I recently read, Steeple Chasing by Peter Ross. Angus in Scotland was spot on, it is wonderfully written. The author spent a couple of years, visiting churches and religious sites in Great Britain, writing about the history and the current status. You can't look at the history of England, without looking at the impact of Henry, and religion. His break with Catholicism resulted in the destruction of spectacular buildings and works of art. One historical figure is quoted as bragging about the number of stained glass windows and wood carvings that were destroyed because the art represented a differing view of what is essentially the same religious beliefs. Minor differences in the view of the same set of values, that resulted in destruction and death. The political impact in England was noteworthy and carried across the Atlantic.
When we look at European colonization in north America, some of it was driven by religious minorities leaving Europe seeking freedom. In the English colonies in north America, Catholicism was outlawed. One of the motivators of the American Revolution, was to change that. The fantasy view was that anyone would be free to practice any religion or not at all. (The immigrants also included a lot of fortune seekers and economic refugees - they still do.)
The reality was that religious differences continue to divide us. We had a wonderful neighbor across the street in Lexington whose parents were terribly upset because his sister didn't marry a Christian, she married a Baptist. Not a member of their sect, a member of a rather mainstream christian denomination. In time, mom got over it, and accepted the daughter, son in law, and gay son back into the family. But it was difficult for a few years.
If you look at American politics today, one of the great influences is religion. With a handful of influential groups trying to impose their view of faith on the entire society. They are convinced that their way, is the only way, and everyone should be forced to believe and practice what they practice. Sounds like Henry, though we know that what he was really after was serial marriage, blaming the many wives on his failure to reach his life goal of a male heir.
Those who don't learn from the tragedies of history, are doomed to repeat them.
Hmm, what can I say about money?