The men (and women) who established the United States in the late 18th century did so with a fundamental belief that religion would be a guiding principle of the young nation, something that would be relied upon to maintain the other freedoms that were held so dear, and which would set it apart from the rest of the world. With that in mind, they established a Constitution which allowed for freedoms at many levels, including a great amount of latitude for the states to develop their own set of laws based on the principles, including religious ones, of the elected officials of that particular state. Yet, “religion” in the 18th and 19th century United States was a far cry from what it has become in the 21st century. When once it was illegal, in some places, to blaspheme, no such laws exist today. But that does not mean the U.S. has become less religious. If anything, the nation is more religious than it was at its founding, although Church and State have become ever more separated.
Gone are the days when religion defines law, however “illegal” that may have been. But today, more and more Americans are driven by their fervent religious beliefs and the practice of their Religious Freedom guaranteed to them by the Constitution. It is seen in the way businesses are run or how they act toward their fellow citizens. Americans truly are a religious people, regardless of what some people may think or how they may want others to think. And the Religious Freedom that has been afforded the American people has developed into a wellspring of religious belief. From the beginning, America has been home to deeply-held belief systems that have turned into new religious organizations which have spread the message of Religious Freedom across the country and around the world. These “American religions” are unique in the world, and could only exist because of the Freedom of Religion given to the American people by those that saw fit to provide it to them at the birth of the nation.
American Religious Freedom is a freedom unlike any other seen in the world, and it has firmly established America as a nation built on freedom of many forms. But at the core of all of those freedoms is the Freedom to Worship as one sees fit.