American Soup Summary

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As argued by Claudio Lomnitz in his article American Soup, we Americans are Anglo-Protestants, culturally speaking at least. The first thing that comes to many people's minds when they think of America is the national ethos of the U.S.: the American Dream. This dream is closely related Lomnitz point that one of the many features of an Anglo-Protestant is “the belief that humans have the ability and the duty to try and create a heaven on earth, a ‘city on a hill’” (Lomnitz, 2005, p.1). Whether you’re a descendant of an original settler of the New World or an immigrant fresh-off-the-boat, you’re closely related to the American Dream, and a true Anglo-Protestant.

Whether you agree with that point or not, it’s easy to see that we as Americans have a strong history of religion. Once upon a time in colonial Virginia, paying taxes meant funding parish churches and their ministers. However, this didn’t bother the Anglican people, when they walked outside every morning and saw that the sun was still shining and the birds were still chirping, they thanked the church and saw it as their tax dollars at work. Unfortunately, as religious as we were at this time we were not a religiously free community. Non-Anglicans were arrested for preaching without a license (God in America, 2010, pt. 2) and women like Anne Hutchinson were banished from their towns
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We are not perfect and have a long way to go in terms of accepting entire groups of people who differ from us in only an ascriptive way. At the same time, we’ve come a long way since the beginning of the New World. We have a government with a separation of church and state, we accept people of all (most?) religions and colors, we have much more that bonds us than just a conscious contract to create a minimal government, and most importantly, we have a national community we call our home, America (Bellah, 1985, p.
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