The Continuing Emergence of Religious Liberty

Thomas J. Curry

in Farewell to Christendom

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780195145694
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834129 | DOI:
 The Continuing Emergence of Religious Liberty

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The enactment of the First Amendment did not automatically guarantee religious liberty. Americans came to see themselves as a Protestant Nation and enacted a de facto establishment of religion. The advent of Catholic immigrants provided the opposition and diversity needed to vindicate religious freedom. Historians have generally failed to recognize this development, and many of them continue to advocate an unhistorical nonpreferential establishment of religion, or to erroneously describe the Amendment as creating a “wall of separation” between Church and State.

Keywords: Catholic; Catholic immigrants; de facto establishment; nonpreferential establishment; Protestant Nation; religious Liberty; wall of separation

Chapter.  9161 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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