The Puritans viewed themselves as God’s special people, replacing national Israel. Nowhere do the dangers of this assumption become more clear than in the Puritans’ treatment of the native Americans. Since the Puritans considered themselves God’s chosen people, they concluded that they had the right to take the land from the heathen Indians. The American Indians were the “new Canaanites” in America’s “Promised Land.” The fruit of Puritan theology was brutal. They saw their mission as convert these “Canaanites” to Christianity; failing that, it was acceptable to slaughter them in the name of Christ.
For example, the Puritan massacres of the Pequot Indian tribe on May 26, 1637, and again on July 14, 1637, were deemed by the Puritans to be directed by God — Captain John Mason declared, “God laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven … Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling the Place with dead Bodies. Converting the pagans for God was acceptable to the Puritans, but killing the pagans for the Lord was also acceptable!
Defenders of the Puritans claim that it was the hostility of the Pequots that led to their unfortunate demise. But the Pequots were one of the most tranquil tribes in New England. History reveals that their “hostility” did not manifest itself until they were hunted like animals. For argument sake, let’s say that the Pequots were the instigators of hostilities, virtual savages if you will (which they were not). Does this justify hunting them down, slaughtering the men, women, and children in their sleep, and then doing it again six weeks later to finish the job!? (Not exactly “battlefield” victories!) Moreover, the Puritans claimed it was in obedience to God that these pagans were slaughtered!