Separation of church and state books

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separation of church and state books

Separation of Church & State: What the Founders Meant by David Barton

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.
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Understanding Jefferson's "Separation of Church and State" - Dr. Jake Jacobs

Separation of Church & State: What the Founders Meant

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.

Readers interested in a more in-depth examination of the issues discussed in this article may find the following books useful:. Written for the general reader, it debunks leading Religious Right claims. Lynn explains why church-state separation is the best policy for believers and non-believers alike. Random House, Prometheus Books,

“Philip Hamburger has, simply, produced the best and most important book ever written on the subject of the separation of church and state in the United States.
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Strict separation was revived by anti-Catholics in the 19th century and picked up by the court in the 20th, a development for which Justice Hugo Black bore much responsibility. The modern era of judicial hostility to organized religion and its symbols in the public square is directly contrary to what the Framers meant when they prohibited the establishment of religion. Though Mr. Hamburger does not trace the damage done by preposterous decisions in recent decades, this is a marvelous book. His prodigious learning and ingenious interpretations overturn the conventional wisdom, forcing even the most passionate defenders of separationism to recognize how much of the story of religious liberty has taken on mythical dimensions. Instead, Hamburger insists that separation, an idea that may mean far more than the absence of establishment, became a constitutional freedom over an extended period of time, largely through fear and prejudice… Recommended.

Lambert, a professor of history at Purdue University, tackles the web the Religious Right weaves about the role religion really played in the colonial era — and what a tangled web it is indeed. He carefully demonstrates how the Religious Right ignores context, slants facts and even invents stories to confirm its version of American history. Instead, their approach to American history is fatally influenced by confirmation bias. But, while voicing religious views indicates personal convictions, it does not demonstrate that the founders intended to create a Christian republic. Instead, Lambert argues, the quotes, and the founders themselves, should be examined within the context of their contemporary political climate.

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