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History Lessons: Another Way to Think About Secular Humanism When people argue about secular humanism and religion in American history they usually

History Lessons: Another Way to Think About Secular Humanism

When people argue about secular humanism and religion in American history they usually end up throwing quotations at each other. Jefferson called for a "wall of separation" between church and state, but Washington said he never made a decision without consulting his God, and so forth. I'll get to what George was saying some other time, but for now I thought I'd approach the topic from a different angle.

Take a look at these numbers. In the year 1700, in the thirteen colonies, there was one church for every 598 colonists. Forty years later there was one church for every 642 colonists. And by 1780, in the middle of the War for Independence, there was one church for every 807 Americans. To put the matter simply, over the course of the eighteenth century the number of churches was declining in proportion to the number of Americans. 1780 was the lowpoint.
Here are some more numbers.  In 1730 just under half (48%) of all the titles published in the colonies were religious.  Religious titles dropped to 38 percent in 1760.  The slide continued until it bottomed out in 1775, where a mere 16 % of all the titles published in the colonies were religious.
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Here are some more numbers. In 1730 just under half (48%) of all the titles published in the colonies were religious. Religious titles dropped to 38 percent in 1760. The slide continued until it bottomed out in 1775, where a mere 16 % of all the titles published in the colonies were religious.
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