Religion In The Us Essay, Research Paper
More Religious? Prove It
Ever since colonial times, many Americans seem to think that they are unique and different. Reeves, in his article Are Americans Different? You Bet They Are, is a perfect example of this argument. One of his claims is that Americans are more religious than people of other nationalities. This statement can be traced back to colonial times. America, during colonial times, was a religious refuge, and involved large groups of people with different religious backgrounds. Thus, Reeve s idea of Americans being more religious can be traced to colonial times.
America, during colonial times, was a religious refuge for many people escaping persecution. European nations weren t religiously tolerant, and often persecuted people who worshipped differently. One famous migration caused by this is that of the Pilgrims. Threatened by James I, they made their famous trip across the Atlantic in 1620 (Boorstin and Kelley, 36). Another example is the Massachusetts Bay Colony. After the archbishop, William Laud, tried to force Puritans to conform to the rules of the Church of England, many left England and settled in Massachusetts Bay (Boorstin and Kelley, 37). There, their lives were generally ruled by religion. But, however, even these Puritans did not believe in religious tolerance to others. Thus, the Rhode Island Colony was established. People who didn t agree with the Puritan version of religion would be banished, and many would make their way to Rhode Island (Boorstin and Kelley, 38). Apart from that, Quakers and Jews began to appear in America (Boorstin and Kelley, 39). Thus, America was a religious refuge made up of several large groups of people of different religious faiths.
Another factor that contributed to an increased religious faith in the United States was the fact that it contained large groups of different people. This diversity probably triggered a stronger faith within each religious group. One major example of this was the Great Awakening, an event that took place in the 1730 s and 1740 s. It was basically a revival of faiths. One of the major contributing circumstances to this event was the diversity of people. Thus, the diversity and variety of religion, since it was grouped, caused stronger faiths within each religion.
Even though Reeves may have some historical backing, few of the points in his article were fully supported and explained. For example, in his religious claim, he is mainly comparing the United States to European nations. Many of the claims he makes may simply be his opinion. Furthermore, the United States has transformed from being a chain of small colonial settlements to a superpower in a few hundred years. Thus, religious faith has had the potential to undergo such a change as well. Thus, had Reeves properly investigated his claim, he would probably have reached a different conclusion.