Christian Influence on American Society by cole stinebiser

The Pilgrims
  • Puritans/Seperatists
  • Mayflower Compact
  • Sought to create Christian theocracy
  • "City on a Hill"
Founding of the Nation

Our Nation's first document, the Declaration of Independence, makes 5 references to God

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

55 Founding Fathers, the men in attendance at the Constitutional Convention

28 Episcopalians, 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Dutch Reformed, 2 Methodists, 2 Roman Catholics, 1 unknown, and 3 deists

The Great Awakening

The First Distinctly Christian movement in America

  • Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield
  • Promoted greater personal intimacy with God
  • Questioned authority of established religion
  • Inspired new Christian denominations and new forms of worship

Manifest Destiny

  • Common idea surrounding Westward Expansion
  • "America is destiny by God to expand"
  • Reminiscent of "City on a Hill" - We are the best and God is on our side, so it is our job and destiny to rule

Scopes Trial - Insight on the Christian influence in America in the early 20th century

  • State of Tennessee v John Thomas Scopes
  • John Scopes accused of violating Tennessee Butler Act by teaching human evolution in public school
  • Originally found guilty (overturned due to technicality)
  • Sparked Evolution v Creation debate
Cold War Propaganda
  • American Propaganda during the Cold War featured Pro-Christian themes
  • "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance
  • We assumed the position of the undisputed "Good Guys"
Modern America

What is religion's, specifically Christianity's, place in Modern America?

The role of Christianity on American culture, politics, and social life is at an all time low

“God...shocking how many Americans swallow that old story. Maybe you will be the generation that moves past the ancient fictions.” -Salman Rushdie, Emory University Commencement Speech

  • In 2012, the DNC removed any references to God from their party platform
  • Organizations such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation have seen record high membership numbers
  • Creationism, despite being the national standard in 1925, has been replaced in public schools by Evolution. Creationism cannot be taught in state-funded schools.
  • In the 1950's, non-religious individuals made up only 5% of the American population. Today, that number is around 25%, especially based around America's young adult generation, which is 33% non-religious.

However, despite these long term trends, Christianity may be seeing a resurgence beginning in the 90's, at least at the individual level.

  • Official Census data states: (based on random sampling phone survey)
  • 1990: 151,225 self-identifying Christian individuals
  • 2001: 159,514 self-identifying Christian individuals
  • 2008: 173,402 self-identifying Christian individuals

Credits:

Created with images by paulbr75 - "church steeple building" • AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker - "Pilgrims" • Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca - "US Betsy Ross Grunge Flag" • ErikaWittlieb - "union army united states america" • gsbarber - "uss constitution bell ship's bell" • Fæ - "Dr. Squintum's exaltation or the reformation LCCN93509794" • Dave_B_ - "courtroom 600" • igorputina - "Blasts from the past, Cold War russian propaganda." • GLady - "one world trade center manhattan owtc"

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