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This book discusses major separation of church and state issues that the Supreme Court has addressed.
In a powerful challenge to conventional wisdom, Philip Hamburger argues that the separation of church and state has no historical foundation in the First Amendment. The detailed evidence assembled here shows that eighteenth-century Americans almost never invoked this principle. Although Thomas Jefferson and others retrospectively claimed that the First Amendment separated church and state, separation became part of American constitutional law only much later. Hamburger shows that separation became a constitutional freedom largely through fear and prejudice. Jefferson supported separation out of hostility to the Federalist clergy of New England. Nativist Protestants (ranging from nineteenth-century Know Nothings to twentieth-century members of the K.K.K.) adopted the principle of separation to restrict the role of Catholics in public life. Gradually, these Protestants were joined by theologically liberal, anti-Christian secularists, who hoped that separation would limit Christianity and all other distinct religions. Eventually, a wide range of men and women called for separation. Almost all of these Americans feared ecclesiastical authority, particularly that of the Catholic Church, and, in response to their fears, they increasingly perceived religious liberty to require a separation of church from state. American religious liberty was thus redefined and even transformed. In the process, the First Amendment was often used as an instrument of intolerance and discrimination.
Now in paperback, a primer of essential writings about one of the cornerstones of our democracy by the original authors of the Constitution, edited by preeminant liberal theologian Forrest Church. Americans will never stop debating the question of church-state separation, and such debates invariably lead back to the nation’s beginnings and the founders’ intent. The Separation of Church and State presents a basic collection of the founders’ teachings on this topic. This concise primer gets past the rhetoric that surrounds the current debate, placing the founders’ vivid writings on religious liberty in historical perspective. Edited and with running commentary by Forrest Church, this important collection informs anyone curious about the original blueprint for our country and its government. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Having disassociated themselves from an oppressive government with a strong central religion, the Founding Fathers of the United States acknowledged the freedom to practice one's religion when writing the nation's constitution. Subsequent constitutional amendments further drew a line between the ecumenical and the secular. Detailed descriptions of Supreme Court cases on the topic offer readers a clearer understanding of the original intent behind separating church and state, as well as how interpretations of such matters have impacted U.S. legislation.
The “wall of separation between church and state” is a phrase not found anywhere in the Constitution, but activist judges have recklessly used that phrase to stamp out public religious expression. We are restricted from praying in public schools, the Ten Commandments and other religious symbols have been stripped from public buildings, and the term “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance has been called “unconstitutional”. Dr. Peter Lillback exposes the church/state separation myth that has led to such actions in his groundbreaking book entitled Wall of Misconception. Within its pages, Lillback counters the claims that Christianity must only reside in the walls of the church by pointing to America’s Founding Fathers and historical documents that prove Christianity’s incontrovertible influence on our nation at large.
A historical look at the issues involved in the separation of church and state by a man who firmly believes that this separation is vital in a democracy.
Examines the constitutional issues of church and state and how the Supreme Court has ruled on them, including the controversial line "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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