“Do not go to America,” warned Rabbi Moses Weinberger in 1887, urging potential Jewish immigrants to stay home, in eastern Europe. In America, he said, nothing is as it ought to be. People violate the Sabbath, fl out Judaism’s dietary laws, and hardly ever go to synagogue. America is a godless place. Catholic leaders felt much the same way. “The atmosphere of America,” one declared, “is laden with a deadly miasma which has stifl ed the growth of the Church and wrought spiritual ruin.” Even the Puritans, the founding mothers and fathers of our nation, had had their doubts. But they did not give in to them, nor did those who followed in their footsteps.
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