Roger Williams and Henry Thoreau about Freedom of Religion

Updated October 25, 2021

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Roger Williams and Henry Thoreau about Freedom of Religion essay

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Henry Thoreau and Roger Williams had faith that their society can live a life of freedom whether it is people not being forced upon state religion or being able to stand up against an unjust government. Roger and Henry both use three values in their letters and passages. Those values are Ethos, Logos, and pathos. Roger William had a strong passion for all religions to be able to live together in harmony and not be forced upon one another. Roger Williams believed in having freedom of religion. On the other hand, Henry Thoreau believed in freedom of action. Henry Thoreau loved the idea in having a self-governed country that is not controlled by the government but, controlled by the citizens voices. Roger Williams is driven to have all the religions not battle against each other. Roger Williams uses his credibility as founder of the town to persuade the town of Providence with his letter of commandment. Roger Williams attacks the reader’s emotions with the phrase “Liberty of Conscience.” Roger then uses the value logos with the thought of freedom of religion as his reasoning for writing the letter to his people.

The logical structure Ethos can be described as someone’s reputation or credibility. Credibility is the quality of being trusted and believed in. It can be argued that Roger’s use of this logical structure is how he impacted the people of the town a lot more because of his credibility. Roger Williams uses his credibility as founder of the town to enforce his beliefs on religion to the town of Providence. Roger knows he has the voice to stand up for people who feel slaved into a religion. People look up to someone that will give them hope whether it is themselves or another person. Roger Williams writes this letter to stand up for the Papists, Protestants, Jews, and Turks. These religions are forced to attend the ship’s prayers and worship. Roger Williams does not appeal to the law that everyone is required to attend the ship’s prayer or a prayer anywhere that is required by state.

Roger’s perspective on living a life of freedom can be defined as a society where people are not forced into prayers and compelled by their religion’s practices. Roger’s reputation shows that the town of Providence is learning to be open-minded and free from state religion. Roger William’s says, “ It hath fallen out sometimes, that both Papists and Protestants, Jews, and Turks, may be embarked in one ship: that ever I upon which I supposal I affirm, that all the liberty of conscience, that ever I pleaded for, turns upon these two hinges—that none of the Papists, Protestants, Jews, or Turks be forced to come to the ship’s prayers or worship, nor compelled from their own particular prayers or worship.”(Williams Page 19)

This sentence is Roger telling his people that they can fight against the system. His credibility is why people would listen to Roger’s claim. If this was said by anyone else who did not have the reputation compared to Roger Williams. That person would be rejected, seen as a crazy person who is mutinous to the state. Roger William for someone who is as popular as him is walking in dangerous waters because of his rebellious claim against the state. Living a life of freedom in the perspective of Roger William is all centered around the thought of religious freedom. There must have been some enslaved people that have never even considered of fighting for what they believe in. For example, we have a government and a leader to maybe give the people hope into what freedom means to our country.

Pathos is a logical structure in a reading that attacks the readers emotions. Henry Thoreau gets the people to revolt against an unjust government. Henry is pushing the readers to be involved in protest and to stand up with their voice. Henry explains to the reader in his passage with examples of his protest and examples of what he believes in. Protesting an unjust government takes courage and passion to even consider going against something that is higher than you. Henry Thoreau shows us how compassionate he was with the country having freedom of action. For example, Henry Thoreau states, “I quietly declare war with the state.” (Thoreau paragraph 37)

Henry noticed how unjust the government was being so, Henry also explains how he had not paid a poll-tax for six years. Henry explains to the reader how the government is saying to him, “your money or your life,” (Thoreau par. 27) Henry is not like others to quickly give them his money he fought for the right thing. Henry believes it is okay to break the law if the state is in the wrong. If the country or state is being unjust to have the freedom of action to go against the unjust system of the government should be allowed. Henry attacks the government with showing the reader the quote, “A drab of state, a cloth-o’-silver slut, to have her train borne up, and her soul trail in the dirt.” This quote could be explained as the government is sometimes under educated and does not make the right decisions all the time.

Roger Williams enforces the logical structure pathos to the reader of his letter by getting the people to agree on a “common ground.” Roger involves four religions that he has seen been forced into a different prayer outside of their religion. Roger uses the term “liberty of conscience,” to show that the freedom to follow or believe in one’s own ethical beliefs is something that should be apart of your life. Roger uses a ship as a metaphor, to show the reader the common interactions with one another. Public transportation today is diverse but, has a common destination.

Roger Williams and Henry Thoreau about Freedom of Religion essay

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Roger Williams and Henry Thoreau about Freedom of Religion. (2021, Oct 25). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/roger-williams-and-henry-thoreau-about-freedom-of-religion/


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