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Outspoken, opinionated and well versed in the Bible, Hutchinson accuses the ministers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony of teaching false doctrine and asserts that God has spoken to her directly -- a claim considered heresy in Puritan theology.
The bill is opposed by many who believe religion is essential to the cultivation of a moral citizenry and that religion will wither away without state support.
Williams had quarreled with Puritan authorities over their theology, their decision to remain within the Church of England and their failure to pay Native Americans for their land.
Williams' colony of Providence guarantees freedom of conscience and becomes a haven for religious dissidents.
Charged with sedition, she is tried, banished and excommunicated.
By the early 1600s, Franciscan friars report that hundreds of Pueblos are converting to Catholicism, but they notice that many of the "converted" Pueblos continue to practice their own religion.