preview

America and its Changing Religious Identity

Good Essays
America has overcome many challenges, and it has undergone many a transformation on its path towards developing an identity as an independent nation. To aid in this transformation, many documents have been adopted as the governing laws of the land. As time has changed, so has our application of the wisdom engraved in the documents that once defined American virtue. These documents continue to influence American development, as well as the world, especially because America applies it to foreign policy. In the beginning, religion was dominant in the colonies, especially since “God” and “Christianity” are the most common words in most of the documents that have framed our country. It comes as no surprise that even though religious freedom is the root of the foundation of our country, other religions have yet to establish a confident stronghold. Because of the aforementioned reasons, America appears as a strictly religious nation.
The definition of an American citizen was dominated by religion since the origin of our nation, despite the claims of religious freedom, which seemed limited to Christianity. Roger Williams, a minister who migrated to America, also noticed this, and stated that a uniform belief system is not necessary to maintain a stable body politic (Williams 1). His idea was revolutionary and influential to many others who would adopt it into the governing documents of our nation. His claim that “an enforced uniformity of religion throughout a nation or civil state, confounds the civil and religious, denies the principles of Christianity and civility” (2) demands religious freedom, and I find it to be a compelling statement for the period. The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution is a historically important document because it ...

... middle of paper ...

...o the original statement because all men are becoming more equal as time goes on. The Constitution, once used as a tool to segregate, is now being used to integrate. America is growing into a community that is not contained within one nation, but one that is within everyone who seeks it.
America has changed its religious identity from strictly Christian to neutral, becoming a nation that embraces many differences. As a country, as a culture, as an ideal nation, we are still growing. History shows that we have the potential to become the model of Democracy, as we have long strived to be. The best way to lead is by example, and as America continues to make progress, the successes that result from it inspire many nations in the world to follow our example. America has long promoted itself as a harbinger of liberty and prosperity, and it is about time we acted on it.
Get Access