Pluralism, Secularism and Protestantism in the US Comparison Essay

A look at the phenomena of secularism and pluralism and the challenges they pose to Protestantism in the US.
# 150762 | 1,201 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2009 | TR

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This essay compares and contrasts secularism and pluralism in addition to judging them in their ability to challenge the dominion of Protestant Christianity in the US. Throughout the 20th century, pluralist and secularist forces have continuously defied the Protestant majority and challenged the dominance of Protestanism in the US; and it is possible to say that secularism has had a greater impact in the early 20th century whereas pluralist ideas have only recently began to gain momentum. It can be said that even though secularism and pluralism have had an effect on America's current religious composition, Protestantism remains the main acting force in religious affairs.

From the Paper:

"Although having its roots in the rapid increase in the availability of information and the application of scientific reasoning to matters such as governance and politics, also known as the Scientific Revolution or the Industrial Revolution, secularism survived through the civic struggles and religious strife of the 19th century and appeared in the 20th century as a popular social movement that gained considerable momentum. Indeed, one of the most significant events in the early 21st century concerning secularism in America was the Scopes Trial of 1925. Essentially a result of increasing disagreement between supporters of Protestanism; more specifically Special Creation, and those of Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution, the Scopes Trial gathered signifiant public attention in the US and other countries with similar secular movements. It is possible to say that the culmination of events that led to the Scopes Trial of 1925 started in the 19th century with the advent of Evolutionary arguments and secular ideologies, however the impact of the First World War, through associated legislation such as the Espionage Act of 1918, which "banned "disloyal" statements." (Fermaglich, 04/15/09) Additionally, antievolution codes supported by Christian organizations finally resulted in the Butler Act of 1923, which made the teaching of evolution in Tennessee a punishable offense."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Christoff, Nicholas D. "The Push to 'Otherize' Obama." Opinion. The New York Times, 20 Sept. 2008. Web. 04 Apr. 2009. <>.
  • Eck, Diana L. A New Religious America: How a "Christian Country" Has Now Become the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation. [San Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. 40-45. Print.
  • Ledewitz, Bruce. "Obama and the Unbelievers: The Future of Secularism | (A)theologies Religion Dispatches." ReligionDispatches. The New York Times, 03 Apr. 2012. Web. 04 Apr. 2009. <>.
  • Fermaglich, Kristen, Ph.D. "First Wave Feminism." 101 N. Kedzie, MSU. 9 Mar. 2009.
  • Inherit the Wind. Prod. Stanley Kramer, Rudolph Sternad, Joe King, Bud Westmore, and Larry Germain. Dir. Stanley Kramer. By Nedrick Young, Harold Jacob Smith, Ernest Laszlo, Ernest Gold, Frederic Knudtson, Joseph Lapis, and Walter Elliott. Perf. Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Donna Anderson, Harry Morgan, Elliott Reid, Claude Akins, Paul Hartman, Noah Beery, Ray Teal, Norman Fell, and Florence Eldridge. A United Artists Release, 1960.

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Pluralism, Secularism and Protestantism in the US (2012, April 09) Retrieved March 03, 2024, from

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"Pluralism, Secularism and Protestantism in the US" 09 April 2012. Web. 03 March. 2024. <>