Saturday, February 09, 2008

In Support of American Religious History Week

Americans United for Separation of Church and State are in a panic about a proposed "American Religious History Week," and they are just plain wrong. It is high time that the citizens of our nation learn about the history of religion in our country. Conservatives and Liberals of every religious stripe—including none at all--need to get on board for such an initiative, especially in light of the Presidential primaries.

Was Mitt Romney dealt a bum deal simply because he was a Mormon? Does Huckabee’s Baptist faith make him a danger as a candidate? What about Barack’s UCC church, and what are the very good and very historical reasons that theological luminary Martin Marty spoke out in its defense and ended the controversy? The amount of misunderstanding surrounding the different candidates' religions ignores American religious history and has more basis in prejudice and ignorance than in fact.

What are the excellent reasons that our founding fathers chose to separate church and state? What was the religious history of America at the time of the writing of the Constitution that prompted them to do so? Isn’t the viewpoint that people who practice religions new to America are suspect in public life at odds with the vision of the men who wrote our Constitution?

The time has come to support a period of time designated for learning about American religious history.


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