Just because something important has been repeated endlessly doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with trying to find new ways to say it. But you should get it right. If you want to identity something like the “Protestant Work Ethic” as the original sin of this country and the great enabler of racism, then you really ought to acknowledge the white Protestant roots of abolitionism, too. Otherwise your piece is going to read like Introductory Philosophy for Dummies.

I have a Protestant background and Mayflower ancestors on both sides of my family, and I’m well aware of their faults. But I am also aware of their contributions.

And I know that there’s an upside to divinely-inspired industriousness. If you need a modern day refresher, go look at Salt Lake City. Mormons are the new Congregationalists.

I don’t like having to point it out, but our white Protestant ancestors gave us the good with the bad. Our Founding Fathers were children of The Enlightenment. They didn’t emerge pure from Jupiter’s head like Minerva. What they did was give us some values and a roadmap. What we do with them is up to us.

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