Last night the PBS special God in America provided two more hours of interesting, and sometimes a little less known, historical information about God and the American experience.
On one hand PBS went into great detail about Lincoln's personal religious struggles along with those of a divided nation during the Civil War... but on the other hand, as in Part 1, only a casual mention of the contributions made by the Quakers. There was also a great deal of material about the Jewish reform movement in the United States which I really had no knowledge of prior to last night.
In Part 2 of God in America it was clear that during the Civil War (as in all other wars before and after), the church was co-opted to be the mouthpiece of the government, both for the Union and for the Confederacy. Not a good thing to be in my opinion, the church is to be the mouthpiece of God!
The one take-away-point from last night was that religion in America was and is ever changing, yet never becoming a uniform system of belief for the whole nation. The Constitution protects and thereby fosters diverse religious expression in America... Thank God!
I am going to watch the last two hours tonight. You can find more info on the PBS God in America website. If you miss any of it you can watch it online or order a dvd copy.
Peace, Love, and Light!