Peter Manseau was hired as the first curator of religion in over 100 years for the Smithsonian Institution. The curator hopes to tell the story of religion in America’s founding. To learn more about religion’s role in American history, listen at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.
The Smithsonian Institution has appointed its first curator of religion in over 100 years.
Peter Manseau, the new curator, explains that, “You can’t tell the story of America without the role of religion in it.”
According to Manseau, among the first exhibits to be displayed will be a church bell crafted by Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson’s Bible that cut out the portions he did not believe, a manuscript from the Book of Mormon, a Muslim text that once belonged to an African slave, and even a Torah scroll damaged by Hessians during the War of Independence.
Manseau also intends to display a compass used by Roger Williams to find his way to Rhode Island when he was exiled from Massachusetts for his religious beliefs—a display Manseau hopes will help American ponder what religious liberty looked like in the context of the founding of our country.
The new curator is right: you cannot tell the story of America without telling the role religion has played in making our country what it is today. And that includes the role of religious liberty. These artifacts from our history point to the real stories of Americans committed to the historically radical idea that government respect a person’s right to honor his conscience before God.