The Puritans came to The New World to segragate themselves from the Church of England. They wanted to become more of a strict religious sect that devoted themselves to each other, and their community. They were going to build a City upon a Hill. The Puritans believed that the only head of the church was Jesus Christ himself. The Puritans also believed that the women carried more sin within. They believed that all women must carry the burden of Eve's corruption. Thus, the women had no chance of heirarchial leadership of the Puritan Church.
I think that religion is the important for Americans, because religion is what our country was founded on. The mix of different cultures, and religions also makes our country great. Many people sit next to one another, and have different religious views. Some of the people who you intermingle with daily might not even have a religious viewpoint. They might not even believe in God. I think that they are entitled to their opinion. The freedom to practice different religions makes for a more peaceful nation. Some extremists cause problems, but for the most part religion is a safe practice in this country. The past generations might not have been able to say the same thing, but at least now we have the privelage to feel safe.