25 March 2012
First Portfolio Essay Assignment
Hey Diana, I am writing this letter today with hopes to inform you about a religions course I am taking. I know you are a history guy so I thought it would be interesting to write about the religious history of America. The United States happens to be one of very few major nations in history to be founded and established on principles of separation of church and state. This book I am reading, “The Religious History of America”, by Edwin Gaustad and Leigh Schmidt, gives a great overview of the different strand of religious development in the United States. They are divided into four fundamental time periods: the Colonial times; the Revolutionary War to the Civil War; Post Civil War to…show more content… The Europeans settlers justified the killings and forceful taking of the Natives land by saying that their Christian was calling to claim the land and that the Native Americans didn’t have right over the land just because they saw it first. Many Natives died because Christianity labeled Native Americans as idolaters, therefore worthy of slaughter. Native Americans were mistreated throughout history. For example, the arrival of Spaniards on the island of Hispaniola can be described as a catastrophic event. Native Americans considered the Spaniards angels and even conformed to their Christian beliefs, but the Spaniards showed no mercy to them. Natives were slaughtered and enslaved by the European settlers, with one word in mind, wealth.
The founding fathers of our country were bright, respected, and religious gentlemen. A bill was drafted in the early months of the year 1777 by Thomas Jefferson. “The purpose of this bill was to establish religious freedom seeking to prevent anyone from being "compelled to frequent or support any religious Worship place or Ministry" or having their religious actions or inactions "affect their civil capacities." This broadside of the proposed bill, printed in Williamsburg, is the earliest known printed text of Jefferson's proposed law. Virginia did not adopt the Act for Establishing Religious Freedom until January 16, 1786, when Jefferson was United States minister to France” (Library