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What’s God Got To Do With the American Experiment?


One could imagine the question posed in the title of this special issue provoking two legions to mass against each other, each offering sharply different accounts of the role of God and organized religion in creating and nurturing the American experiment.

In one view, it is America’s pluralistic and secular Constitution that has promoted freedom, diversity, and, oddly, the very strength of American religious communities. A state independent of organized religion has been freedom’s, and religion’s, finest friend. Was not a central motivation for the creation of free and tolerant institutions a desire to end wars over God and religion?




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