Brien Pittman

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Brien’s articles for FāVS generally revolve around ideas and beliefs that create unhealthy deadlock divisions between groups. He has received (minor) writing awards for his short stories and poetry from the cities of Portland, Oregon and the city of (good beer) Sapporo, Japan. In 2010 he was asked to present several articles for the California Senate Committee “Task Force for Suicide Prevention” and has been published by online magazines and a couple national poetry anthologies in print form.

American History: Religious Intolerance, Part 5

Today, we have theocratic movements that assume a variety of nuances and labels, including Christian Theocracy, Christian Reconstructionism, Christian Dominionism, Dominion Theology, and Theonomy. All are convinced that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and (now) needs to return to her "Christian heritage." Advocating theocratic principles is a mistaken quest to return America to the original vision of the founding fathers.

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American History: Religious Intolerance, Part 4

The men who fought the Revolution may have thanked Providence and attended church regularly—or not. But they also fought a war against a country in which the head of state was the head of the church. Knowing well the history of religious warfare that led to America’s settlement, they clearly understood both the dangers of that system and of sectarian conflict.

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American History: Religious Intolerance, Part 3

In newly independent America, there was a crazy quilt of state laws regarding religion. In Massachusetts, only Christians were allowed to hold public office, and Catholics were allowed to do so only after renouncing papal authority. In 1777, New York State’s constitution banned Catholics from public office (and would do so until 1806). In Maryland, Catholics had full civil rights, but Jews did not. Delaware required an oath affirming belief in the Trinity. Several states, including Massachusetts and South Carolina, had official, state-supported churches.

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American History: Religious Intolerance, Part 2

The real story of religion in America’s past is an often awkward, frequently embarrassing and occasionally bloody tale that most civics books and high-school texts either paper over or shunt to the side. And much of the recent conversation about America’s ideal of religious freedom has paid lip service to this comforting tableau.

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American History: Religious Intolerance

A separation of Church and State was a cornerstone of their vision for this country, ensuring the biases of the dominant ideology, whichever it might be, could not hinder the State’s ability to effectively govern a nation comprised of many different cultural and religious backgrounds. Our First Amendment rights, which include the freedom of religion, allows us to worship however we see fit. But it also ensures the freedom from religion — an individual’s right to refuse any unwanted religious ideology or denomination.

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