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Austin Cline

Christian History: Crime, Christianity & Early America

By March 1, 2012

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As leaders and pundits of the religious right are fond of pointing out, there was a time in America's history when religion did play a greater role in the lives of American citizens. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the role which is commonly assumed. At the time of the American Revolution, only about 14% of the population was "churched," which is to say that only that amount went to church on a regular basis. For private citizens, then, religion did not play as strong a role as modern religious leaders would have us believe.

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Comments
January 26, 2009 at 5:09 am
(1) MJBrutus says:

As an atheist, I too am completely unimpressed. But unlike you, I do not want more and am not asking for more. Many people don’t like or feel threatened by atheists. That’s life. I do not want government acting on my behalf to make people like me. I don’t want to be a member of yet another grievance group running to mommy with their hands out and their mouths open. If that’s all that I hear about atheists from my government over the next 4 years, I say great.

February 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm
(2) jane bartholomew says:

im sorry but im going to have to completely disagree with this article. Honestly are you any better then us christians you are being just as narrow minded as you say we are being. statistics do show that the crime rate has drastically increased in the past decade after the fall of chrisian morales in the federal government. so before you write another article like this i would really appreciate it if you looked at it from both sides. thats what writers do. dont only get half of the story

December 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm
(3) Tiaja MD says:

You both make a very interesting point, but in a fashion wrong on so many different levels.
Christian girl why attack the atheist he has just stated that he cares not whether people want to become atheist it’s there choice. And Christians are a little narrow minded, we have hard evidence that there was never a flood Adam and eve were never the first humans, Moses never lead the jews out of Egypt because Egypt never had slaves and moses didn’t even live in the same time period a ramses the first or second. I mean come on now think about it.

May 2, 2011 at 6:35 am
(4) Vic Webster says:

A scholarly article – congratulations. There is one significant omission, however: the crimes perpetrated by Christians against native Americans. These are documented – with sources quoted – in the latter part of this article:
http://www.captaincynic.com/thread/48859/christian-crimes-against-humanity.htm

Best wishes.

May 2, 2011 at 6:39 am
(5) vic webster says:

I wish to submit an article with a view to publication on this site. Please contact me if you are interested

Vic Webster
(ret. surgeon)
Sydney

March 1, 2012 at 5:38 pm
(6) Grandpa_In_The_East says:

MJBrutus,

I haven’t the slightest ideas what your comment is all about. Please make a clear point. What are you for. What are you against. Who is your enemy, the atheist?

Please help me here.

March 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm
(7) Grandpa_In_The_East says:

jane bartholomew,

Have you thought about a Christian Blog?

Grandpa

March 2, 2012 at 11:56 pm
(8) P Smith says:

“The early colonial leaders looking to build godly societies quite simply failed – forces beyond their control, like technology and the brute physical facts of the continent – eventually undid them. But despite this modern fundamentalists and evangelicals are inheritors of the same religious traditions, so they are aiming for similar goals. They aren’t aware that history passed their ideology by about 200 years ago.”

See also Japan’s failed attempt to shut itself off from the outside world, the policy of “sakoku”, which was done for the same reasons the US tried and is trying. When they did it in 1639, it was possible, but when the US military sailed up in 1854, the country was outgunned (katanas vs. rifles). Oddly, it was that forced opening that may have driven Japan to its fascist imperialism in the 20th century….

“A refusal to conform to the standards of the community meant refusing to conform to the standards of virtue handed down by God. Little or no distinction was made between a “sin” and a “crime.” Piety and religion dominated the lives of religious leaders, and they in turn dominated the lives of other colonists.”

And how is that any different than what the rabidly religious in the US are trying to do now? They’re attempting to conflate morality and “faith”, as if lacking the latter meant lacking the former. It does not surprise that both the puritan leaders centuries ago and today’s conservative christian leaders are both hypocrites involved in scandals they want to hide, involving one or more of sex, money, drugs, murder or other things.

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