American History : American Civil Religion Essay

American History : American Civil Religion Essay

Length: 951 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

American culture is made up of a number of different influences one of them being holidays. On of those esteemed holidays is Thanksgiving, which was made a national holiday in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln (History.com Staff). It was made a holiday at the time in order to bring the nation together during a time of pain and suffering. In this day and age, it is meant for families to come together and give thanks for what they have over a large meal, which is surrounded by football games, family recipes, and shopping. Thanksgiving, a ritual Americans have done for generations is a classic example of American civil religion. Because it brings together what it means to be an American, but at the same time ignores the history of some American citizens.
American civil religion (ACR), is the concept of religion that America has and is governed by while still adhering to the separation of church and state. Robert N. Bellah states, “This public religious dimension is expressed in set of beliefs, symbols, and rituals that I am calling the American civil religion” (Bellah 24). “Rituals” are the continuous actions in which Americans take part in (Bellah 24). Thanksgiving is a ritual in American Society, since President Roosevelt “signed a bill [in 1941] making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November” (History.com Staff). Bellah utilizes a portion of Kennedy’s Inaugural address: “a theme that lies very deeply in the American tradition, namely the obligation… to carry out God’s will on earth” (Bellah 25). Shining light on how American civil religion is rooted in what God calls people to do. President Lincoln originally conceded to Thanksgiving with the idea that, “Americans ask God to commend to his tender care all those who [suffer] ...


... middle of paper ...


... is a clear example of American civil religion. By bringing together these innate concepts of what it means to be an American, yet at the same time suppresses a history and a group of people. Bellah’s arguments of how American civil religion encapsulates rituals, God, and family is demonstrated through Thanksgiving. On the other hand, Long’s argument of the places where ACR lacks is applicable to Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving no longer shows in the true light of the relationship between Pilgrims and Native American, and Native Americans are made invisible for what they went through generations ago. Thanksgiving while it is a part of American civil religion at the same time it fails in many ways. Through failures it is evident that every system has its own problems, it is then in the hands of the American population to determine when they failures are no longer acceptable

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

American Civil War and Religion Essay

- One of the important subjects during the civil war was Religion even though it received minor attention until recent years. Historians have considered civil war an important story of war; however, religion rose as an important factor with many publications. For example “Religion and the American Civil War” is a collection of essays and poems by various writers (Harry S. Stout, George Reagan Wilson, etc.1) A survey of the civil war history from around 1970 to the present provides a very extensive context in terms of historical attention to the civil war and religion....   [tags: American History]

Better Essays
1149 words (3.3 pages)

History of The American Civil War Essay

- History of The American Civil War The Civil War was a brutal war between the North and South of America over the issue of slavery, which was spurred on by the secession of the southern states from the Union of a America. At the time slavery was one of the main issues in America that caused a disagreement between the north and south and these disagreements about humanity and slaves added to the tension that would finally lead to the out break of war. Slavery was almost totally abolished in the northern states after 1787 when the Constitution was drafted at the Philadelphia Convention and slavery was looked upon as the ‘peculiar institution’ of the southern states, by the north....   [tags: American History Civil War Essays]

Better Essays
1547 words (4.4 pages)

Religion During The Civil War Essay

- Religion is important to any culture because it gives people something to believe in when the outside world is harsh. The most prominent religion in the South is Southern Baptist. By looking at the history of religion in the South and then examining more recent events connected to religion, it is clear that the South does not measure up with the rest of the nation. Historically, the first churches created in the South were by white males. The old battle of the North versus the South is prominent in religion, especially during the Civil War....   [tags: Southern United States, American Civil War]

Better Essays
1507 words (4.3 pages)

Religion During The Civil War Essays

- Religion is important in any culture because it gives people something to believe in when the outside world is harsh. The most prominent religion in the South is Southern Baptist. By looking at the history of religion in the South and then examining more recent events connected to religion, it is clear the South does not measure up with the rest of the nation. Historically, the first churches created in the South were by white males. The old battle of the North versus the South is prominent in religion, especially during the Civil War....   [tags: Southern United States, American Civil War]

Better Essays
1478 words (4.2 pages)

Why The American Civil War Is Important Essays

- The American civil war took place 150 years ago. The war ripped apart the young country and turned brother against brother. The American civil war ended the most grotesque American institution in its history and caused the nation to struggle for the next decade to recover from the devastation. The war caused a wealthy class to lose their stranglehold over the southern economy and ended politics being swayed by whether you were pro or anti slavery. The war caused the death of over 620,000 men, around 2% of the population....   [tags: The American Civil War Essays]

Better Essays
2587 words (7.4 pages)

Essay on Myth And Religion : American Civil Religion

- When we think of the most stereotypical caricature of America, it usually includes the Founding Fathers proudly signing the U.S. Constitution at Independence Hall while soaring bald eagles, rippling Stars and Stripes, and exploding fireworks adorn the background. This conceptualization of America seems like an innate part of our culture, but our customary veneration of such sacred spaces and times, national saints, objects, and formal rituals1 are actually demonstrations of a complex construction known as American Civil Religion (ACR)....   [tags: Native Americans in the United States]

Better Essays
1172 words (3.3 pages)

The American Civil War Was Inevitable Essay

- America’s transformation into the country we live in today has been formed through numerous events during its short history but the event that will split the United States into North versus South is truly one of the most defining events in American history. Through numerous events leading up to the start of the Civil War, I will attempt to show how the United States was destined for conflict and that the Civil War was inevitable. The first way I will show how the war could not be avoided will deal with the issue of slavery....   [tags: Civil War, America]

Better Essays
1808 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on The American Civil War Was Inevitable

- "A house divided against itself cannot stand" were the words of Abraham Lincoln in a republican convention on June 17,1858 in Illinois. The inevitable debate over slavery, popular sovereignty, the publishing of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Lincoln's election would eventually have brothers versus brothers fighting each other in a bloody war. Religion, economics and the lost of power made the civil war an inevitable one. Popular sovereignty is the ideal that people could choose their laws such ideal Lewis Cass first brought up....   [tags: Civil War, Lincoln]

Better Essays
1961 words (5.6 pages)

Essay about American Civil Religion and Politics

- American Civil Religion and Politics My major area of study is Political Science, and even if you haven’t majored in political studies you know that there are few things left untouched by politics. Religion, of course, is no exception. Issues concerning religion are some of the most hotly contested topics in politics today. Consider as an example, the seemingly never-ending conflict in the Middle East over rights to Israel. It can be argued that this conflict has as much to do with politics as it does with religious beliefs....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
508 words (1.5 pages)

Early American History Essay

- Early American History Unity within colonies was extremely strong because it was assembled in a primal urge for survival. The colonists were in this entirely new land, so it was natural they would stick together to the familiar, and therefore build strong bonds and loyalty to their colony. Exclusion also excellently describes early America because of the way colonies expelled their own people if they did not follow the colony's strict ‘rules' of life. The primary source documents; "City upon a Hill", "Ann Hutchinson's Trial", "Founding Of The Iroquois League", and "The Mayflower Compact" are all brilliant examples of this contradictory yet surprisingly honest view of early American history....   [tags: American History]

Better Essays
1179 words (3.4 pages)