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An Introduction One Nation: Many Faiths How Religious Liberty Shaped America.

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Presentation on theme: "An Introduction One Nation: Many Faiths How Religious Liberty Shaped America."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Introduction One Nation: Many Faiths How Religious Liberty Shaped America

2 Why Does This Topic Matter? What is the relationship between government and religion in the US today? Is this unique or normal around the world? How does this relationship relate to democracy? Discuss

3 How Did This Relationship Come About? Evolved out of… ideas of good government from history and Enlightenment political philosophies events occurring in Europe before & during establishment of the American colonies. attitudes and power of European conquerors clashes among religious minorities within America

4 Historically Religion & Government Tied Right to rule was legitimized by religion. Believed morality & good government depended on an established, shared religion and set of values. Individual rights not social or government priority. Give Examples

5 Historically Religion & Government Tied Religious and political leaders in Europe worked hand-in-hand. Thousands killed in religious struggles against Muslims. Political leaders gained power when successful in religious causes. Religious Wars in Late Middle Ages

6 Key Events in Religious Wars Reconquest of Spain to Push Out Muslims and then Jews Ferdinand & Isabella Most Catholic Monarchs

7 Key Events in Religious Wars Crusades

8 Historically Religion & Government Tied Religious Wars in Europe were the backdrop of exploration and colonization of America. Millions killed in religious struggles created by multiple reforms and reform groups. When leaders of a religious group came to power they established their belief as the official one - outlawed & persecuted others. Religious Wars and Reformation

9 Protestant & Catholic Kingdoms in Europe Source: Mapping History-World Religions. Ian Barnes:

10 Sources of Political Thinking in America’s Spanish and Portuguese Colonies Who drew this line in 1494? How does this relate to issue of government & religion?

11 Spanish & Portuguese colonies were religious as well as political and economic. Goal was to spread the “one true faith.”

12 Sources of Political Thinking in America’s British Colonies English Reformation based on politics that began with Henry VIII. He intended to place church under king, not change religious beliefs. Son Edward VI’s (9 yrs), Regency Council made England look Protestant.

13 Sources of Thinking in British Colonies Daughter Mary forced England back to Catholicism, burned Protestant heretics. Daughter Elizabeth I, restored Church of England (Protestant)

14 Sources of Political Thinking in British Colonies Charles I wanted Anglican worship. Growth of Puritanism Gained Control of Parliament Puritans increased & gained control of Parliament – Oliver Cromwell CIVIL WAR

15 Political Thinking in British Colonies Became a new form of repression restored king, Charles II, who re-repressed non Anglicans. Back and forth through several other kings. Cromwell & Parliament set up Puritan state. All happening during time American colonies set up. People took sides and fought each other. Not really good guys vs bad guys but power grabs by each. Many people come to think that this is what religious establishment means.

16 Historically Religion & Government Tied in America American colonies followed the European model. – Spanish & French colonies – Catholic – Anglican Virginia – Puritan Anglicanism in New England There were problems in following that model almost from the beginning in the American colonies – WHY?

17 Religious Diversity Pushes the Envelope for Freedom Each group migrates for THEIR religious freedom Majority usually wants to make everyone adhere to their beliefs Religious minorities push for freedom EXAMPLE Jewish migrations to America 1654 – New Amsterdam 1658 – Rhode Island

18 1654 Jews from Recife Landed in New Amsterdam Gov. Peter Stuyvesant “Jews are a deceitful, repugnant people… if we tolerate them, we would have to tolerate Lutherans, Papists, and Baptists as well.” Asks permission of Dutch East India company to keep them out. Typical response following the European model

19 Second Arrival of Jews 1658 Rhode Island Welcomed Jews and said you have same rights to set up religious meeting places, etc., as everyone else. Governor was Roger Williams A-typical response

20 Why is the Story of These Two Jewish Arrivals Important? This story highlights America’s struggle to define itself.

21 Is America Defined by… A set of shared religious values? A set of shared values based on individual rights?

22 How People Decide the Essence of America is based on How They Answer These Questions What is the primary goal of humans when they choose to live as a community? What should motivate human behavior?

23 How People Decide the Essence of America is based on How They Answer These Questions What is the best relationship between the public and private spheres of human life? How important is participation in civic or community activities?

24 Think Pair Share Think about your answers to the essential questions. Briefly record your ideas on the worksheet grid at your table. Turn to a partner – Longer hair share your ideas/answers and why – Shorter hair paraphrase what he/she said – Shorter hair share your ideas/answers and why – Longer hair paraphrase Record any new ideas on your sheet

25 How Others Have Answered These Questions Aristotle (Greek ) & Cicero (Roman) Answer… People form a community to meet common needs. People should work together for the good of everyone or community falls apart. People who work for the common good have “civic virtue.” Classical Republicanism

26 How Others Have Answered These Questions Civic virtue requires moral education based on shared ideas/values. Works best in small homogeneous societies (similar wealth, values, beliefs) Citizenship is an “office” or role in society with duties attached such as participation in elections, military, economy, etc. Classical Republicanism

27 At your table, discuss positive & possible negative sides of Classical Republicanism. Record your answers on chart paper. Classical Republicanism _ PositivesPossible Negatives

28 How Others Have Answered These Questions 17 th c. Philosophers Answer (Locke, et al)… In state of nature, people = free, equal & rational, but not naturally social. Since people seek advantage over others, it’s hard to live in a state of nature. To secure natural rights to freedom and equality people create a social contract to form gov’t. Emphasis is on the individual rights, regardless of wealth, social status, or birth. Natural rights philosophy

29 How Others Have Answered These Questions – Government is by consent of the governed. If gov’t doesn’t protect rights, take consent away & revolt = Popular Sovereignty – Limited government – gov’t can’t rule to exclusion of individual life, liberty & property even for common good. – Good society is when everyone’s political rights are equally protected. Natural rights philosophy

30 At your table, discuss positive & possible negative sides of Natural Rights philo- sophy. Record your answers on chart paper. Natural Rights Philosophy _ PositivesPossible Negatives

31 Two Views of Government Classical Republicanism is Best Government Government should protect the common good above all else. Determining “Common Good” is based on the shared beliefs and understandings of civic virtue. Protection of Natural Rights is Best Government Government should protect individual rights above all else. These rights are defined as life, liberty, and property. Government power derived from consent of the governed.

32 Two Views of Good Government in America Government & Religion Together is Best Model America is a model of what society should be like. It’s based on Christian beliefs that are enforced by government. These Christian beliefs are the basis of the civic virtue needed to run a society for the common good. Government & Religion Separate is Best Model America is a model of freedom of thought and belief where each person is left to make his/her individual decisions. Society’s protection of each person’s freedoms creates the common good.

33 American Constitution is Combination of these Ideas Classical Republicanism Preamble (common defense, general welfare) Electoral college limit on direct vote State selected Senators 6-year terms Court justices appointed for life Constitutional law above state, local law Citizen army, federal control Natural Rights Philosophy Preamble – (blessings of liberty) Bill of Rights – especially 1 st & 5 th Amendments 13 th & 14 th, & 19 th amendments House of Representatives – 2-year terms, power to tax Limited powers of government – 10 th Amendment Habeas Corpus Separation of powers to allow checks & balances

34 Clash of These Ideas Throughout American History Some support a government – religion partnership that favors Christianity (Classical Republicanism) *** Some support religious freedom that encourages free exercise by everyone, even secular thinkers (Natural Rights). *** Some support a Judeo-Christian based “civil religion” but other religious groups allowed. (Toleration but not Free Exercise)

35 Forces for Classical Republican Thinking Tradition of church state symbiosis Historical thinking of early leaders Puritan ideal of America as a New World and a second chance given by God to ‘get it right’ Huge size of Protestant Christian population Historical example of Classical Republican thinking in action…

36 Early Puritan Ideal of America – America is based on a covenant with God, a “City Upon a Hill”, an attempt at implementing perfect Christianity in society. (John Winthrop) – Whole world watches & looks up to this model. – God blesses America as long as it behaves with “Christian Charity.” – Social/gov’t leaders must enforce this Godly behavior or America is doomed. America is defined as a Christian set of religious & social understandings that make us superior to other nations (exceptional) as long as we follow this ideal.

37 Puritans Supported Religious “Establishment” Alliance between Church and State in the governance of private and public life Tax support for the established church Government authorization of religious organizations, meetings, and ministers Civil enforcement of religious rules and teachings, church attendance America is God’s model of social purity for the world. VERY POWERFUL IDEA IN AMERICAN SOCIETY EVEN TODAY What Was It? – “City on a Hill”

38 Challenged by Advocates for Natural Rights Roger Williams William Penn Thomas Paine Thomas Jefferson James Madison … it is the will and command of God that … a permission of the most paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or anti- christian consciences and worships, be granted to all men in all nations and countries; and they are only to be fought against with that sword which is only (in soul matters) able to conquer, to wit, … the Word of God. R.. Williams

39 Forces for Individual Liberty - Religion Westward migration meant people far from organized church parishes & seats of gov’t. Declining church membership & increased material focus. Increased religious diversity from immigration and Great Awakening. Influence of Enlightenment philosophies. General weakness of national government.

40 Religion & Democracy in American History Exploding religious pluralism has meant a history of competition, conflict, and compromise that is infused in our political system. Arguments US is a Christian country… should be the favored religion. vs US has complete separation of church & state so no church or religion in general should be favored. WHICH IS IT?

41 Religion and Democracy… A Difficult Combination Always a multitude of religious groups in America – Each proclaims a superior understanding of ultimate truth These “truths” compete in marketplace of ideas Ideas of “Civic Virtue” differ Each group wants to govern according to its definition

42 Religion and Democracy… A Difficult Combination Some people applaud our diversity = religious freedom & separation of church & state Some fear lack of moral/social unity = established religion & church-state together Some argue we can have best of both = establish religion in general or Christianity in general & state-religion work together for common good & tolerate others

43 Historical Examples of Puritan Ideal of America Tax supported churches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire. Beliefs in superiority of “Puritan work ethic” Know Nothings, Anti-Catholic arguments Social reforms - Christian Temperance, etc. Manifest Destiny Carlisle Indian Boarding Schools 19th and early 20th c. foreign policy - Senator Albert Beveridge Anti-Communist rhetoric Example todayhttp://mcnaughtonart.com/artwork/view_zoom?artpiece_id=353http://mcnaughtonart.com/artwork/view_zoom?artpiece_id=353 Used religion to promote the “Common Good”

44 Historical Examples of Natural Rights America Great Awakening - minority religions v. those established in some regions VA Act Establishing Religious Freedom Middle Colonies - model of diversity in action No religious test for public office - Constitution Washington and Newport Rhode Island Jews First Amendment Wall of Separation - Jefferson JFK speech Most Supreme Court decisions since 1947

45 Historical Examples of Civil Religion “Compromise” Maryland’s Act of Religious Tolerance (believe in Trinity for public office) Ecumenical chaplains in military & Congress Social Gospel movement School prayer & Bible reading Civil religion, e.g. “In God We Trust”, “under God” in Pledge of Allegiance Faith-based initiatives Goal = “Toleration” not free exercise.


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