In Church and State by Geoffrey C. Harrison and Thomas F. Scott published by Norwood House Press, a scholastic book very well done for sure, it is treated the relationship between Church and State in the USA for a healthy debate between students.
It is a story old something like 400 years this one of religion and its relationship with State.
At first as also explained in the book, people emigrated to the USA for trying to escape the oppression they found in their own places, also a religious oppression, although as we have seen some traditions like the one of killing potential witches imported also in the most modern and apparently opened USA.
Surely most of these people, Calvinist, protestants, but also Irish catholic were very religious.
It was after the Declaration of Independence that was established it was better to keep separated Church and State.
At the same time during 1700 Thomas Paine a religious writer started to express his opinion. Paine thought that large religions too interested in gaining power and money while religion had to be primarily a relationship established by an individual with God.
There is to say that when Constitution and Bill of Rights created there was a great debate regarding religion.
The word God mentioned just once.
The creators of the Declaration of Independence were Deists.
They believed in God but they didn't give Him all the powers a religion wants to give Him.
They also didn't believe at the miracles told in the Bible.
Deists believed in the laws of nature for explain the existence of God.
Deism was a movement started in Europe and successful in particular in the upper classes of the Old and New Continent.
Anyway the founding fathers talked of religion. Some groups mainly christian would have wanted to re-create the European atmosphere.
At the same time there was a big problem: the arrival of pirates.
The USA joined the Treaty of Tripoli where it was recognized that the US was not a Christian land and whoever wanted to join, accepted.
A problem was given at the USA by Mormons a religion accepted polygamy.
In 1900 the discovery of entertainment for Americans, and it meant at first censorship.
The Supreme Court at some point declared that no law created that favors one religion over another.
There was also a discussion for keeping out religion from public schools.
In 1971 it was permitted to continue to teach religious ideas but without any kind of educational purpose.
In 2008 when Barack Obama was elected it was a religious story at first.
He grew up in a home with another religion, the muslin one and invited to be opened to all religions. Obama became Christian when adult.
Obama accused also to be a Muslin because he stayed in Indonesia one of the largest Muslin's country.
Other people didn't like how he lived the Christian religion.
Catholic people never reached the presidency of the USA apart for the case of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
A nation under God is what the USA is.
I would want to remark the beauty that there is in every speech of American President. In general, not important if Democrat or Republican, he will always add at the end but also during the speech May God Bless America, May God Bless US, and this is according to my point of view very important.
In the American dollars there is written: "In God We Trust."
There is an Entity recognized superior at the most powerful man of the world, and it says a lot.
The new steps to reach: gay marriage, the stem cell research and the possibility of dying as people wants to die.
I thank NetGalley and Norwood House Press
Anna Maria Polidori