a tid bit I doubt but which has me thinking

Claudia reads her own set of books when I’m not reading to her in the car or in the living room. This one had an assertion that I would love to research. The premise makes sense. The author suggests that something of a cabal of businessmen got together to make the post war Cold War, communist challenged America of the 1950’s a bastion of Christianity. It is certainly true that this was the Era when the Pledge of Allegiance had “under God” added to it and became a sort of official national salute to the flag. Its also the time “One nation under God” was added to our coinage. BUT having lived through that decade I think that grossly overstates the Deep Statey assertion.

In his arguments which I’ve only heard my wife distill the Author says we have never been a super religious nation. I agree that America has been a hot mess religiously where people went happily unchurched and where locals happily proclaimed their atheism and where oddball cults grew and matured like the Church of the Latter Day Saints. And there was a national animus to Catholicism that was prompted by several religious heat waves. But the author wrote something I’m to busy to look up about the era before the Civil War in which only about 15% of our population had a religious affiliation. I wonder where he got that idea. I don’t doubt it but who was keeping track of that before modern polling?

That Americans leaned into Christianity to me is confirmed by the experience of one in a long line of Presidential doubters, Abraham Lincoln. He grew up in the wilderness as it was settled and unchurched with roaming itinerant preachers of dubious merit promoting themselves in tent shows to earn a fevered living. Abe was a religious critic who wrote anonymously to the equally dubious newspapers of his day tweaking the holy rollers. His friend knew he was doing this as he got into politics and when he challenged a Methodist Preacher he began making fun of his religious qualities. Lincoln’s friends knew he was tempting fate and playing with fire and they begged him to cut it out. If American then was only 15% religiously inclined they need not have worried about it so much. America then was a Christian Nation……..full of sinners.


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