Engraving from the Political Register London: September, 1769
High-resolution image: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/f0304.jpg
The supposed British plot, to impose Anglican bishops in the colonies, aroused atavistic fears that Americans would be persecuted for their religious convictions and further poisoned relations between Britain and the colonies. In this cartoon an indignant New England mob pushes a bishop's boat back towards England, frightening the prelate into praying, "Lord, now lettest thou thy Servant depart in Peace." The mob flings a volume of Calvin's Works at the bishop, while brandishing copies of John Locke and Algernon Sydney on government. The crowd shouts slogans: "Liberty & Freedom of Conscience"; "No Lords Spiritual or Temporal in New England"; and "shall they be obliged to maintain bishops that cannot maintain themselves."
(Locke and Sidney were both (relatively) secular Enlightenment social-contract thinkers, while Calvin was one of the chief players in the Protestant Reformation. That Locke and Sidney can be grouped with Calvin is remarkable. The call "No Lords Spiritual or Temporal in New England" indicates that religious and political liberty went hand-in-hand for colonial Americans, both being subsumed under "Liberty & Freedom of Conscience".
So America was secular, eh? So democracy and religiosity are antithetical, huh? Thanks to the example of colonial America, it is clear that Judaism and democracy in Israel must surely be opposed. After all, anyone who could mix-and-match Calvin with Locke must surely be anti-religious!
Cf. the Maryland Toleration Act:
The Maryland Toleration Act, also known as the Act Concerning Religion, was a law mandating religious tolerance for trinitarian Christians. Passed on September 21, 1649 by the assembly of the Maryland colony, it was the first law requiring religious tolerance in the British North American colonies and created the first legal limitations on hate speech in the world. Historians argue that it helped inspire later legal protections for freedom of religion in the United States. ... As the first law on religious tolerance in the British North America, it influenced related laws in other colonies and portions of it were echoed in the writing of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which enshrined religious freedom in American law. ... The Act allowed freedom of worship for all trinitarian Christians in Maryland, but sentenced to death anyone who denied the divinity of Jesus.Yet another proof that America was always intended to be secular.