There is a common meme that the US started as a Christian nation, and the last 70 years it has seen degradation from this. Yet, this is not true, in fact, the America of the 20th century was more “Christian” than that of the 19th and 18th centuries.
One evidence for this is that early generations of American founders and presidents had many Deists/Unitarians who did not accept the Bible or the divinity of Jesus (T. Jefferson, T. Paine, G. Washington, J. Madison, J. Monroe, J. Tyler, B. Franklin, A.Lincoln).
The last president that was not openly a traditional Christian was William Taft, in 1909, who stated that “I do not believe in the divinity of Christ” and was frequently called an atheist, just like Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln were. Since Taft we have had 17 presidents that openly claimed to be Christians and were members of Protestant/Catholic churches.
Ironically enough claims of “Christian persecution in America” have all developed during the reign of these 17 Christian presidents, not during the reign of Abraham Lincoln who was “suspected of agnosticism or atheism for most of his life” according to the eminent Civil war historian Allen C. Guelzo. (1)