By Alan Bean
Two articles grabbed my attention this morning. The first deals with fairy tales about the Christian origins of America; the second addresses civil war fairy tales (hint: it had nothing to do with slavery).
Every trained historian, regardless of personal ideology, knows that America was founded by Deists and high church Protestants who were desperate to save their fledgling nation from European-style religious wars. Hence the separation of church and state.
Similarly, you would be hard pressed to find a single person who has studied American history at the graduate level who would argue that Southern slavery was irrelevant to the civil war. Unfortunately, the sentimental attachment to Christian-America and the confederate Lost Cause is so passionate that elaborate mythologies arise unbidden to satisfy the demand.