Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Yeah, but how many of the early post-Colonial European-Americans would identify as not belonging to any religious denomination/institution, not even culturally?
Besides, I'm romanticizing the 1950s, not the 1790s.
The revisionists of the 1950s are in part who glorified and romanticized the Colonial and early post-Colonial era. My premise is that through out American history, a sizable portion of Americans have been lax in their religious concerns. We have an ideal
of religious affiliation, but has largely remained distant in actual practice amongst Americans. I would say that the difference between then and today is that previously American culture pushed folks to at least superficially
affirm some kind of religion, whereas today folks feel freer to express their natural skepticism, even cynicism. I'm not sure any more or less Americans are skeptical to religion or religious institutions. If relatively the same proportions of Americans regularly attend religious services as did 200 years ago, has anything really changed then? Perhaps what we express openly, but internally are we really all that different?