Americanism and Religion
America is undoubtedly a superpower, given its immense resources and an enormous influence across the globe. It has a rich history based on its involvement in world issues. It always voices its concerns on global matters. It has always strived to attain world peace through promotion of programs aimed at fostering peace. Notable examples include the recent military expedition against Afghanistan and Iraq.
In the thirties, albeit before the outbreak of the World war, a staunch American was seen as one who played by the laws of the State. After the outbreak of the wars in which America involved itself, an American was one who was ready to sacrifice anything to assist their fellow men and women who were at the war front. Those who were determined to see America emerge victorious in the battle field were regarded as genuine Americans. Therefore, Americanism slightly changed after emergence of wars. Hence, the belief in the ideologies confirming allegiance to the values, culture, customs and support to the systems of governance in America. The total belief and support of any programs or decisions made by the United States of America was necessary in reflecting the ideology of Americanism.
After the World War II, there emerged the cold war. This was based on ideological differences. Since America was always striving to achieve world peace, it had to engage the states or nations whose activities were seen to be likely to breach peace and stability. By so doing, America encountered its enemies, albeit the nations that advocated for Communism being led by the Soviet Union. This led to the formation of NATO and its allies on one side with America, and the Soviet Union with its Communist allies on the other. This contributed to the worsening of relations as tensions soared since each side strived to build themselves by seeking support from states that were seen as neutral.
Americanism has always stood on five main principles as contained in its Constitution and other vital documents. These include civil duty, democracy, equality before the law, freedom of religion and freedom of speech. However, some of these provisions and guarantees were to change after the events of the world wars and the cold war. Democracy and freedom of religion are the notable ones. While the civil duty was well exercised by some Americans who gave unconditionally everything, worked extra time to sustain the war, some limitations could be encountered.
American Communists led to the bending of the principles mentioned above as it regards to their freedoms of speech, freedom of religion and democracy. This group of Americans, mostly from the Latin region, was feared to be a threat to the internal security of America. Thus, it contributed to compromising America’s full involvement in the wars because of the fear of a closer enemy. As the hostility between the US and the Soviet Union intensified, there were increasing fears that the Community Party members being viewed as enemy agents.
The discomfort of the USA towards this American Communists was based on the idea that the group comprised ardent followers of the Soviet. This group was seen as part of secret conspirators and fanatics that would do anything commanded by Stalin. Their group formed itself into American radicals who pushed for change of leadership. They were feared to be able to forge a rebellion against the state. They were regarded as spies who would be used to work with the enemies. Their members who were in influential positions would be used to undermine the state’s fight against enemies.
They were also accused of encouraging opposition elements against the USA’s participation in world issues, besides enhancing the Communists propaganda which included a network of news. Given the above fears and serious allegations touching on the national security of America, the country became cautious. This also led to the regulation of the religion in order to free it from Communist ideas that were seen as rebellious and a threat to the security of America. Therefore, the above events made the USA change its provisions on Americanism in order to check against security breaches.