The Continuing Establishment Pattern in Salt Lake City When the Emperor Constantine made the Catholic Church the official religion of the Roman Empire, he formulated a pattern that held constant throughout western Christendom for nearly 1500 years. Even though the First Amendment to the Constitution legally uncoupled the church and the civil government in the United States, a strong scholarly case has been made that a powerful de facto Protestant establishment remained in place for well over a century. This paper will show that the establishment pattern lingered on for generations, but will contend that it was particularly persistent in the nation’s cities where establishments were not always Protestant. Showing that practically all of these virtual establishments withered away during the 20th century, the paper will argue that while its consequences are more visible in the culture than in economics and politics, a de facto establishment is alive and well in Salt Lake City.
Jan Shipps, Scott Daniels