Religious values established good mores of the earliest Americans, which Destructive pronounces as one of the most fundamental tools toward establishing an efficient democratic system of government. Destructive proceeds to emphasize that the separation of the church and state in the United States is of importance. The failed French Revolution was in part due to their failure to separate the church and state in France according to Destructive. Lastly, Destructive observes the non-institutional factors which help to maintain freedom in the United States; the freedom of religion is of most importance.
Religion teaches people how to use their freedom justly, while it is necessary that religion provide some moral boundaries within the state. Destructive accounts religion as an effective tool to combat both individualism and materialism; both of which tend to favor a Despotic government. First, Destructive emphasizes the importance of the “point of departure” for understanding a nation. To Destructive, it is important to study the origin of a nation to better understand the social conditions and laws. He emphasizes that America is the only great nation in which the origin can be studied, while analyzing the nature of the modern democracy.
America has the furthest while maintaining a democratic social state of freedom with a high degree of equality. Destructive fears that the inevitable growth of equal conditions can be both a help and a hindrance to freedom. One cannot have complete equality without complete freedom; therefore equality is a necessary means to progressing towards freedom. However, Destructive observes that the overwhelming passion for equality endangers an individual’s freedom. According to Destructive, equality and freedom have been able to coexist in America due to their practice of local self-governments.
Local authorities have flourished in America due to the citizens religious values, which were entrenched in their good mores. The Puritans were the point of departure in the United States. Puritanism was not only a religious doctrine, but also contained absolute democratic theories. The Puritans established local governments, in which demonstrated ideal democratic processes. These local governments in New England also established strict moral laws. The citizens collectively agreed on those laws, therefore harsh punishment did not carry a negative connotation. Their religious beliefs ultimately established good mores of the citizens.
Those mores allowed them to exercise their freedom justly. The early immigrants to the northern colonies monstrance how both equality and freedom could coexist under a democratic system. Destructive also mentions the importance of a separate church and state in America; identifying the tensions between church and state as the escape goat for the failed French Revolution in France. When the two are separate good mores can be established through freedoms to exercise their liberty in local governments. In order for equality and freedom to coexist, citizens must freely exercise their religious beliefs.
Destructive describes the Puritans as the “germ” in which all Democracies should follow. The point of departure in the United States was so important because it was able to maintain the civil liberty and freedom while expanding a condition of equality. The Puritans mores are the most important factor to consider when elaborating the point of departure of the United States. Their deep rooted religious beliefs entrenched in their mores allowed those citizens to justly act upon their freedom while never neglecting the liberty of another individual. Since the Puritans had these instilled mores they were able to collectively agree upon the law.
They proceeded to to successfully act upon their bibber and freedom through their system of townships and local government. While sharing common beliefs they joined together in the community, allowing them to effectively self-govern through local governments. Puritans exemplified how to successfully function in a democratic system of government, which to this point in history had not been achieved. All proceeding Democracies should follow the example set by the Puritans and their departure in the United States according to Destructive. Destructive fears that democracies tend to promote both individualism and materialism.
Discussing individualism Destructive emphasizes, “[that] individualism is of democratic origin, and threatens to grow as conditions get more equal. ” Individuals in a democracy tend to only worry about themselves, rather than the abundance of citizens in that society. Contrastingly, in an aristocracy individuals are given societal duties which bring them together and force them to depend on one another. Democracies tend to give way to despotism because citizens, whom are only interested in their own personal affairs, do not take initiative to fulfill their civic duties nor exercise their freedom.
Materialism results from those individual passions for equality. While democracies promote equality, individuals begin to believe that they should equally share the wealth as other individuals. The result of materialism is that people become emphatic in their personal strive for wealth that they neglect their right of political freedom. Destructive illustrates that individualism and materialism threaten civil liberty and freedom in a democracy. While appeasing their personal desires, civilians become lured into despotism tendencies.
Destructive believes that associations in the United States allow people to freely exercise their freedom by taking part in politics. He also observes that such associations in the United States have combated individualism and materialism. Of the most important associations is that of religion. According to Destructive religion exceeds the boundaries of other associations and reaps both political and societal benefits. Ultimately, religion teaches people how to use their freedom and act upon it justly. Beyond teaching people how to use freedom well, it is necessary to provide moral boundaries within the society.
Government alone cannot provide absolute standards of their citizens; therefore religion is necessary to provide some moral boundaries. Observing the utter importance of religion Destructive remarks, “Despotism may be able to do without fate, but freedom cannot… How could a society escape destruction if, when political ties are relaxed, moral ties are not tightened? And what can be done with a people master of itself if it is not subject to God? ” (Chapter 9). As exemplified by the puritans, individualism is combated when people join together in a community of common belief.
Religion also combats materialism in that it promotes the thought of immortal and eternal things, rather than only physical and material aspects of life. Religion teaches men that living a ‘good’ life is in their own self-interest; or in other words being good to others is in their own self-interest. The free practice of religion promotes the thought of immortal and eternal things such as the afterlife. Once can argue, it is in your own best interest to act justly and be good to others because you will reap the ultimate benefit in the afterlife.
To Destructive, religion gained much of its prosperity through the idea of an afterlife. Individualism can therefore harness in good attentions of the citizens in the society through free religious practices. Instead of only focusing on the material aspects of life, such as wealth and fortune, religion teaches people to be good to others as well. Self-interested individuals will focus their attentions of the well-being of the entire community as they ultimately want to be rewarded in the afterlife. Religious beliefs of individuals turn their thoughts to spiritual things, swaying away from the material nature on human beings.
Destructive praises religion for swaying the thoughts of Americans from material things to spiritual things. Citizens become so fascinated in their own eternal wants that they soon forget how to exercise their freedom in democracies. Destructive continues to press his concern that Americans will become too materialistic and will eventually be lured to despotism. Materialism is dangerous in all nations, particularly dangerous, because materialism tends to become an excessive need for material needs such as wealth. Destructive credits religion to teach individuals that human beings are not immortal and forces them to think of the afterlife.
This promotes individuals to be good to others within the society, ultimately to be rewarded in the afterlife. Destructive proceeds to recommend that religion should be safe guarded by government representatives. Those officials should not mandate religious practices, yet they should always support religion for the benefit of the entire nation. Destructive observes that the only way government leaders can support religion is through their own actions; leading by example abiding to religious values. Destructive addresses religion as one of the most important factors in the modern democracy.
In order for liberty, equality, and freedom to coexist people should abide to some religious values; exemplified by the Puritans. Religion teaches individuals to be good to others so that they may be rewarded in the afterlife. Destructive feared that the growing passion for equality in democracies would both neglect citizen’s civil liberties and ability to exercise their freedom. Religious practices may be credited for America’s ability to successfully implement liberty, equality, and freedom under a democratic system. Discotheque’s account on religion rings true.
If it were not for the ‘point of departure’ of the Puritans, who established self-government practices through local governments, America would not be what it is today. The Puritans were able o collectively agree on the law as they all shared similar religious beliefs. Their established good mores evolved throughout American history and has allowed citizens to practice their freedom through politics, while preserving their liberty and equality in the society. Discotheque’s claim that the transition from strictly material thoughts to that of immortal and eternal thoughts is credited to religion is also valid.
Religion taught people that they were not mortal; that they all would eventually die. Therefore, a life engulfed with pursuit of materialistic things, such as wealth, would not be rewarded in the afterlife. Through religious practices people began to collectively contribute to the society, which is of uttermost importance for democracies. Democracies are essentially run by the people and without such instilled religious beliefs/values people would tend to become very individualistic and materialistic.
Conclusively, democracies will fail without the presence of religion. Discotheque’s emphasis on religion and the modern democracy still rings true today. American citizens expect government leaders to make good moral judgments in handling public and foreign affairs. Looking back in history, every ingle president of the United States has addressed their religious faith while addressing public affairs. As Americans we elect governmental officials in faith that they will make the best decisions for the entire nation.
Therefore, we expect our governmental officials to display their good mores while addressing problems with in the nation. While promoting religion, rather than forcing it, Americans have embraced religion and are capable of exercising their freedom through politics. The French Revolution failed because religion was forced upon the citizens. America has effectively separated both the church and state, which as promoted free religious practices. This permits the coexistence of equality and freedom in American.
As a whole, our nation has prospered throughout the years while abiding to strict religious values. From the highest level of government authority, trickled down to nearly every American citizen, we act according to our religious values. It is our nature to want to do well to others and our modern democracy in America has flourished because of it. Christianity is the most popular religion in the United States, while more than 70% of Americans identify themselves as “Christian” in 2012. Christianity originated in the early 16th and 1 7th century during the first colonization of European settlers.
Protestant and Roman Catholicism reign as the largest individual denominations in America today, however both denominations can be categorized within the realm of Christianity. Christianity stems from the common belief that salvation comes through Jesus Christ. This runs parallel to Discotheque’s claim that religion teaches individuals that human beings are not immortal and forces them to think of the afterlife. In American today, Christianity promotes individuals to be good to others within the society in order o be rewarded in the afterlife.