“It seems undeniable that, collectively, the American churches have encouraged puritanism, philistinism, manicheanism, and racism. They have encouraged the cult of individual material success growing out of raw capitalism and the imperialism of a good conscience (the two fundamental ingredients of Americanism in the eyes of its internal and external adversaries). . . . At the same time, the inculcation of individualism, nonconformity, and Protestant freedom have combined to preserve the country in its whole history from the worst horrors of totalitarianism. Religion has nourished the dynamism, egalitarianism, tolerance, generosity, humanity, and idealism of this great people – the only one in history which has mixed all the major ethnic groups and built a great world power without ever falling under the heel of a tyrant or a military oligarchy. Religion has helped this immense continent, filled with all sorts of people, to acquire a soul, to forge itself into a nation, and to anchor itself in its diverse past without ceasing to look toward the future.” — Claude-Jean Bertrand

Chapman, John Gadsby. Baptism of Pocahontas. United States, Washington, D.C. Capitol rotunda, 1840. Oil on canvas.
Chapman, John Gadsby. Baptism of Pocahontas.