American Civil Religion

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Sina Soleimany
RS300 Living Myth
Essay Topic #1
10 December 2010

There has been much discussion on topics in context to various religions around the world. But one religion that sticks out like a sore thumb is American civil religion. Civil religion gave Americans a creed, code and a cultus but was a religion not based solely on myths but politics and history. It was a way to bring everyone together as one in a nation that needed guidance. Civil religion wasn’t a religion that entailed everyone follow the same rules. In fact it was the opposite, a believer in the civil religion might also be a Baptist Catholic, or a Mormon. (Albanese 307-308) Civil religion in a sense was the answer to bringing many people from different religions and backgrounds into one group or community. As for the relationship of violence and civil religion there seems to be a correlation with the two. Much like certain religions like Christianity or Islam the people confide in their religion during times of crisis or war. Civil religion has been shown to also become more evident in times of crisis. It is during violent times that people find the need to become one. That is exactly the concept of civil religion to forge the many into one. (Alabanese 308)

English puritan nationals were the main reason why the revolution had started. The decision to go to war alone was a sign that Americans create their own path and destiny. Puritans before the revolution had the notion that they were the chosen people but also a suffering people much like the Jews. They went through suffering like their ancestors during the reign of Blood Mary by being persecuted by the Church of England. (Albanese 287) They were then forced to travel to the west and live in the New World’s harsh environment. They were also suffering by being told that they were sinners and punished through disease, harsh weather, and Indian wars. They truly believed they were similar to the Jews so much so that even Ronald Reagan...
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