Our Dear-Bought Liberty: Catholics and Religious Toleration in Early America (Historically Speaking)
Our Dear-Bought Liberty is a story that places the Calverts and St Mary's County at the heart of American religious Liberty. Written by Michael Breidenbach of Ave Maria University and published this May, this is the story of early American Catholic leaders, and in particular Cecil Calvert as well as members of the prominent Carroll family.
Catholics, who were presumed dangerous, had to prove their loyalty to the King while maintaining fidelity to their Church. Yet, through the Toleration Act of 1649, Calvert established religious tolerance in the Colony while maintaining allegiance to the Crown. In so-doing, Calvert and others laid the cornerstone for religious liberty in America. Owing to Calvert and his successors, Catholics had more influence on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution than most people realize.
In this lecture, Michael Breidenbach shows how Maryland's Catholic leaders emphasized their church’s own traditions — rather than Enlightenment liberalism — to secure the religious liberty that enabled their incorporation in American life. His research encourages us to revise not only our sense of who the American founders were, but also our understanding of the sources of secularism.
This Historically Speaking program is not to be missed!