History of Christianity in the United States and Canada, pgs. 66-67)

The meeting house was small and modest, somehow fitting for the Quakers. Sadly it was empty, the crowds were all at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. I was warmly greeted by an actor role playing a Quaker. I felt sheepish, and whatever knowledge I did have quickly became a lack thereof when he started talking to me in old English. I couldn’t remember many facts to engage this real colonial Quaker! So … I guess vacation’s winding down, and it’s time to hit those books!

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