by Jeff Mullen
Clash Daily Contributor
What you won’t hear from the secular historical revisionists: At its founding America was not only a Christian nation, but its original colonies were founded as sectarian religious havens—with NO separation of church and state.
Puritans at Massachusetts Bay seeking freedom from the state church of England (Anglican) gave rise to the decentralized sect of Congregationalism. Maryland was originally founded as a haven for Roman Catholics. Quakers, Mennonites and Moravians. Others—Dutch Reformed, Lutheran, French Protestant Huguenots, Brethren, Amish—sought religious freedom in William Penn’s Pennsylvania.
The truth is that freedom of religious belief and worship—and independence from the state—were uniquely American innovations.
Americans so take these freedoms for granted that we tend to miss the point. For centuries throughout Europe Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox churches have been thoroughly mixed up in affairs of state. To this day, the government of Germany pays salaries of the clergy. Only in recent years did Sweden end its support of the state church (Swedish Lutheran).
For a while the American colonies were headed down the same road. All but four of the 13 original colonies had established their own state churches, to the point of supporting church construction and maintenance with public funds. When these colonies contemplated secession from Britain, they realized their sectarian differences would have to be set aside to unite against the Crown.
So, they all became deists, secular humanists and freethinkers? Hardly. They just amended the Constitution to say that Congress shall make no law establishing an official religion—“or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (Emphasis added.)
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