A Concise History of Christianity

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Judaism Christianity


Messianic Ideas

The Torah Theory-History

Early Years
Turbulent Years
1054 East-West Schism
1096 First Great Crusade
1134 Medieval Inquisition
1271 Last Great Crusade
1413 The Lollard Rebellion
1481 Spanish Inquisition

Reform Years

1517 Luther's Ninety-Five Thesis
1618 The Thirty Years War
1776 Founding Fathers Religious Beliefs
1840 Abolition Split Some US Churches
1870 Papal Infallibility


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Book of Job Explained video

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The Imitation of Christ

Devotio Moderna

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Freedom Began 1636

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Story of Job

Love Your Enemies Matthew 5

Jesus Tempted - Matthew 4

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Judaism's  Early Years.

The Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Origins of Judaism

" Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, known as the Patriarchs, are both the physical and spiritual ancestors of Judaism. They founded the religion now known as Judaism ..."

Abram, according to Jewish traditions was born in Babylonia in 1948 from Creation (circa 1800 BCE). He questioned the faith of his father, believed that the entire universe was the work of a single Creator and he began to teach this belief to others.  Abram received an offer from G-d that indicated that his leaving home would make him a great nation and bless him. The b'rit (covenant) between G-d and the Jewish people was thus established. (Gen. 12). "The terms of this b'rit became more explicit over time,



until the time of the Giving of the Torah (see below). Abram was subjected to ten tests of faith to prove his worthiness for this covenant. Leaving his home is one of these trials."

Living a nomadic lifestyle, Abram traveled through what is now the land of Israel for many years. G-d promised this land to Abram's descends but Abram and his wife were growing older and  had no children so  wife Sara followed a common practice and offered her maidservant Hagar as a wife to Abram. According to tradition, Hagar was a daughter of Pharaoh given to Abram during his travels in Egypt. She bore Abram a son Ishmael who according to both Muslim and Jewish tradition, is the ancestor of the Arabs. (Gen 16)

G-d changed Abram's name to Abraham (father of many), and Sarai's to Sarah (from "my princess" to "princess").  Sarah fulfilled a promise from G-d and bore Abraham a son Isaac (in Hebrew, Yitzchak) (Gen 17-18).

 Isaac was the ancestor of the Jewish people. Thus, the conflict between Arabs and Jews can be seen as a form of sibling rivalry! Isaac was the subject of the tenth and most difficult test of Abraham's faith as G-d commanded Abraham to follow a common practice in the region and sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. (Gen 22). "At the last moment, G-d sent an angel to stop the sacrifice." Judaism uses this story as evidence that G-d abhors human sacrifice.  Isaac married Rivka who bore him fraternal twin sons:  Jacob and Esau. (Gen 25).

Jacob the more spiritually-minded was Rebecca's favorite and Esau  a good hunter was Isaac's favorite. Esau sold his birthright of spiritual leadership to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew.

When Isaac was growing old, Rebecca tricked him into giving Jacob a blessing meant for Esau. Esau was angry about this and about the birthright so Jacob fled and met his beloved Rachel. Jacob was deceived into marrying Rachel's older sister, Leah, but later married Rachel as well, and Rachel and Leah's maidservants, Bilhah and Zilphah. Between these four women, Jacob fathered 12 sons and one daughter.

Jacob returned to his homeland and sought reconciliation with his brother Esau. Alone with G-d on the night before he was to meet his brother he wrestled with a man until the break of day at which time Jacob demanded a blessing  and the "man" revealed himself as an angel. He blessed Jacob and gave him the name "Israel" (Yisrael), meaning "the one who wrestled with G-d" or "the Champion of G-d." The Jewish people are generally referred to as the Children of Israel signifying them as


descents from Jacob. The next day, Jacob met Esau and was welcomed by him.

Jacob's 12 sons are the ancestors of the tribes of Israel and the Children of Israel and the ones for whom the tribes are named. Son Joseph is the father of two tribes: Manasseh and Ephraim. Joseph's older brothers were jealous of their father's favorite and because he had visions that he would lead them all so they sold Joseph into slavery convincing their father that Joseph was dead. But this was all part of G-d's plan as  Joseph was brought into Egypt where his ability to interpret visions earned him a place in the Pharaoh's court paving the way for his family's later settlement in Egypt.

As centuries passed the descendants of Israel became slaves in Egypt and suffered greatly under the hand of later Pharaohs.

But G-d brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses who led through the wilderness to Mount Sinai where  G-d revealed Himself to the Children of Israel and offered them a great covenant: and if the people would hearken to G-d and observe His covenant including the ten-commandments  then they would be the most beloved of nations, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Ex 19). G-d revealed the Torah to his people, both a written and Oral Torah which later was codified and written as the Talmud. The entire nation responded, ' "Everything that the L-rd has spoken, we will do!" '  "According to Jewish tradition, every Jewish soul that would ever be born was present at that moment, and agreed to be bound to this covenant."

The Messianic Idea in Judaism

Belief in a mashiach is a fundamental part of traditional Judaism and it is part of Rambam's   13 Principles of Faith, the minimum requirements of Jewish belief.  Modern scholars suggest the messianic concept was introduced later in the history of Judaism during the age of the

prophets. Traditional Judaism maintains that the messianic idea has always been a part of Judaism. . However, the Torah contains several references to "the End of Days" (acharit ha-yamim), which is the time of the mashiach; thus, the concept of mashiach was known in the most ancient times. source                             Please         


Analysis of the Torah

Primary Source, Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition 3/15/19
Walter Antoniotti
centers on the history presented in this Great Course

The Documentary Hypothesis of Genesis
The Deuteronomistic History of Genesis


The Bible, the official scripture (canon) of Judaism, may be divided into three sections. 
1. The
Torah, consists of the first five books
2. "Prophets.”
3 “Writings” is everything else.


1. "Torah"  names the most important books
Attributed to Moses, most biblical scholars agree that these books are the work of more than one author because God is referred to as  Elohim (usually translated “God") and as YHWH (usually translated as “The Lord”). Also there are variations in vocabulary and style and contrasting perspectives given by the different versions of the same stories.

The Documentary Hypothesis of Genesis

The Documentary Hypothesis positions four main source documents assembled in stages.
1. Yahwist narrative” (usually called J) written in the 10th or 9th century B.C.

2. “Elohist narrative” (E) composed in the 9th century B.C.

3. Deuteronomy (D) version written if the 7th century B.C.

4. Priestly source (P) dates to the 6th or 5th century B.C.

In the 8th century B.C., an editor combined J and E. The resulting (hypothetical) document is often called JE. Around 500 B.C., a second editor added P, producing JEP. Deuteronomy was added to the first four books of the Torah around 400 B.C. These different stages are reflected in differing styles, emphases, and the ological viewpoints.

Creation Narrative

In Genesis 2:4b–3:24, the Yahwist creation narrative has the Lord created man from dust, before there were plants. The Lord planted a garden and placed the man in it but prohibited him from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Lord then decided that the man needed a companion and made all the animals and brought them to the man. Man named all the animals, but “there was not found a helper as his partner.” Next, the Lord cast the man into a deep sleep, removed a rib from his body, and created a woman as the man’s companion. A serpent persuaded the woman to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree and she, persuaded her husband to eat, as well. This violation of the Lord’s prohibition and led to the humans’ expulsion from Eden. This is probably the most familiar part of the Genesis creation.

Genesis 1:1 through 2:4a differs both in emphasis and in details. This Priestly account, recount the creation of the whole cosmos  from a formless void. Then, on the second day God creates light and separated the primeval waters by creating the dome of the sky. God creates the dry land (earth) and the plants on the third day. On the fourth day, the sun and the moon were created. The Lord had  established the environment in which both animals and humans could live. God creates swimming and flying creatures on the fifth day. On the sixth day, God creates land animals of all kinds, including humans, both male and female. God gives the humans dominion over other creatures and tells them they may eat every seed-yielding fruit that contains seeds.


In the earlier Yahwist J account, the order is man, plants, animals, woman. In the later Priestly P  account, the order is plants, animals, humans (male and female). The Lord of the J narrative is strongly anthropomorphic; he walks in the garden and speaks directly to Adam and Eve.

God of the P narrative is far less anthropomorphic and  male and female humans are created at the same time. There is no etiology of female submission; both are given “dominion” over the earth. P narrative is far more focused on cosmology and the creation of the whole universe than the J narrative, which focuses mainly on human beings and their fall from primeval happiness. The J narrative also provides etiologies for the harsh realities of human existence, including the necessity of work and the pain of childbearing; the P narrative does not address these issues at all.

The Mesopotamian Enuma Elish has a creation narrative is strikingly similar to the P creation narrative. In the Enuma Elish, the original state of the universe is a watery chaos. This chaos is composed of two deities, Apsu (fresh water) and Tiamat (salt water). As they are mingled together, other gods are born out of them, beginning with a pair who represents silt. Several generations later, the story culminates in a war among many gods. The young god  Marduk emerges victorious. The cosmos attains recognizable form when Marduk kills Tiamat and divides her body in two. Marduk makes the sky out of one part of Tiamat’s body and the earth out of the other. It is possible that the author(s) of P wrote in intentional contrast to the Enuma Elish.

Elish  P is normally dated to the period after the Babylonian Exile of the Jews (586–538 B.C.). A creation story reworking the Babylonian material into a form consonant with Jewish belief would make good sense. The P story of humans’ creation can also be read in contrast to the Mesopotamian version, where humans are created to work for the gods.


The Documentary Hypothesis covers not only Genesis but also the rest of the Torah. In recent years, the Documentary Hypothesis itself has come in for criticism and revision, but the complexity of the narrative tradition out of which the Pentateuch grew seems undeniable.

The Torah contains many foundational stories of both Judaism and Christianity. Genesis is rich in memorable and influential stories and it is with Abraham that the Lord makes a covenant and becomes a god specifically of the Hebrew people.

Exodus through Deuteronomy focus on Moses as hero, leader, and lawgiver. He receives direct visions of God but is at first unwilling to accept the task required of him. He is the recipient and spokesman of the Ten Commandments and the leader of the Israelites in their flight from Egypt. He leads his people within sight of the Promised Land but cannot reach it himself.


The Deuteronomistic History

The Book of Deuteronomy looks back to the Torah and forward into earlier Prophets and Latter Prophets. The  Deuteronomistic History combines the books of Deuteronomy through 2 Kings. It narrates the end of Moses’s life and leadership. Deuteronomy or “Second Law” refines and amplifies the Law presented earlier in the Torah.

The book’s current form probably dates to the 7th century B.C. Deuteronomy covers forms of religious worship, political institutions, and legal statutes. It assumes that Israel suffers or flourishes depending on its people’s obedience to God and to the Mosaic covenant. It is modeled on ancient Near Eastern treaties of mutual obligation where the vassal is protected in return for loyalty and obedience. In this view God's covenant is a promises to reward good behavior and to punish bad behavior. The Ten Commandments can be seen as fitting into this “treaty” framework.  “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” reflects the vassal’s standard oath of loyalty.

Deuteronomistic History positions that Deuteronomy itself was edited to serve as an introduction to the next four books of the Bible. It further claims that a single editor (or school) compiled these five books.  Another version of the theory positions successive editions of the Deuteronomistic History from the 7th century B.C. (700 to 601) and continuing into the period of the Babylonian Exile (captivity) beginning in 597 BC.

Why did the Israelites adopt monarchy as their form of government?
Why did the United Monarchy, founded by Saul and reaching a high point under David and Solomon, divide into two parts, Israel in the North, Judah in the South?
Why did Assyria conquer the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C.?
Most troubling of all, why did the Babylonians succeed in subduing Judah and capturing Jerusalem?

The Deuteronomistic History portrays these events as the consequences of vassals’ disobedience. Various leadership stories of different leaders culminating in the establishment of the monarchy and the Davidic line, are all directed toward explaining the ultimate destruction of the always questioned monarchy.

The Deuteronomistic History is as much a work of literature as of “history.”
There are historical facts embedded in the story. The 5 books were written long after the events they describe. Writers had to draw on their own imaginations to describe characters and events. “Fictionalized history” is a term used to describe the Hebrew Bible. Stories of David” are like Shakespeare’s approach to Henry V.
A similar comparison can be made with “Homer’s” relationship to his material.

Compiled and arranged to explain the monarchy and God’s hand in history,
it has important implications for our understanding of the monarchy and
of the roles of the most famous kings, as seen David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11–12).

Here, David is not admirable. His contradicts a king’s military duty by being idle at home while his troops are off at war. He contradicts a king’s civic duty by seducing  Bathsheba, the wife of a soldiers. We are not told what Bathsheba wants or whether David gave her a choice.  Her message to David that she is pregnant is the only time she communicates. Eventually David puts the soldier into battle where he dies and David marries Bathsheba. A prophet sent by the Lord who rebukes David.  David grows angry,  the prophet predicts evils to come in David’s family and David admits his guilt. The profit predicts Bathsheba's baby will die.


Perhaps, because David’s crimes were remembered by the tradition, the author “had” to include them. However, the author could have tried to explain these traditional details away. Instead, the author stresses the cruelty and deceit of David’s actions.

Perhaps the author wants to remind us that the legitimacy of the king  does not depend on his own ethical behavior. Though anointed by God, David is fallible and at times, evil.

Perhaps such stories serve as reminders of the dangers inherent in even a good king’s rule.

The Deuteronomistic History presents a multifaceted view of kingship.
The books of the Deuteronomistic History were written for retroactive effect
to explain not what went right in the monarchy so much as what went
wrong. The idea that God rewards good behavior and punishes bad underlies the nature of
good and bad fortune and is often called the
Deuteronmist Theology.

Deuteronomistic Theology.

In this worldview, good fortune is evidence of righteousness, while bad fortune is evidence that one did wrong. With the conquest of Judah the question arose, what have we done wrong to deserve this?  The Deuteronomistic History’s development of the monarchy attempts to answer this question.

Most important, the people tended to fall into idolatry and to worship other gods.
One fascinating point here is that the other gods are not denied or seen as meaningless. Even in the Ten Commandments, the prohibition on having any other god
before God does not necessarily imply monotheism. Turning to other gods is seen as breaking the treaty’s requirement of loyalty to one’s overlord.



2. Prophets

The Former Prophets include the Books of Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings. The Latter Prophets are the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 12 “minor prophets.”

The role of the Hebrew prophet in the monarchy depended upon the time periods represented by the prophecy of interest.

The Latter Prophets reflect the sayings of spokesmen, or wise men considered intermediaries between God and his people. These oral sayings were recorded and later edited, annotated, and augmented to formed a nucleus around which the books developed. They did not assume canonical form until the 5th through 3rd centuries B.C.

The Greek prophētēs indicates an interpreter or proclaimer who “speaks forth”  God’s word. Hebrew prophets did not necessarily foresee or predict future events. They were messengers. Prophets were less concerned with predicting the future than with analyzing present people and their behavior in  in terms of God’s requirements. Nathan’s rebuke to David in 2 Samuel 12 is a good example. This rebuke ends with a prediction of the future, but Nathan’s main purpose is to chastise David’s present behavior.

However, Christian theologians interpreted the prophets as foretelling the coming of Christ. To understand the influence of prophets on the Western literary, we must consider how these texts were interpreted both at the time they were written and later when they had influence.

Four Major Periods of Prophetic Activity

In the early monarchical period (11th through 9th centuries B.C.), prophets advise and warned kings. Local prophets, advised individuals and communities  The advent of the monarchy meant prophets could announce that God had chosen an individual to be king or had rejected a king for wrongdoing.

During the 8th century B.C., the prophets’ role changed from “kingmaker” to public adviser. Social justice and religious practice issues were their concerns. The Assyrian Empire had destroyed the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and subjugated the Southern Kingdom (Judah). Prophets interpreted these events as signs of God’s judgment against the Hebrew people.

The Babylonian exile had the prophets providing hope for an eventual return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple.

In post-exilic period, Cyrus of Persia allowed the Jews to return to Judah. The main issue the prophets addressed was the challenge of reestablishing a community in postexilic conditions. Community’s identity, social organization, and resistance to assimilation were concerns.

Prophet Isaiah's Three different Time periods: First, Second, and Third Isaiah.

Isaiah (chapters 1–39) represent the life of Isaiah who lived in the late 8th and/or early 7th centuries B.C. Chapters 40 through 66 dates to the 6th century B.C. because these chapters refer to the fall of Jerusalem and the deportation of the people. Third Isaiah may be post-exilic.

One reappearing theme of these historical events reflect God’s plan of the  Deuteronomistic History. An examples is the similar actions of great empires, such as the Assyrian Empire in the 8th century B.C. and the Babylonian and Persian Empires in the 6th century B.C.

Isaiah represents the manner in which the prophet’s words were gathered in his own day and the process by which they were reinterpreted and reapplied in later periods. In his own day, Isaiah’s descriptions of hostile and threatening foreign powers must have referred to the Assyrians. Later, these descriptions were applied to the Babylonian conquest of Judah. In its final redaction, the contrast between “worldly” governments and the Jewish people is highlighted by the primacy of Jerusalem and the expectation of a righteous “anointed leader.”

Second Isaiah’s depicts God as the only god, the universal God of all peoples, not just a god of the people covered by the covenant. In 45:5–7 Isaiah thus articulates true monotheism.

In chapters 44 and 45, Cyrus is referred to as God’s “anointed,” who will carry out God’s purpose. Cyrus is identified as the/a messiah, an anointed one. This is the only biblical passage where the term messiah refers to someone who is not an Israelite.

Christian reinterpretation and reapplication of Isaiah was a rich source for predictions concerning Christ. One of the most important verses in this regard is 7:14: “Look, the x woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.”

Matthew 7:14 and later Christian works refer to X, Mary, as a virgin.
The Greek translation
of X is based upon
parthenos, a  “young unmarried woman,”
The Revised Standard Version uses Hebrew  almah, young woman
Hebrew for virgin is bethulah.

Another crucial passage for later Christian thought was the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53:3–9. Early Christian writers identified these verses with Christ, especially with his Passion. The “suffering servant” of Isaiah lent support to the developing idea of an atoning Messiah, rather than a triumphant Messiah.


















3. The Writings

This wisdom literature, developed after the exile, has important books such as Ecclesiastes and Proverbs. They meditate on the nature and place of justice in the world. Ecclesiastes casts doubt on assumption of Deuteronomistic Theology that righteousness is rewarded and evil punished. The Book of Job poses the strongest questioning of the Deuteronomistic Theology of any text in the Hebrew Bible.

The Torah’s composition and importance require further analysis. The creation story  addresses questions about the composition of Genesis, the Torah, and the Bible.

Tradition attributes the Torah to Moses, but most biblical scholars agree to more than one author because of Variations in ways of referring to God, as Elohim (usually translated “God”) and as YHWH (usually translated as “The Lord”) plus Variations in vocabulary/ style plus contrasting perspectives given different versions of the same stories.

The Genesis 2:4b–3:24 creation narrative has the Lord created man from the dust before there were plants on the earth. The Lord planted a garden and placed the man in it but prohibited him from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Lord felt man needed a companion so all the animals were created no helper was found so the Lord created a woman companion.  The serpent persuaded the woman to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree.  She, persuaded her husband to eat fruit. This violation of the Lord’s prohibition led to the humans’ expulsion from Eden.

The Genesis 1:1 through 2:4 creation narrative differs in emphasis and details. It  recount the creation of the whole cosmos. There is a formless void and then God creates light, separates the primeval waters by creating the dome of the sky. On the second day, God creates the dry land (earth) and on the third day, the plants.  On the fourth day God creates the sun and the moon. On the fifth day, having established a proper environment, God creates swimming and flying creatures. Day six brings humans and other animals. God gives the humans dominion over other creatures. He tells them they may eat every seed-yielding plant and any fruit that contains a seed.


In the earlier account, the order is man, plants, animals, woman. In the later account, the order is plants, animals, humans. In one narrative the Lord is strongly anthropomorphic or human-like and walks in the garden speaking directly to Adam and Eve. In another God creates man and woman a the same time, and there is no causation of female submission as  both are given “dominion” over the earth. One depicts the harsh realities of human existence, including the necessity of work and the pain of childbearing the other narrative does not address these issues.

The creation narrative of the Mesopotamian Enuma Elish, is similar to one Bible account, as the original state of the universe is a watery chaos composed of fresh and salt water deities. Mingling they create other gods beginning with a pair representing silt. The cosmos attains recognizable form when God Marduk kills Tiamat and divides her body in two. Marduk makes the sky out of one part of Tiamat’s body and the earth out of the other.

Christianity, The Early Years

Jesus began his ministry after working as a carpenter at age 30 when John  baptized Jesus at "Bethany beyond the Jordan" by wading into the water with Jesus from the eastern bank.[19][20] John the Baptist is also mentioned by Jewish historian Josephus,[21] in Aramaic Matthew,[citation needed] in the Pseudo-Clementine literature,[citation needed] and in the Qur'an.[22] Accounts of John in the New Testament appear compatible with the account in Josephus. The New Testament reveals that John anticipated a messianic figure who would be greater than himself,[24] and Jesus was the one whose coming John foretold. Christians commonly refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus,[25] since John announces Jesus' coming. John is also identified with the prophet Elijah.[26] Some of Jesus' early followers had previously been followers of John.[26] Some scholars have further speculated that Jesus was himself a disciple of John for some period of time,[27] but this view is disputed.[28]

Jesus then went into the Judean desert to fast and meditate for 40 days and nights where his faith was tempted by the Devil whose appeals were rejected. Jesus returned to Galilee and made trips to neighboring villages, was joined by disciples one of these was Mary Magdalene to whom  Jesus appeared after his crucifixion.  source

Apostle Simon ( Peter ) preached to the masses in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost following Jesus' ascension to heaven and prompted the disciples to choose a replacement to take over the apostolic ministry of Judas Iscariot after Judas' betrayal of Christ Jesus. Simon healed a man who had been crippled from birth, with but the words, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Simon was called by the apostle Paul a "pillar" of the Church. He defended the inclusion of the Gentiles (non-Jews) into the Christian Church as his  ministry was primarily to the Jews, as the apostle Paul's was to the Gentiles. Following imprisoned several times in Jerusalem because of his faith was being followed Peter left and is believed to have ministered in Babylon to the Jewish colonists and he wrote his first epistle (1 Peter.) He went to Rome and  it is believed the writer of the Gospel of Mark served as his translator as he preached.  According to Church tradition, the Roman Emperor Nero publicly announcing himself the chief enemy of God and was led in his fury to slaughter the Apostles.  Because of this persecution, Peter was crucified upside down while in Rome. source


The Turbulent Years

2nd century begins the concept of Original Sin which according to Augustine, consists of the guilt of Adam which all humans inherit .  It was first alluded to in the  by Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon in his controversy with certain dualist Gnostics.

325 Council of Nicaea    
What Happened at the Council of Nicaea?

400 Jerome Vulgate translates the Greek bible into Latin.

1054 The Great East-West Schism  occurred when relations between the East and West which had long been embittered by ecclesiastical differences and theological disputes. because prominent issues such as then source of the Holy Spirit ("filioque"), whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used in the Eucharist,[5] the Pope's claim to universal jurisdiction, and the place of Constantinople in relation to the Pentarchy.[6]  came to a head.

1096 The First Crusade was a military expedition by Roman Catholic Europe to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquests of the Levant (632–661). It ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem in 1099.

1134 Medieval Inquisition was a series of Inquisitions (Catholic Church bodies charged with suppressing heresy) from around 1184 including the Episcopal Inquisition (1184-1230s) and later the Papal Inquisition (1230s). The Medieval Inquisition was established in response to large popular movements throughout Europe considered apostate or heretical to Christianity, in particular Catharism and Waldensians in southern France and northern Italy. These were the first inquisition movements of many that would follow.

1271 The Last (Ninth) Crusade considered to be the last major medieval Crusade to the Holy Land ended in 1272. Edward finally reached England in the summer of 1274 and was crowned King of England on August 19, 1274. He had been accompanied by Theobald Visconti who became Pope Gregory X in 1271. Gregory called for a new crusade at the Council of Lyons in 1274 but nothing came of this. Meanwhile, new fissures arose within the Christian states when Charles of Anjou took advantage of a dispute between Hugh III, the Knights Templar and the Venetians in order to bring the remaining Christian state under his control. Having bought Mary of Antioch's claims to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, he attacked Hugh III causing a civil war within the rump kingdom. In 1277, Roger of San Severino captured Acre for Charles.

1413 Lollard Rebellion was a political and religious movement that existed from the mid-14th century to the English Reformation. The term "Lollard" refers to the followers of John Wycliffe,[1] a prominent theologian who was dismissed from the University of Oxford in 1381 for criticism of the Church and especially in his doctrine on the Eucharist. The Lollards' demands were primarily for reform of Western Christianity.

1481 Spanish Inquisition began when the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition established by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms and to replace the Medieval Inquisition which was under Papal control. Assets confiscated were used for the Reconquista which finally expelled Muslims from these 700 years of dominance. Editors Note: Hitler did the same so what goes around comes around. It became the most substantive of the three different manifestations of the wider Christian Inquisition alonmay have g with the Roman Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition.

Inquisition were  originally intended in large part to ensure the orthodoxy of those who converted from Judaism and Islam and regulation of the faith of the newly converted was intensified after the royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1501 ordering Jews and Muslims to convert or leave. Motives proposed for the monarchs' decision to fund the Inquisition included increased political authority, weakening opposition, suppressing conversos, profiting from confiscation of the property of convicted heretics, reducing social tensions and protecting the kingdom from the danger of a fifth column.


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The Reform Years

1450's  Gutenberg Printed Bible added to the interesting history of communicating religious information to the masses.

1517 Luther's Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of  Indulgences  was written and is widely regarded as the initial catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. There were other   causes for the turmoil and Luther and Anti-Semitism would not be surpassed until the rise of Adolph Hitler

1618 The Thirty Years War  was a series of wars fought in Central Europe involving most of  Europe. It. was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history.  Conflict origins and participant goals were complex. Originally it was fought as a religious war between Protestants and Catholics of the Holy Roman Empire.  Disputes over internal politics and the balance of power within the Empire also played a significant role. The war to some extent ended the brutality caused competition Christian religions sects. In 1565 Fort-Caroline Massacre is one of many.

"A major consequence of the Thirty Years' War was the devastation of entire regions, denuded by the foraging armies (bellum se ipsum alet). Famine and disease significantly decreased the population of the German state Bohemia, the Low Countries and Italy; most of the combatant powers were bankrupted."  The problem of discipline was made more difficult by the "ad hoc nature of 17th-century military financing; armies were expected to be largely self-funding by means of loot taken or tribute extorted from the settlements where they operated. This encouraged a form of lawlessness that imposed severe hardship on inhabitants of the occupied territory." "Some of the quarrels that provoked the war went unresolved for a much longer time."

Current Application
Money lending and the origins of anti-Semitism

"We study the role of economic incentives in shaping the coexistence of Jews, Catholics, and Protestants, using novel data from Germany for 1,000+ cities. The Catholic usury ban and higher literacy rates gave Jews a specific advantage in the money lending sector. Following the Protestant Reformation (1517), the Jews lost these advantages in regions that became Protestant. We show (i) a change in the geography of anti-Semitism with persecutions of Jews and anti-Jewish publications becoming more common in Protestant areas relative to Catholic areas; (ii) a more pronounced change in cities where Jews had already established themselves as moneylenders. These findings are consistent with the interpretation that, following the Protestant Reformation, Jews living in Protestant regions were exposed to competition with the Christian majority, especially in money lending, leading to an increase in anti-Semitism.

That is from a new AER piece by S. O. Becker and Luigi Pascali."

Editor's Note: As pointed out in the many comments made, this is only part of the story.

1776 U.S. Founding Fathers Religious Beliefs Differ  Franklin and Jefferson were deists in that they believed "that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of God, accompanied with the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge."  Washington harbored a pantheistic sense of providential destiny, John Adams began a Congregationalist and ended a Unitarian, Hamilton was a lukewarm Anglican for most of his life but embraced a more actively Christian posture after his son died in a duel.
Editors Note: Hamilton was the Dick Chaney of his day.

1840's Abolition Splits Some US Churches "One of the legacies of the Second Great Awakening was the Abolitionist Movement, the coalition of whites and blacks opposed to slavery. To support their cause, they frequently quoted Jesus' statements about treating others with respect and love. White Christians in the south, however, did not view slavery as a sin. Rather, their leaders were able to quote many Biblical passages in support of slavery. The Civil War and the divide over the question of slavery thus began in the nation's churches, a decade before fighting began on the battlefields."

1870 Papal Infallibility, " dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error[1] "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church".[2] This doctrine was defined dogmatically in the First Vatican Council of 1869–e that, appearing already in medieval tradition and becoming the majority opinion at the time of the Counter-Reformation."

Islam Also Sprang from Abraham

Islam is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an, a book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God and by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and composed of Hadith) of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Sharia is their moral code and relegiouse law.

Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to love and serve God.[1] Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets.

They maintain that the previous messages and revelations have been partially misinterpreted or altered over time,
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but consider the Arabic Qur'an to be both the unaltered and the final revelation of God. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, providing guidance on multifarious topics from banking and welfare, to warfare and the environment.

" Muslims revere Jesus as a uniquely inspired prophet who was born of the Virgin Mary, ascended to heaven and will come again. Yet Muslims cannot accept that Jesus was the son of God. This, they believe, reflects a flawed view of both Jesus and God. As Ms Siddiqui shows, Christians and Muslims sparred with one another intensely during the early centuries after Islam’s rise, with each side vying to be the ultimate revelation of God. But the two faiths did at least grudgingly acknowledge one another as monotheistic, despite Islam’s firm rejection of the Christian view of God as a trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Source

Philosophical Changes Introduced by Abraham's Religions

Judaism introduce Monotheism to the middle east, ended child sacrifice, provided guidelines for ethically and moral living and conditions for eventual resurrection after death.

Christianity modified some of Judaism guideline for an ethical and moral life and provided conditions for immediate resurrection following death.

Islam modified guideline for an ethical and moral life provided by Judaism and Christianity and added the purpose of existence is to love and serve God and resurrection was delayed until iyamah.

Dante's Inferno

Great Course Helps all Understand Christian Theology

Dante's Inferno Summary 13 min 

Divine Comedy Documentary 50 min

Hinduism is the dominant religion of the Indian subcontinent consists of many diverse traditions. It include a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism is devoted to the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence rather than a rigid, common set of beliefs.

Hinduism has been called the "oldest religion" and many practitioners refer to Hinduism as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal law" or the "eternal way"[1][2][15] beyond human origins.[15] It prescribes the "eternal" duties all Hindus have to follow, regardless of class, caste, or sect, such as honesty, purity, and self-restraint.[web 1]

Western scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion of various Indian cultures and traditions with diverse roots[20] and no single founder.[21][note 6] This "Hindu synthesis" emerged around the beginning of the Common Era,[17][27][note 10] and co-existed for several centuries with Buddhism,[33] to finally gain the upper hand in most royal circles during the 8th century CE. From northern India this "Hindu synthesis", and its societal divisions, spread to southern India and parts of Southeast Asia.[35][note 13][36][note 14][37][note 15][note 18]

Since the 19th century, under the dominance of western colonialism and Indology, when the term "Hinduism" came into broad use. Hinduism has re-asserted itself as a coherent and independent tradition. The popular understanding of Hinduism has been dominated by "Hindu modernism"  in which mysticism and the unity of Hinduism have been emphasised. During 20th century, Hindutva ideology, a part of the Hindu politics emerged as a political force and a source for national identity in India.

Hindu practices include daily rituals such as puja (worship) and recitations, annual festivals, and occasional pilgrimages. Select group of ascetics leave the common world and engage in lifelong ascetic practices to achieve moksha.

Confucianism is a system of "ethical-sociopolitical teachings" of  Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BCE), who considered himself a retransmitter of Zhou values.[5] More privately,

With particular emphasis on the importance of the family and social harmony, rather than on an otherworldly soteriology,[7] the core of Confucianism is humanistic. Confucianism regards the ordinary activities of human life — and especially in human relationships as a manifestation of the sacred because they are the expression of our moral nature which has a transcendent anchorage in Heaven and a proper respect of the gods While Heaven ( has some characteristics that overlap the category of deity, it is primarily an impersonal absolute, like dào and Brahman.

The this-worldly concern of Confucianism rests on the belief that human beings are fundamentally good, and teachable, improvable, and perfectible through personal and communal endeavor especially self-cultivation and self-creation. Confucian thought focuses on the cultivation of virtue and maintenance of ethics. Some of the basic Confucian ethical concepts and practices like benevolence"  and "humaneness are is the essence of the human being which manifests as compassion. It is the virtue-form of Heaven. Confucianism holds one in contempt, either passively or actively, for failure to uphold the cardinal moral values of rén and .

Traditionally, cultures and countries in the East Asian cultural sphere are strongly influenced by Confucianism, including mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, as well as various territories settled predominantly by Chinese people, such as Singapore. In the 20th century Confucianism's influence reduced greatly. In late 2015 many Confucian leaders[which?] formally established a national Holy Confucian Church (孔聖會/孔圣会 Kǒngshènghuì) in China to unify the many Confucian congregations and civil society organisations

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Romans Create Christianity and Islam?

 In the News

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Thursday it would start allowing baptisms of children of same-sex couples.

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See Relegious Toleration Process

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When Massachusetts Banned Christmas



The Growth of Colonial America's Religious Toleration

History and memory are not the same. Commemorations of an event’s origins/ideas often differ quite dramatically from historical reality.

Religious Toleration Developed Gradually as
It was not considered a virtue.
It did not lead to tolerance for others.
Puritans prosecuted and banned virtually
anyone who disagreed with them.

Toleration took seed when a Puritan dissenter Roger Williams was expelled from Massachusetts. They founded Rhode Island colony where Roger insisted upon the separation of church and state. He opposed forced worship. Toleration increased in 1640 Pennsylvania founded by Quaker William Penn,

Tolerance increased where settlers were more interested in profits than religion. The Dutch founded New Amsterdam with the first Jewish community. Virginia and New York were founded for non-religious reasons.

Religious Tolerance continued to grow because no one Christian denomination was dominate and groups fearing persecution supported protection for all. See 1649 Maryland Toleration Act.

The 1868 Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 and 20th century Supreme Court rulings continued the process but Toleration did not translate into social acceptance. Anti-Catholicism and racial intolerance peaked with the anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic Know-Nothing party of the 1850s.                                      

Tolerance really began winning with the hideous consequences of Hitler’s racist application of hatful ideas. The interaction of 15 million diverse Americans soldiers to destroy evil increased understanding.



Biblical Photos

Tel Megiddo

Current Location: Israel

Megiddo is better known to some by its Greek name of Armageddon, which some Christians believe will be the site of the end-times battle prophesied in the Book of Revelation. Archaeologists have uncovered an astounding 26 layers of human occupation at this site, which is located about 30 km southeast of Haifa, Israel. A leading Canaanite city during the Bronze Age, it later became an important royal city in the Kingdom of Israel, according to the Hebrew Bible. 

9 More Biblical Photos



 International Relegiouse Data

Church vs. State, a brief history of world religions, Frank Li, posted on 15 March 2017

Source  Changing global religious landscape/  4/5/17


Americans More Religious for a Wealthy Nation

From Why Muslims are the World's-Fastest Growing Religious Group 4/5/17

Image result for Religions graphs






Western Europeans more likely than Central and Eastern Europeans to say they would accept Jews, Muslims into their family















Faith: Few strong links to national identity





Orthodox Christianity in the 21st Century

Concentrated in Europe, Orthodox Christians have declined
as a percentage of the global population, but
Ethiopian community is highly observant and growing





US Religious Data


Religious Opinions

Relegiouse Diversity


Eastern Religions Immigration of the Rise




US States Muslim Population
New Jersey Has Highest Percentage of Muslims, at 3%.

Rank State % of Population Identifying as Muslim (Source: PEW)
1 New Jersey 3%
2 Arkansas 2%
3 District of Columbia 2%
4 New York 2%
5 Arizona 1
PEW Research Center reports




Political Effect is Small

The religious makeup of the 116th Congress



Between 1992 and 2012, a total of about 1.7 million Muslims entered the U.S. as legal permanent residents. That constitutes a large portion of the overall U.S. Muslim population (estimated at 2.75 million as of 2011). Editor's Note: Less than % of population.






Religious Opinions






20180408_ChurchAttendance@2x (002)


20180408_CatholicChurch@2x (003)



Americans Express Increasingly
Warm Feelings Toward Religious Groups



Read Republicans and Democrats Grow Even Further Apart
in Views of Israel, Palestinians


What happened to turn Democrats off?



Anti-LGBTQ homicides in the US. What changed in 2017?

Is this data correlated to anything?


US Religious Diversity


Eastern Religions Immigration of the Rise




New Jersey is the state with the highest percentage of Muslims, at 3%.

US States Muslim Population

Rank State % of Population Identifying as Muslim (Source: PEW)
1 New Jersey 3%
2 Arkansas 2%
3 District of Columbia 2%
4 New York 2%
5 Arizona 1
PEW Research Center reports



  The religious makeup of the 116th Congress



Between 1992 and 2012, a total of about 1.7 million Muslims entered the U.S. as legal permanent residents. That constitutes a large portion of the overall U.S. Muslim population (estimated at 2.75 million as of 2011). Editor's Note: Less than % of population.


Race and Relegion


Politics and Relegion












Religious Interest by City






Meditation is common across many religious US groups.




Timeline of Christianity

Jesus begins his ministry after his baptism by John and during the rule of Pilate, preaching: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 4:12–17). While the historicity of the gospel accounts is questioned to some extent by some critical scholars and non-Christians, the traditional view states the following
chronology for his ministry: TemptationSermon on the MountAppointment of the Twelve, Miracles, Temple Money ChangersLast SupperArrestTrial,  PassionCrucifixion on Nisan 14th (John 19:14,Mark 14:2Gospel of Peter) or Nisan 15th (Synoptic Gospels), entombment by Joseph of Arimathea and  NicodemusResurrection by God and Resurrection appearances of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and other women (Mark 16:9John 20:10–18),  Simon Peter (Luke 24:34), and others, (1Cor.15:3–9), Great CommissionAscensionSecond Coming Prophecy to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy  such as the Resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment, and establishment of the Kingdom of God and the Messianic Age.

This article is about the timeline of Christianity beginning with Jesus.
For the timeline of the Bible, see 
Biblical chronology.
For the history of Christianity, see 
History of Christianity.
For the timeline of the
Roman Catholic Church.

The year one is the first year in the Christian calendar (there is no year zero),
    which is the calendar presently used almost everywhere in the world.
    Traditionally, this was held to be the year 
Jesus was born; however,
    most modern scholars argue for an earlier or later date, the most agreed

6 BC and 4 BC. Herod Archelaus deposed by AugustusSamariaJudea and Idumea annexed as Iudaea Province under direct Roman administration, capitalvat  Census of Quirinius, opposed by Zealots(JA18Luke 2:1–3Acts 5:37)

7-26 Brief period of peace, relatively free of revolt and bloodshed in Iudaea & Galilee

 9 Pharisee leader Hillel the Elder dies, temporary rise of Shammai

 19 Jews, Jewish proselytesastrologers, expelled from Rome[3]

 26-36 Pontius PilatePrefect (governor) of Iudaea, recalled to Rome by Syrian Legate Vitellius on complaints of excess violence (JA18.4.2)

Main article: Chronology of Jesus

 28 or 29 John the Baptist begins his ministry in the "15th year of Tiberius" (Luke 3:1–2), saying: "Repent, for the kingdom of heavenis near" (Matthew 3:1–2),
a relative of Jesus (Luke 1:36), a Nazirite (Luke 1:15), baptized Jesus (Mark 1:4–11), later arrested and beheaded by Herod Antipas (Luke 3:19–20),
it's possible that, according to Josephus' chronology, John was not killed until 36 (JA18.5.2)

Relegion and Business Enterprise

Greeks fought for bounty and glory, eventually bounty became honor
Honor continued after death, death meant a dark place

Christians added an afterlife
God first existed in the garden of Eden
With added, broader knowledge, God became broader, the university
Finally god expanded to be compatible with our understanding

Political correctness foster political acceptance
so oligarchs try to control  a political correctness.

Pride is bad because it makes humility difficulty
so priest made pride a sin and what might caused pride
like success, might lead to pride

As the merchandising expanded in the 12th century,
managing people required business knowledge.
Clergy and nobles had little interest so
and over centuries business became all-powerful








     Shortly after the death of Jesus (Nisan 14 or 15), the Jerusalem church is founded
 as the first Christian church with about 120 Jews and Jewish Proselytes (Acts 1:15),

 Paul's "Road to Damascus" conversion to "Apostle to the Gentiles" is first recorded in 9:13-16, cf. Gal 1:11-24. Peter baptizes the

 Roman Centurion Cornelius, who is traditionally considered the first Gentile convert to Christianity (1
Antioch church is founded, it was there that the term Christian was first used

 37-41 Crisis under Caligula, proposed as the first open break between Rome and the Jews

 47 The Church of the East is created by Saint Thomas

 49 "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [Claudius]
       expelled them from Rome." (referenced in Acts 18:2)

 50 Passover riot in Jerusalem, 20-30,000 killed (JA20.5.3,JW2.12.1)

 52  November 21 St. Thomas the Apostle lands in India. Establishes churches
      at KodungalloorPalayoorParaurKottakkavKokkamangalamNilakkalNiranam and 

 55? "Egyptian prophet" (allusion to Moses) and 30,000 unarmed Jews doing The Exodus reenactment
by Procurator Antonius Felix (JW2.13.5, JA20.8.6, Acts 21:38)

 58? Paul arrested, accused of being a revolutionary, "ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes",
        teaching resurrection of the dead, imprisoned in Caesarea (Acts 23-26)

 60? Paul in Rome: greeted by many "brothers", three days later calls together the Jewish leaders,
        who hadn't received any word from Judea about him but were curious about "this sect", which
        everywhere is spoken against; he tries to convince them from the "law and prophets", with partial success –
        said the Gentiles would listen, and spends two years proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching "the
        Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 28:15-31); Epistle to Philemon written?

 62 James the Just stoned to death for law transgression by High Priest Ananus ben Artanus,
      popular opinion against act results in Ananus being deposed by new procurator Lucceius Albinus 

 64-68 after July 18 Great Fire of RomeNero blames and persecutes the Christians (or Chrestians,
          Peter crucified upside-down? (Jn 21:18,1 Pet 5:13,Tertullian's Prescription Against Heretics,
          "...a vast multitude, were convicted, not so much of the crime of incendiarism as of hatred
          of the human race. And in their deaths they were made the subjects of sport; for they were
          wrapped in the hides of wild beasts and torn to pieces by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set
          on fire, and when day declined, were burned to serve for nocturnal lights." (Annals (Tacitus) XV.44)

 66-73 Great Jewish Revolt: destruction of Herod's Temple and end of Judaism according to
           SupersessionismQumran community (site of Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947)destroyed

  70(+/-10)? Gospel of Mark, written in Rome, by Peter's interpreter (1 Peter 5:13), original ending
                  apparently lost, endings added c. 400, see 
Mark 16

  72, July 3 Martyrdom of St. Thomas the Apostle at Chinnamala, Mylapore, Chennai (Tamil Nadu)

  80(+/-20)? Gospel of Matthew, based on Mark and Q, most popular in Early Christianity

  80(+/-20)? Gospel of Luke, based on Mark and Q, also Acts of the Apostles by same author

  95(+/-30)? Gospel of John and Epistles of John

  95(+/-10)? Book of Revelation written, by John (son of Zebedee) and/or a disciple of his

  96 Nerva modifies the Fiscus Judaicus, from then on, practising Jews pay the tax, Christians do not

 Ante-Nicene Period[edit]

First Seven Ecumenical Councils[edit]

Constantine called the First Council of Nicaea in 325 to unify Christology, also called the first great Christian council by Jerome, the first ecumenical, decreed the Original Nicene Creed, but rejected by Nontrinitarians such as AriusTheonasSecundus of PtolemaisEusebius of Nicomedia, and Theognis of Nicaea who were excommunicated, also addressed Easter controversy and passed 20 Canon laws such as Canon VII which granted special recognition to Jerusalem.

Middle Ages[edit]



17th century[edit]

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]


  • World Almanac and Book of Facts
  • Academic American Encyclopedia (on Compuserve)
  • Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
  • English Versions of the Bible by John Berchmans Dockery O.F.M.
  • Catholic Encyclopedia: Biblical Chronology

See also[edit]

enical, declared Jesus is a Hypostatic Union: both human and divine in one (Chalcedonian Creed), rejected by Oriental Orthodoxy


Age structure and median age of U.S. religious groups

1. Alabama 77%
1. Mississippi 77%
3. Tennessee 73%
4. Louisiana 71%
5. Arkansas 70%
5. South Carolina 70%
7. West Virginia 69%
8. Oklahoma 66%
8. Georgia 66%
10. North Carolina 65%
11. Texas 64%
11. Utah 64%
13. Kentucky 63%
14. Virginia 61%
15. Missouri 60%
16. South Dakota 59%
17. Ohio 58%
18. New Mexico 57%
19. Iowa 55%
19. Kansas 55%
19. New Jersey 55%
22. Indiana 54%
22. Wyoming 54%
22. Florida 54%
22. Maryland 54%
22. Nebraska 54%
27. Michigan 53%
27. Pennsylvania 53%
27. Arizona 53%
27. District of Columbia 53%
27. North Dakota 53%
32. Delaware 52%
33. Illinois 51%
33. Idaho 51%
35. California 49%
35. Nevada 49%
35. Minnesota 49%
35. Rhode Island 49%
39. Montana 48%
39. Oregon 48%
41. Hawaii 47%
41. Colorado 47%
43. New York 46%
44. Washington 45%
44. Alaska 45%
44. Wisconsin 45%
47. Connecticut 43%
48. Maine 34%
48. Vermont 34%
50. New Hampshire 33%
50. Massachusetts 33%



No photo description available.