So Help Me God

So Help Me God

The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State

Book - 2007
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Today's dispute over the line between church and state (or the lack thereof) is neither the first nor the fiercest in our history. In a powerful retelling of the birth of the American body politic, religious historian Forrest Church describes our first great culture war--a tumultuous yet nearly forgotten conflict that raged from George Washington's presidency to James Monroe's. On one side of the battle, the proponents of order--Federalists, Congregationalists, New Englanders--believed that the only legitimate ruler of men is God. On the other side, the defenders of liberty--republicans, Baptists, Virginians--cheered the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, and believed that only the separation of church and state would preserve man's freedom. Would we be a nation under God, or with liberty for all?

In this vigorous history, Forrest Church offers a new vision of our earliest presidents' beliefs, reshaping assumptions about the debates that still reverberate across our land.
Publisher: Orlando : Harcourt, c2007.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780151011858
0151011850
Branch Call Number: 322.10973
Characteristics: 530 p. ; 24 cm.

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LRS1969 Feb 26, 2015

A good book, but lacks more in-depth research to be an excellent book. John Adams was a recognized Unitarian (something that this author should have known), Thomas Jefferson was a Deist (with several other Founding Fathers being either Deists or having strong Deism leanings).

This book could have gone the extra mile and been a 5-star rating.

This book is actually relatively mild in its coverage and especially in dealing with the input and personal beliefs (as compared at times to their "public face") of the core Founding Fathers (and the backgrounds that influenced them).

And unfortunately is too brief and, IMO, more of a summary than an extensive coverage.

An exceptional book in that regards would be "Nature's God" by Matthew Stewart (be forewarned, it is a book that needs strong focus to wade through and get its fullest measure).

Equally good books (that are somewhat easier reads) include "The Faith of Our Founding Fathers" by David Holmes, "Revolutionary Spirits" by Gary Kowalski (also especially good), "Moral Minority" by Brooke Allen and from the then recognized best-selling publicist of the Revolution whose works impacted very significantly on the sway of the Colonies towards Independence and in staying the course, "Thomas Paine Complete Works" by Daryl Marks (or any of his direct writings such as "Common Sense").

Remember:

John 8:32

For ignorance in this Age of Information is so offensive as to be an abomination!

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