They established and participated in a distinctly labeled, infidel movement or tradition of thought, that sought to reform their societies which were steeped in Christian thought, practice, laws and culture.The Infidel tradition was distinct from parallel anti-Christian, sceptic or deist movements, in that it was anti-theistic and also synonymous with atheism.
During the Age of Discovery, the Papal Bulls such as Romanus Pontifex and more importantly inter caetera (1493), implicitly removed dominium from infidels and granted them to the Spanish Empire and Portugal with the charter of guaranteeing the safety of missionaries.
Subsequent English and French rejections of the bull refuted the Popes authority to exclude other Christian princes.
Infidel (literally "unfaithful") is a term used in certain religions for those accused of unbelief in the central tenets of their own religion, for members of another religion, or for the irreligious.
Infidel is an ecclesiastical term in Christianity around which the Church developed a body of theology that deals with the concept of infidelity, which makes a clear differentiation between those who were baptized and followed the teachings of the Church versus those who are outside the faith.
As independent authorities such as the Head of the Church of England, they drew up charters for their own colonial missions based on the temporal right for care of infidel souls in language echoing the inter caetera. M'Intosh that as a result of European discovery and assumption of ultimate dominion, Native Americans had only a right to occupancy of native lands, not the right of title.
The charters and papal bulls would form the legal basis of future negotiations and consideration of claims as title deeds in the emerging Law of nations in the European colonization of the Americas. This decision was upheld in the 1831 case Cherokee Nation v. federal government, and not individual states, had authority in Indian affairs, but it maintained the loss of right to title upon discovery by Europeans.They were prohibited from participating or aiding in infidel religious rites, such as circumcisions or wearing images of non-Christian religious significance.In the Early Middle Ages, based on the idea of the superiority of Christians to infidels, regulations came into place such as those forbidding Jews from possessing Christian slaves; the laws of the decretals further forbade Christians from entering the service of Jews, for Christian women to act as their nurses or midwives; forbidding Christians from employing Jewish physicians when ill; restricting Jews to definite quarters of the towns into which they were admitted and to wear a dress by which they might be recognized.In 1793, Immanuel Kant's Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, reflected the Enlightenment periods' philosophical development, one which differentiated between the moral and rational and substituted rational/irrational for the original true believer/infidel distinction.Laws passed by the Catholic Church governed not just the laws between Christians and infidels in matters of religious affairs, but also civil affairs.This is because marriage is a sacrament of the Catholic Church, which infidels are deemed incapable of receiving.