Relegious Toleration Process Began During The Colonial Period
Source A Concise History of Christianity  
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To many North American Immigrants, religion was central to their entire belief system. Some sought religious freedom for their religion and an end to their persecution. In 1620, Plymouth's Pilgrims who had faced no religious persecution in the Netherlands left, as they feared their youth would be led astray. Massachusetts Bay Puritans banished dissenters to their own colonial Congregationalist denomination, banished other denominations and executed those who violated such banishment.. Catholic Maryland was a haven but soon had a Protestant majority—and a virtual civil war between the two. See Turning Points in American History: The Colonial Period

The Religious toleration process began with Puritan dissenter Roger Williams. He founded Rhode Island where he established separation of church and state and opposed forced worship. Dutch New Amsterdam allowed the first Jewish community. It  was passed by a Protestant legislature. Soon  Pennsylvania's most tolerant Quakers joined assisted the process. The English 1640's Civil Wars, which  establishment of a Puritan dictatorship, illustrated the problems of relegious and political conflict. Maryland’s famous 1649 Religious Toleration Act  protected Catholics from a Protestant ma

Why Do We Believe the Myth? Anachronistic tendency confuse colonial practice with the 1791 First Amendment to the Constitution which banned any state-established religion, established federal legal religious toleration. It did not represent  events that occurred 150 years of history and banned only Congress from establishing a state religion. State churches  continued into the 19th century. It took the 1868 Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 and 20th century Supreme Court decisions to complete the legal part of the process. Projection of events from 1791–1833 onto the 1600s is more anachronistic. Projecting our contemporary values onto the past  is more anachronistic. Because Roger Williams called  for tolerance and the separation of church and state to protect his true church from the corruption of the state is one isolated event. Turning Points in American History: 1973_Finally Brings Fast Track Civil Rights

Plenty of religious prejudice existed in all U.S. history. Deep anti-Catholicism prejudice reached a peak in 1850 with the anti-immigrant and Know-Nothing Party which focused religious and racial intolerance. Anti-Catholicism reemerged in the early 20th century with the Ku Klux Klan and played a role in the 1928 presidential election defeat of Catholic Al Smith. The 1920s also witnessed a major wave of anti-Semitism.

The Real Emergence of Religious Toleration During and after World War II many began to really question their attitude religious tolerance. Many Americans witnessed Hitler’s racist ideas and the hideous consequences of his literal implementation of religious and racial prejudices. Many Americans in uniform saw and interacted with other Americans of different religions and races for the first time.  The impact of this awakening was profound and nearly immediate. In just a few years the Major League Baseball was integrated, a film about anti-Semitism in American won the Oscar for Best Picture, Truman ordered the integration of the armed forces, he recognized of the state of Israel, and the Supreme Court ordered integration of the public schools.