Our problems remain epistemological.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

The bonds of unity in the young American republic

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.  
- President George Washington (1732-1799), Farewell Address (1796).


Tom Van Dyke said...

"With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion..."

This one gets mostly skipped over these days. ;-)

Mark D. said...

Ha! Correct. The genetic Protestantism of the Founding (which included unitarians and deists as well), eventually gave way to the Catholic-Protestant-Jewish troika in the 20th century. Now, the elites seem to have decided on simply referring to American religious pluralism, rather than identifying specific traditions. At the time of the Founding, things were much clearer. Americans were united by a basic faith -- America was founded as a Protestant country, albeit a tolerant one, with room for Catholics and Jews and others (and improvement over the colonial experience) in the official order (but with lots of anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism surviving, even unto the present day).

Tom Van Dyke said...

You may find this review of Kevin Schultz' "Tri-Faith America" of value. I disagree with Ed Blum's conclusion that this all necessarily leads to his social gospel left-liberalism, but the tale of how Protestant America became a "Judeo-Christian" one [at least for a little while] is of historical interest.