There is a myth about the founding of America and a myth about the purpose of America when it first began as a nation. This myth muddles all debate about immigration, and especially the current debate about allowing Syrian Muslims into America. Debunking this myth is crucial to our victory against menacing and wicked enemies who seek our end.
America, beginning with those colonies that would become America, was founded not to promote some general ideal of religious freedom, but rather to specifically protect serious Christians from the religious persecution they had suffered in Europe. Several of the colonies – Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland – were created to allow groups of persecuted Christians like Puritans, Quakers, and Catholics to have a specific home polity.
Other colonies like Rhode Island and Connecticut were founded to allow Christians to practice faith as they chose outside Massachusetts. Virtually all the colonies were populated by profoundly serious Christians. It was not the free practice of "religion," but the free practice of Christianity that the early Americans fought and died for. This mystified Europe (it mystifies Europe to this very day), because Europe at its most religious was never as religious as America.