Actually, the Puritans did a lot of their own harsh persecuting once they arrived over here. THAT kind of behavior was the main reason that men like Jefferson and Madison tried to give us a secular government.
In the meantime, every new poll shows that more and more Americans are saying they are not religious...almost 20% of all adults now...4 years ago it was 15%. The most encouraging thing is that younger adults who say they have no god-beliefs number 30%.
Now, if we could only get the prez to boycott prayer breakfasts, and not say "s'welp me, god" when he's sworn in this time (and place his hand on a copy of the Coonstitution instead of a book of Middle Eastern myths). He's not running for office anymore, so he doesn't have to suck up to the fundie voters.... maybe he can get some work done now, even with a GOP majority still in the House.
I know that the Puritans persecuted too, once they got here. After the eleven years of shitty living under Cromwell's Protectorate and no fun, no booze, no good music, no theater, and no hookers, it was payback time.
What I meant to do was point out that that, on top of the other persecution of theists contributed to the colonists' desire for a secular nation.
The problem with becoming a theocracy is that you've rubbed people's noses in the crap, but with the theocracy established, it's liable to be 10 times more difficult to get shut of it. Indeed, I would expect it to be difficult to the point of requiring a WAR, a Second Civil War, to drive them out.
As to it having happened before, certainly WE know it, because we know our history. What's that old phrase? Oh, yeah:
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
-- George Santayana
Right you are, Loren.
Thank you. That was part of my point.