The Americanization of Religions

1232 Words5 Pages
Religion is an essential and complex facet of the American psyche. The “Americanisation” of religion - a by-product of the first amendment is demonstrative of the role it plays in national identification. Transcendentalism, cults and Christian Zionism have all been a result of the “Americanisation” of faith. Neither the first or fourteenth amendment were in place at the time of independence and as such their evolution is inevitable. The first and fourteenth amendments essentially protect the establishment of any religion as well as protecting the freedom to exercise this religion, whilst creating a distinctly separate Church and State. Laws regarding religions are difficult to pass as courts are expected to behave with “benevolent neutrality” towards any cases regarding religion. Transcendentalism was the first uniquely American spiritual philosophy. It emerged in the late 1820s as a radically democratic response to religion in the wake of the disestablishment of state religion. It rejected many of the constructs of modern America in the Industrial age and encouraged one to be socially conscious, promoting opposition to slavery and support for women’s suffrage. It is because of the religious freedoms granted to Americans in the first amendment that a religious movement like this is able to emerge. Transcendentalism helped vocalise many of the ideals so valued in modern America. Through his 1855 version of “Song of Myself” Walt Whitman embodies the American national
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