History is definitively everything. It is in all we as a people have done and will do for the rest of time. This in and of itself is the overarching reason for why I have always been enamored with the field of history because of its ability to present the proper perspective for any current discourse. My overall goals in research (and teaching in the future hopefully) are to pursue the most abundant possible understanding of the interaction between religion, secularism, culture, and politics in contemporary United States history, while reaching into the Age of Enlightenment to present the historical perspective necessary for a proper survey. I also want to survey this interaction with the most extensive collection of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary elements that I can thoroughly consider and use for a proper survey that will be a strong addition to the field of history. Myself an atheist, and an advocate for secularism, my academic passions lay firm in the interplay between the religious and the secularists who have aimed to affect federal legislation on a nearly constant basis, and how this sociopolitical battle has affected all citizens, from accepted discourse to civil rights, in the U.S.
My academic history consists of a Bachelor’s of Arts in History (minor in Social Sciences) with a certification emphasis in secondary level education in the State of Kentucky from Murray State University, as well as a Master’s of Arts in History from Illinois State University. During my academic career, I obtained an exceptional understanding for the research methodologies of a historian, and further developed my interest and background in the American Enlightenment, advocacy for civil liberties, and Deism involved in the development of the American republic. My focus and subsequent studies have ventured into religiosity in America throughout its history, including its involvement in the post-Civil War south and beyond to the New Christian Right’s political influence in more recent events. Partially, scholarly intent ideally would be to focus on the perceived decline of religious commitment on the part of Americans over the course of its young history and our developing scientific understanding, the New Christian Right’s response, and the effects of the secular movement that has always existed and grown in the United States. More specifically, in regard to the New Christian Right’s response, my central focus would also ideally be a diligent effort to understand recent issues with the Establishment Clause and the evolution of its interpretation since the Age of Enlightenment within the religious sector.
My desire has always been to acquire my Ph.D. and become an educator of man. There is no better occupational feeling than educating those who have intellectual curiosity with the knowledge that one has been lucky enough to acquire with the unique perspective that one may have to give. Objectivity in education is my goal, as I am fully aware of my own subjectivity. In particular, I am an atheist and I have done mounds of research and contemplating the veracity of my own viewpoints to understand what I actually perceive to be true, despite what others around me may believe or think they know. But this cannot, and will not, come into play in my dissertation research once I get started.
There is no piece of knowledge, on a sociopolitical and/or scientific level, that is not worth obtaining. There is no question that should not be honestly asked of your own views. My hope is to be a Ph.D. candidate in the near future. To educate those who desire the education, and to convince those who don’t that they should value their knowledge base and their potential to achieve it, as well as what that can do for them. Above all, I want to promote reason and logic. This is not in favor of any particular viewpoint, but in favor of the non-delusion of our own minds. To understand that people make wild and emotional claims without ever considering anything in terms of facts or evidence. Often, facts and evidence are ignored in favor of a rosy worldview. Step 1 is understanding and experiencing history, letting it teach the lessons to you in its own word. People did that for me in my formative years, and I’m grateful.