From historian Kenneth Davis. Quote:
From the earliest arrival of Europeans on America’s shores, religion has often been a cudgel, used to discriminate, suppress and even kill the foreign, the “heretic” and the “unbeliever”—including the “heathen” natives already here. Moreover, while it is true that the vast majority of early-generation Americans were Christian, the pitched battles between various Protestant sects and, more explosively, between Protestants and Catholics, present an unavoidable contradiction to the widely held notion that America is a “Christian nation."
Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan.
This is a theme I've long explored. For instance, in my recent post entitled, Would the Puritans Have Executed John Adams For His Religious Heresy?