America’s history of religious tolerance

The Smithsonian has an article discussing religious tolerance in the U.S. and its continental territories. It was all sweetness and light, barring a few massacres: America’s True History of Religious Tolerance. (Hat tip to PZ Myers at Pharyngula.)
Commenter Lynna follows up with an echo of a good additional comment from one Richard Packham about the secular reasons for violence by and against Mormons. Even that doesn’t go into the wholesale luring and kidnapping of women to solve the wife shortage cause by polygyny. Here’s part of it:

The tarring and feathering of Mormon founder Smith was done not by an anti-Mormon mob, but by his own followers, led by the brothers of a young woman to whom Smith had made improper sexual advances. Governor Boggs’ order to drive the Mormons from his state was the direct result of an inflammatory sermon by Mormon leader Sidney Rigdon in which Rigdon declared a “war of extermination” against non-Mormon Missourians, who were rightly fearful of the Mormon assertion that God had given them Missouri as a “land of inheritance.” The massacre at Haun’s Mill must be seen in comparison with the Mormon burning and looting of Gallatin, Missouri, during the “Mormon War,” in which historians such as Stephen LeSueur (The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, Univ. of Missouri, 1990) place blame on intolerance (political, not religious) on both sides. And Smith’s murder by a mob in 1844 at Carthage jail was a result of Smith’s own intolerance for dissent, since he had been arrested and imprisoned for destroying a dissident newspaper that had exposed his abuses of power and his illegal and secret practice of polygamy.


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