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Religion, Art, and MoneyEpiscopalians and American Culture from the Civil War to the Great Depression$

Peter W. Williams

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469626970

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626970.001.0001

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The Irony of American Episcopal History

(p.215) Epilogue
Religion, Art, and Money

Peter W. Williams

University of North Carolina Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is a narrative and reflection on the aftermath of the “Episcopal project” after cataclysmic shifts in American society brought it largely to an end. The Great Depression put a severe crimp in building campaigns, while the New Deal—under the aegis of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, an Episcopalian—shifted to the government much of the responsibility for social change and relief. During the middle decades of the twentieth century, much of the cultural energy emanating from Episcopalians of the Progressive Era was eclipsed by their growing identification with the stereotypes of “WASPs,” “preppies,” and the “East Coast Establishment.” By the 1960s, the Episcopal Church was transformed by an era of conflict both within itself and within the larger society. The notion of a church that serves the nation as an informal religious establishment, however, vanished in the vortex of civil rights, women’s ordination, liturgical reform, and the challenges both of secularism and the Religious Right.

Keywords:   East Coast Establishment, University of the South, “Episcopal project”, Social Gospel, J.P. Morgan, William Rainsford

The Episcopal Church prospered during the decades between the Civil War and the Great Depression, with the number of communicants soaring from slightly over two hundred thousand in 1870 to more than a million and a quarter in 1930.1 The number of churches and missions also grew impressively, from 2,605 to 8,253. Most dioceses built cathedrals, and, following the centralizing impulses in the broader culture, diocesan bishops as well as the presiding bishop grew in authority. As the nation filled out between the coasts, so did the Episcopal Church grow into a national denomination, serving a constituency that was predominantly urban, well educated, and prosperous.

Parallel and related to the rising fortunes of the Episcopal Church was the rise of an elite that was also gaining a national character. A number of social institutions emerged during the era that helped standardize the culture of this group: private boarding schools, Ivy League colleges, urban and country clubs, the boards of cultural institutions. Many law firms, corporate boards, and government agencies, especially the State Department, also served as networking sites for this reasonably porous elite, in which newcomers might gain acceptance through the acquisition of wealth, social skills, and connections as well as intermarriage. One prerequisite that could never be legitimately acquired, though, was northwest European Protestant origin. It was to this emergent “East Coast Establishment” that the Episcopal Church served as a sort of chaplaincy.

The Episcopal Church was in fact an agent of social stratification. Many of its churches had become not simply houses of worship but social gathering places useful for networking. They often served also as cultural institutions bestowing grace and legitimacy on the new American cities. Even though African American Episcopalians mainly belonged to parishes of their own, these stood at the upper end of the hierarchy of black denominations.

On the other hand, the institution did contain within itself agents of change. Its polity, derived from that of England’s national church, in which “parish” had both religious and social dimensions, implied the church’s responsibility for the well-being of the entire community, not simply its active membership.

(p.216) Social settlements, of Anglican provenance, and the distinctively American institutional church were two responses to urban crisis closely aligned with the Episcopal “project” of social and cultural leadership, as was the movement toward the abolition of pew rentals. The Christian Socialism of F. D. Maurice and Charles Kingsley and the critique of industrialism central to the thought of John Ruskin and William Morris provided theoretical grounding for a campaign to ameliorate, if not abolish, the runaway capitalistic individualism that many Episcopal leaders saw as corrosive of what they envisioned as an organic society informed with Christian principles of harmony and community. Senior Warden J. P. Morgan and his untamable rector, William Rainsford, represented a sort of dyadic dynamic that drove St. George’s, an institution that embraced seemingly contradictory but often surprisingly harmonious impulses.

Even apparently elitist programs could be construed as promoting these social goals. In the minds of their leaders, private boarding schools existed not only to train a national cadre of business and political leaders, but also to imbue this emergent elite with Christian values, including social awareness and responsibility. Cultural projects such as art museums, musical programming, and historic preservation were often presented as gifts to the community, whose members were to be edified by exposure to the sublime and the instructive. The goal for all except a few outliers such as Bliss was a harmonious society in which Episcopalians would play a role of benevolent, if sometimes paternalistic, leadership. Although growth was welcome, indecorous Evangelistic campaigns such as those of Billy Sunday were usually not. Episcopalians for the most part tacitly accepted the rightness of a hierarchical denominational system, in which they stood at the apex in terms of social prestige. Serving as the nation’s unofficial “established” church was not incompatible with a measure of de facto exclusiveness.

The stock market crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression slowed down but did not halt the Episcopal campaign of church growth, institutional expansion, and cultural and social influence. Some expensive enterprises did have to be curtailed, such as cathedral building, plans for which came to naught in Philadelphia as well as in Olympia, Washington, where meager beginnings were subjected to the indignity of foreclosure. Work continued on St. John the Divine but eventually succumbed to the exigencies of war time, leaving it in seeming perpetuity with the moniker “St. John the Unfinished.” Church membership continued to increase at a healthy rate, (p.217) but the numbers of clergy diminished as parishes and dioceses became hard pressed to support them. The boarding schools were less affected by financial hard times than by the war, in which masters and other staff were conscripted and students had to assume many maintenance tasks.2

The Depression brought to the fore a man who embodied as much as had Henry Codman Potter the internal contradictions within the Episcopal community. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a graduate of Groton (’00) and Harvard (’04), and served as senior warden of his familial parish of St. James in Hyde Park, New York. Roosevelt was, in short, the embodiment of the “East Coast Establishment,” in which Episcopal identity played a central role. Roosevelt, however, rapidly incurred the dis plea sure of many of his fellow WASPs, who labeled him a “traitor to his class” as he abandoned the laissez-faire economics of his Republican predecessors and publicly denounced what he called “malefactors of great wealth.” Although many members of his government were old stock Americans, Roosevelt broke with this customary repository of talent to appoint significant numbers of Jews and Roman Catholics to cabinet positions and the federal judiciary. His opposition to Prohibition and his endorsement of the Twenty-first Amendment undoing that unfortunate social experiment further put him at odds with the majority of Evangelical Protestants, although most Episcopalians presumably breathed a sigh of relief when the repeal arrived. They continued for the most part to constitute “the Republican Party at prayer,” although such quintessentially “Establishment” leaders as Secretaries of State Dean Acheson and Cordell Hull served under Demo cratic presidents.3

In 1952, a crisis occurred at the Episcopal seminary at the University of the South in Sewanee. During the previous year, the bishops of the region had mandated that the church’s theological schools in the South be open to students of all races. (The Bishop Payne Divinity School in Virginia, which had been established in 1884 to educate African American clergy, was absorbed into its parent institution, the Virginia Theological Seminary, in 1949.) Sewanee’s trustees rejected their bishops’ mandate on allegedly practical grounds, arguing that the legal and social climate of opinion at that time did not permit racial integration, while also fearing that such action would alienate wealthy donors. All but one of the seminary’s ten faculty members threatened to resign, and soon did so. James Pike, then dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, publicly declined the offer of an honorary degree from Sewanee. The following year, the trustees reversed their decision, but (p.218) the hornet’s nest of race had been poked, and the Episcopal Church would become progressively more implicated in the ensuing civil rights struggles over the next decades.4

The election of John Fitzgerald Kennedy as president of the United States in 1960 illustrated another shift in the relationship between religious identity, social status, and political power in the American scene. Kennedy was the grandson of two prominent Boston Irish political leaders and the son of a multimillionaire Harvard graduate, who became Franklin Roosevelt’s ambassador to Great Britain. Educated at Choate (’35) and Harvard (’40), Kennedy rose to national political prominence as the epitome—with his wife Jacqueline—of social grace and sophistication.* Kennedy remained publicly faithful to his ancestral Catholicism, even though it became a major issue during the 1960 campaign. The election to the nation’s highest office of a Roman Catholic who embodied many of the distinctive characteristics of the Eastern Establishment was an indication that Protestant identity was no longer a necessity for national political success. Nor—as subsequent elections would dispute—was Establishment culture yet a liability.

The 1950s and 1960s were also a period in which another aspect of Establishment mores would be challenged. The “St. Grottlesex” complex of boarding schools had been founded mainly under Episcopal auspices, and their constituency from their beginnings had been the wealthy Protestant families of the Northeast. The Ivy League schools, though varied in religious origin, had by the 1920s begun to adopt, often covertly, policies that strictly limited the number of students of Jewish and Catholic origin. “Character,” a somewhat elusive quality cultivated by Groton and its peers in their students, now trumped academic achievement as the prime desideratum for Ivy admissions. By the 1950s, however, Harvard’s president James Bryant Conant and others began to advocate a policy based more on “merit,” as demonstrated by the SAT and other standardized tests. This policy shift resulted in the admission of considerably more Jewish students in particular. (Catholics, suspicious of institutions of Protestant origin and committed to their own alternative educational system, arrived in growing but proportionately lower numbers.) The notion of a “meritocracy” based on ability and achievement rather than descent and “breeding” thus further eroded the claims to social (p.219) hegemony that had been part of the “Eastern Establishment” mystique. This erosion continued as selective colleges and boarding schools began in the 1970s to actively recruit students coming from a diversity of social and ethnic backgrounds.5

The high-water mark of Episcopal Church growth was 1965, when overall membership exceeded 3.5 million.6 This date was not an accident. The civil rights movement, in which many Episcopal clergy had taken part, had been successful but divisive, alienating many southern members. The Vietnam War was in the offing, and the polarization of the nation that ensued further exacerbated tensions within the church. Most traumatic, however, was the controversy that took place within the denomination over responses to demands made by minority spokespersons in the struggle over “empowerment,” a term reflecting the goals of the civil rights movement after its legislative triumphs of mid-decade. Episcopalians were not alone: Other “mainline” denominations experienced the same conflict between social witness and fiscal prudence, exemplified in the confrontational appearance of activist James Forman at Manhattan’s Riverside Church in 1969. His “Black Manifesto,” demanding a half-billion dollars in reparations for the damage caused by slavery, put mainline churches in an awkward position. The Episcopal Church funded a number of local projects for community development and empowerment, some of which turned out to have been of doubtful propriety. Increased tensions between denominational leadership and grassroots parish constituencies often resulted.7

The Episcopal Church also suffered from contention over internal problems during the 1970s. The American version of the Book of Common Prayer, which provided the central liturgical texts for the common worship shared by Anglicans of all persuasions, had last been revised in 1928, and still retained many of the Calvinist-tinged formulations of its sixteenth-century antecedents. The 1979 edition, which provided both modified archaic texts and more modern renderings, drew the wrath of traditionalists attached to Archbishop Cranmer’s stately diction. Even more provocative was the ordination of women to the diaconate and priesthood, beginning on an authorized basis in 1976. Twelve years later, a woman—an African American woman—was elected bishop for the first time.

The fury of opposition raised by conservatives to these steps into modernity resulted in a number of defections, mainly to splinter groups that arose out of these controversies. These groups proved too fragmented to have a great deal of staying power. Tempers rose again in 2003, when the House (p.220) of Bishops elected Gene Robinson, who was living in a publicly declared homosexual relationship, as bishop coadjutor of New Hampshire; he became bishop in his own right the following year. (A bishop coadjutor is an assistant bishop who automatically succeeds the reigning bishop upon his or her retirement.) This too galvanized opponents. The most vocal of these was Pittsburgh’s Robert Duncan, who became one of several bishops to try to lead their dioceses out of the Episcopal Church and into an affiliation with more conservative branches of the Anglican Communion in the developing world. Attempts by these breakaway dioceses to retain their property have always been legally challenged, usually without success on the part of the dissidents.8 The Episcopal Church was both experiencing and reflecting what Daniel T. Rodgers has called America’s “age of fracture,” in which a shared sense of belonging to a large whole now gives way to a plethora of fragmented and continually shifting communities of identity.9

One result of these quarrels and schisms has been a significant loss of membership, coupled with substantial confusion, legal fees, and an atmosphere of contentiousness in many parts of the church. Membership, which had dipped below the two million mark by the second decade of the twenty-first century, was also affected by the same demographic patterns that were having an impact on other mainline denominations. The widespread use of artificial birth control correlates particularly with educational levels. Since Episcopalians have always ranked among the best-educated of American religious groups, it should not be surprising that their birth rate has been low. And, unlike more conservative denominations, they have generally failed to put a great emphasis on socializing their children into the faith, with a corresponding high attrition rate among the younger set. These losses have been partially offset by an influx of members, primarily older adults, from other traditions.10

Another marker of the fortunes of the “Episcopal project” in retaining social power has been illustrated in the political realm. Episcopalians have generally been represented on the U.S. Supreme Court in disproportion to their numbers; however, as of 2010, that august body was composed entirely of justices of Jewish or Roman Catholic background (although all had attended either Harvard’s or Yale’s law schools).* The role of Episcopal affiliation (p.221) in presidential politics is also illuminating. For earlier presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt and Gerald Ford it was not an issue, although Ford was forced by the press to address the question of whether he had been “born again.” George H. W. Bush, a “cradle” Episcopalian who had briefly attended a Presbyterian church in his adopted state of Texas, remained in his birthright faith while publicly identifying himself with Baptist evangelist Billy Graham. His son and eventual successor, George W. Bush, shared his father’s academic pedigree of Andover and Yale, but distanced himself from his family heritage in his adoption of a more Texan public persona. This reinvention included a “born again” religiosity; he joined his wife’s Methodist church, as his brother Jeb followed his own spouse into Roman Catholicism.

Among other presidential candidates, Barry Goldwater, who unsuccessfully challenged Lyndon Johnson in 1964, was an Episcopalian of Jewish background. His family history illustrates the role of Episcopal Church membership in the assimilation of American Jews into upper-class American life noted in passing in earlier chapters. John McCain, an Arizona senator and the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, had been a longtime Episcopalian, but somewhat ambiguously identified himself during the campaign as a Baptist. It seems clear that any advantage that the Episcopal “brand” may have possessed politically has substantially eroded, especially among Republicans seeking Evangelical votes. McCain, who had attended the Episcopal High School in Virginia, and the younger Bushes also present themselves as examples of their imperfect socialization into the denomination of their youth.11

Similar patterns can be found in other areas of American public life. Ivy League universities have in recent years all had high administrators of Jewish as well as other once inadmissible ethnic backgrounds. The succession of the Yale presidency from men with names such as A. Whitney Griswold and Kingman Brewster to Giamatti, Levin, and Salevy speaks for itself.12 Although by no means all of the Ivy leaders of earlier generations were Episcopalians, they were almost universally male and Protestant, and usually of more prestigious denominations such as Congregational, Presbyterian, and Unitarian. By the 1970s, religious identification of any sort was becoming (p.222) increasingly irrelevant to leadership in educational and other cultural institutions lacking a denominational affiliation—an illustration of what sociologist Phillip Hammond has called “the third disestablishment.”13

Other examples abound. In years past, the Episcopal Church enjoyed considerable prestige in the military (especially the Navy), and membership was a mark of status as “an officer and a gentleman.” In more recent years, Roman Catholics and Evangelicals have proliferated in the officer corps, and protests have been made over what has been perceived as coercive evangelism, especially at the less tradition-bound Air Force Academy.14 On another front, marriage notices in the New York Times, a sign of social recognition, have grown noticeably more inclusive over the decades. In 1947, 58 percent of such notices involved Episcopalians. No Jews were included.15 In recent years, notices of Jewish unions outnumber those of Episcopalians, as do secular ceremonies and those presided over by ministers of the “Universal Life Church,” which provides free, instant, online ordination for such purposes. Roman Catholics are amply represented, as are Hindus and Muslims in growing numbers. (Evangelicals are much less visible.)

Was the Episcopal project of social and cultural leadership successful? In some ways it has been. Most American cities of a certain size are still graced by Gothic or Romanesque churches and cathedrals that give texture to the urban scene and often reveal dazzling interiors. Others are lost, endangered, or put to new uses, especially in smaller cities where the old local elites have dwindled and their descendants either dispersed or disengaged. The Gothic revival style largely died with Ralph Adams Cram, displaced by modernist approaches and a new version of the colonial revival. The complex of “St. Grottlesex” boarding schools flourishes, often still under clerical leadership, although their student bodies and faculties are manifestly diverse, as is their architecture.16 Most cultural institutions founded through the philanthropy of wealthy lay Episcopalians prosper. The religious impulses that underlay such foundations remain ineluctably diffused in the interplay among benevolence, narcissism, aesthetics, sacrality, and economics that such institutions represent.

In the realm of social reform, the Episcopal project was successful in the way that David Hollinger has argued that the mainline—or, as Hollinger calls them, “ecumenical”—Protestant denominations have been successful: as “halfway houses to secularism.” Although some Anglo-Catholics argued for the superiority, or even necessity, of their way as a path to salvation, ecumenically minded Broad Churchmen saw the possibilities of grace not only (p.223) in other Christian denominations but in the workings of the larger social and cultural realms. The settlement houses and institutional churches were devices to help realize Maurice’s Kingdom of Christ through the redemption of the material realm when succor for the urban poor was hard to come by. As Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies began to take over these functions, Episcopalians such as his old “rector” Endicott Peabody cheered to see the government become involved in the work of this-worldly redemption. These “secular alliances” blurred the boundaries between the eleemosynary functions of church and state and lessened the urgency of church membership.17

As the institutional churches outlived their day and were razed or converted to other uses, Episcopalians have continued local outreach projects such as soup kitchens and counseling services, as the denomination has reached out through agencies such as Episcopal Relief and Development. As governmental aid to the poor has attenuated under conservative regimes, these church-sponsored endeavors have became even more central to the Episcopalian self-understanding of its mission. Although the denomination includes members across the social spectrum, Episcopalians overall continue to be among the wealthiest and best-educated American religious communities; they and the Presbyterians have been joined in recent years by Jews and Unitarian-Universalists, all united in their progressive social outlook.18 Although many Episcopalians continue to vote Republican—laity in greater numbers than clergy—they can no longer be plausibly dubbed “the Republican Party at prayer.” Rather, they have more aptly been characterized as the National Public Radio audience assembled for worship. Socially liberal, culturally conservative, a progressively oriented taste culture, twenty-first-century Episcopalians have often been nurtured in other traditions and found the denomination a comfortable home that does not insist on strenuous doctrinal commitments or draw sharp lines between its own territory and that of the broader Christian and secular communities with which it shares many values and concerns. The loss of conservative-minded members, clergy, parishes, and even entire dioceses, beginning in the 1970s, has led to a further homogenization of denominational culture and narrowed the ideological spectrum represented in its discourses.

While sociological studies document the maintenance among Episcopalians of many of the markers of elite social status, they do not address as clearly issues of social power and influence. When, for example, did Episcopal bishops begin to lose their role as quiet behind-the-scenes movers in the (p.224) urban social and political scene?19 When did Episcopal parishes begin to shed their cachet as markers of elite status and their role as convenient social and professional networking sites? These observations must be couched with a caution that these phenomena have become muted, but have by no means disappeared—many wealthy parishes in urban and suburban elite enclaves still flourish and carry on as usual.

The answer is most likely that this process began during the 1960s and accelerated during the following decade of social, political, and cultural turmoil, as a befuddled Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush watched their denomination’s quiet influence yield to that of the strident Religious Right, and Catholics, Mormons, and Evangelicals claimed leadership roles, especially within the Republican Party. Through both internal renewal and visible participation in national dramas of social change, the Episcopal Church had thrown off its aspirations to serve as an informal national “established” church in favor of a more prophetic role as advocate for social justice. The “yang” of J. P. Morgan, which for some decades had been in the ascendant, had now become eclipsed by the “yin” of William Rainsford.

The history of the Episcopal Church during the twentieth century can perhaps best be characterized as ironic. This irony is somewhat different, though, from that invoked by Reinhold Niebuhr in his 1952 classic, The Irony of American History. Niebuhr recalled the definition of irony manifest in Greek tragedy, in which a hero is brought short through hubris, a hidden flaw that undercuts his powers and produces an outcome opposite to that to which he had aspired. Although many have lamented the decline of the Episcopal Church in numbers and prestige since its heyday, these changes are hardly the stuff of Greek tragedy. Irony, though, is built into the very fabric of Anglicanism, a religious tradition improbably rooted in the political and personal machinations of the infamous Henry VIII.

The precipitous loss of membership by the Episcopal Church and other mainline denominations beginning in the 1960s has been attributed in part to a growing gap between the Episcopal and clerical leadership and the views of congregants, who began to respond to their church’s social involvements and internal changes by withholding support and, in some cases, leaving entirely. The church is, however, governed by a polity in which laypeople have an active voice at all levels. It could have avoided the alienation of a minority of its laity only at the cost of maintaining the apolitical, implicitly conservative social role it had played through the century’s middle decades. This in turn might have alienated many others, as the social upheavals of the 1960s (p.225) and 1970s made neutrality an untenable position. As the social establishment it had represented began to dissipate, its continued role as the church of that establishment rapidly lost relevance. The ironic—but by no means tragic—outcome is that the prophetic strain that had been nurtured in the years of the Social Gospel has now reemerged and carried the day, as gay men and women can be married at its altars and even preside over its dioceses. Such is the irony of American Episcopal history.


(1.) “Communicants” are members who have received Communion at least once during a given year. Figures for “baptized members” begin only in 1930, and in that year these members numbered slightly under two million—considerably more than communicants. “Comparative Statistics of the Episcopal Church,” The Episcopal Church Annual 2008 (Wilton, Conn.: Morehouse-Barlow, 2009), 20–21.

(2.) David L. Homes, A Brief History of the Episcopal Church (Valley Forge, Pa.: Trinity Press International, 1993), 150–51. Boarding school histories show little recognition of the Great Depression but give considerable coverage to the years of World War II, during which many of their students and alumni perished. See Holmes, chap. 3, for accounts of cathedral building during this time.

(3.) Kit and Frederica Konolige, The Power of Their Glory: America’s Ruling Class: The Episcopalians (New York: Wyden, 1978), 265, 268. Acheson was the son of the bishop of Connecticut; Hull is buried at the National Cathedral.

(4.) Gardiner H. Shattuck Jr., Episcopalians and Race: Civil War to Civil Rights (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2000), 44.

(*) Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis had attended Miss Porter’s and Vassar, among other schools. Her stepfather, Hugh D. Auchincloss, was a cousin of novelist Louis Auchincloss, the chronicler of WASP life in novels such as The Rector of Justin (1954).

(5.) See Jerome Karabel, The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Prince ton (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005), 2.

(6.) “Comparative Statistics,” 21. The number of communicants for that year was approximately 2.3 million.

(8.) At this writing (2015), the most recent effort, in South Carolina, is still enmeshed in the courts.

(9.) Daniel T. Rodgers, Age of Fracture (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011).

(10.) David A. Hollinger, After Cloven Tongues of Fire: Protestant Liberalism in Modern American History (Prince ton, N.J.: Prince ton University Press, 2013), 38.

(*) Episcopalians on the high court begin with John Jay and John Marshall and in recent years have included Thurgood Marshall, Sandra Day O’Connor, David Souter, and Byron White. Chloe Breyer, the daughter of Stephen Breyer, is an Episcopal priest and the author of The Close (2000), an account of her training at General Theological Seminary. Clarence Thomas, who had been raised as a Baptist, belonged to the Episcopal Church for several years before becoming Roman Catholic. As of 2015, 35 of 108 justices—nearly one-third—have been Episcopalians. See http://www.adherents.com/adh_sc.html. (p.226)

(11.) On Ford and the Bushes, see David L. Holmes, The Faiths of the Postwar Presidents: From Truman to Obama (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012); and Randall L. Balmer, God in the White House: A History (New York: HarperCollins, 2008). On McCain, see http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/t/timberg-mccain.html and http://www.christianpost.com/news/mccain-i-m-baptist-not-episcopalian-29334/.

(12.) One conspiracy-minded website argues, with some plausibility, that twenty of the twenty-four “senior administrators” (presidents, provosts, board chairs) of the eight Ivy League schools at the time were either Jewish or had Jewish spouses.

(p.261) (13.) Phillip E. Hammond, Religion and Personal Autonomy: The Third Disestablishment in America (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1992). According to Hammond, the first disestablishment resulted from the First Amendment’s prohibition of the recognition of any particular religious group by the federal government. The second was the growing popular legitimacy of Catholicism and Judaism and the loss of the informal “establishment” status of Protestantism during the mid-twentieth century.

(14.) Laurie Goldstein, “Air Force Chaplain Tells of Academy Proselytizing,” New York Times, June 12, 2005.

(15.) James D. Davidson and Ralph E. Pyle, Ranking Faiths: Religious Stratification in America (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011), 111.

(16.) For an account of the current state of one such school, see Shamus Rahman Kahn, Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School (Prince ton, N.J.: Prince ton University Press, 2011).

(19.) For an example, see David Hein, Noble Powell and the Episcopal Establishment in the Twentieth Century (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001). A fictional counterpart appears in Edwin O’Connell’s novel of Boston politics, The Last Hurrah (Boston: Little, Brown, 1956). (p.262)