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Queen Kristina Converts to Catholicism

Princess Kristina became the Queen of Sweden when her father, King Gustav the 2nd was killed in battle during the 30 Years' War. She has been quite precocious growing up. She soaks up knowledge like a sponge and she even talked the famous mathematician, Rene Descartes (DAY-kart), to travel to Sweden to teach her. (He introduced the Cartesian coordinate system.) But she has never been healthy and during an especially difficult illness she promises God that if she is healed she will convert to Catholicism. Well... she has been healed. She will have to abdicate the throne because Sweden will not tolerate a Catholic monarch. She doesn't mind giving up the throne, but she doesn't want to be thrown into poverty either so after two years of planning she will finally make her abdication speech. Her speech will be so moving that grown men will cry but she is not walking off of the world stage yet. Kristina will become one of the first modern "party girls". [1]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
President Barack Obama has suffered from accusations of being a secret Muslim. Candidate Donald Trump fielded a question from a supporter who called President Obama a Muslim. Candidate Ben Carson recently said, "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation." OK. I get that, but what if a sitting President decided to convert to Islam, or Catholicism or Judaism? The religion of the President matters in terms of trust. The American people mostly understand Protestantism. They trust Catholicism less because of the power of the Pope to influence world events as we have seen during his recent visit to Washington DC (September 2015). The people would tolerate a Jewish President, but not a Muslim President because of the examples of Muslim violence in the Middle East. I'm told that the terrorists do not represent real Islam but when a guy points a gun at your chest and says he is a Muslim, you don't argue with him. In general I don't want a Muslim President until I see Islam showing a lot more restraint than they have so far and I don't expect to see it in my lifetime. [2] [3] [4] [5]

The 'Latrine of New England' Places Limits on Slavery *

Well... Rhode Island has become the dumping ground for all of New England's undesirables. It is called the "latrine of New England". It is still getting organized and the Rhode Island legislature passes a law limiting slavery to 10 years maximum so that blacks and Indians fall in line with the ways of Englishmen. (They mean being treated like English indentured servants.) The punishment for non-compliance is a fine of 40 pounds which is a considerable amount of money. Apparently they can only enforce the law in Providence. Other Rhode Island towns refuse to comply. The legislature will try again in a few years to limit slavery, but that won't work either. Puritans don't particularly like slavery, but it is a part of life during these times, so they roll with it. [6] [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Roger Williams was the original founder of Providence, Rhode Island. He didn't like the idea of slavery but during the Indian wars, male Indian prisoners-of-war could not be trusted and they didn't have prisons to put them in so they were often sold into slavery to faraway places like Barbados. Roger Williams actually bought an Indian boy as a slave, but my sense in reading his account is that he was saving the boy. I don't know if the Indian boy was a Christian, but it was common to limit slavery to a fixed term if the slave agreed to convert. A good example of this is in the novel, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, when Crusoe and his Muslim servant are rescued at sea. The Captain offers Caruso free passage but the Captain wants to buy the Muslim boy as a slave. Crusoe is reluctant, so the Captain agrees to keep the boy for 10 years as a servant if he converts to Christianity. The boy agrees and he is sold to the Captain. [10] [11]

Cape Town Is Founded

The Dutch administrator, Jan Van Riebeeck, sails three ships to the Cape of Good Hope and establishes Cape Town. The problem he is trying to solve is the large number of deaths at sea on Dutch East India Company ships due to malnutrition. He is commissioned to plant food crops and establish a fort. A number of his almond trees will survive into the modern day. He is also credited with the first documented observation of a comet in the southern hemisphere. [12] [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
What I found interesting (other than it was the founding of Cape Town) is that they started off with a severe labor shortage so they had to import slaves into African from Indonesia. What a world.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1652, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. The Age of Reason Begins: A History of European Civilization in the Period of Shakespeare, Bacon, Montaigne, Rembrandt, Galileo, and Descartes: 1558-1648, The Story Of Civilization. Simon and Schuster. “In 1648, during a severe illness, she says, she "made a vow to quit all and become a Catholic, should God preserve my life." She was a Mediterranean soul shivering in the wintry north. She dreamed of Italian skies and French salons.” 
  2. (2015) The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama's Father. PublicAffairs. Retrieved on 25 September 2015. 
  3. D'Souza, Dinesh. The Roots of Obama's Rage. Regnery Publishers. ISBN 1596986255. “His biological father Barack Sr. was born a Muslim, and so was Obama’s Indonesian stepfather Lolo Soetoro, but neither practiced his faith.” 
  4. Donald Trump doesn't challenge anti-Muslim questioner. CNN Politics (September 18, 2015). Retrieved on 25 September 2015. “Donald Trump came under fire Friday morning for his handling of a question at a town hall about when the U.S. can 'get rid' of Muslims, for failing to take issue with that premise and an assertion that President Barack Obama is Muslim.”
  5. Meet the Press Transcript - September 20, 2015. NBC News (2015). Retrieved on 25 September 2015. “CHUCK TODD: ... Let me ask you the question this way: Should a President's faith matter? Should your faith matter to voters? DR. BEN CARSON: Well, I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it's inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the constitution, no problem. CHUCK TODD: So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the constitution? DR. BEN CARSON: No, I don't, I do not. CHUCK TODD: So you-- DR. BEN CARSON: I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”
  6. 1652 - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “May 18 – Rhode Island passes the first law in North America making slavery illegal.”
  7. Slavery and the Making of America . Timeline -. PBS (2004). Retrieved on 25 September 2015. “Rhode Island passes laws restricting slavery and forbidding enslavement for more than 10 years.”
  8. Rhode Island.. Records of the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England, Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England, A. C. Greene and Brothers, state printers [etc.]. “... let it be ordered, that no blacke mankind or white being forced by covenant bond, or otherwise, to serve any man or his assighnes longer than ten yeares, or untill they come to bee twentie four yeares of age, if they bee taken in under fourteen, from the time of their cominge within the liberties of this Collonie. And at the end or terme of ten yeares to sett them free, as the manner is with the English servants. And that man that wiU not let them goe free, or shall sell them away elsewhere, to that end that they may bee enslaved to others for a long time, hee or they shall forfeit to the Collonie forty pounds.” 
  9. John A. Sainsbury (September 1975). "Indian Labor in Early Rhode Island". The New England Quarterly (The New England Quarterly, Inc.) 48 (3): 378-393. http://www.jstor.org/stable/364865. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  10. Daniel Defoe. Robinson Crusoe, The adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Bickers and Bush. “He offered me also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was loth to take; not that I was unwilling to let the captain have him, but I was very loth to sell the poor boy’s liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let him know my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Christian: upon this, and Xury saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.” 
  11. Roger Williams - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 25 September 2015. “In 1636, he began the colony of Providence Plantation, which provided a refuge for religious minorities. Williams started the first Baptist church in America, the First Baptist Church of Providence.”
  12. Jan van Riebeeck - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 25 September 2015. “In 1651 he volunteered to undertake the command of the initial Dutch settlement in the future South Africa. He landed three ships (Dromedaris; Reijger and Goede Hoop) at the future Cape Town on 6 April 1652 and fortified the site as a way-station for the VOC trade route between the Netherlands and the East Indies. The primary purpose of this way-station was to provide fresh provisions for the VOC fleets sailing between the Dutch Republic and Batavia, as deaths en route were very high. The Walvisch and the Oliphant arrived later in 1652, having had 130 burials at sea.”
  13. Cape Town - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 25 September 2015. “The settlement grew slowly during this period, as it was hard to find adequate labour. This labour shortage prompted the authorities to import slaves from Indonesia and Madagascar. Many of these became ancestors of the first Cape Coloured communities.”

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