The Myth of American Religious Freedom by David SehatThe Myth of American Religious Freedom by David Sehat

The Myth of American Religious Freedom

byDavid Sehat

Paperback | October 20, 2015

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In the battles over religion and politics in America, both liberals and conservatives often appeal to history. But in The Myth of American Religious Freedom, historian David Sehat provides an eye-opening history of religion in public life that overturns our most cherished myths. Originally, heshows, the First Amendment applied only to the federal government, which had limited authority. On the state level, a Protestant moral establishment ruled over Catholics, Jews, Mormons, agnostics, and others. Not until 1940 did the Supreme Court extend the First Amendment to the states. As the Courtbegan to dismantle the connections between religion and government, religious conservatives mobilized to maintain their power and began the culture wars of the last fifty years. To trace the rise and fall of this Protestant establishment, Sehat focuses on a series of dissenters - abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, progressive pundit Walter Lippmann, and many others. Shattering myths held by both the left and the right, this book forcesus to rethink some of our most deeply held political beliefs.
David Sehat is Associate Professor of History at Georgia State University. He is also the author of The Jefferson Rule: How the Founding Fathers Became Infallible and Our Politics Inflexible.
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Title:The Myth of American Religious FreedomFormat:PaperbackDimensions:382 pages, 9.09 × 6.1 × 0.98 inPublished:October 20, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190247215

ISBN - 13:9780190247218

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback EditionIntroduction: The Myth of American Religious FreedomPart I Moral Law1. Contested Liberties2. A Godless Government?3. The Moral EstablishmentPart II Challengers4. The Moral Purpose of Slavery and Abolition5. Moral Reproduction and the FamilyPart III Retrenchment6. Morals, Citizenship, and Segregation7. Women's Rights, Woman's Individuality, and the Bible8. Religion, Morals, and LawPart IV Fragmentation9. A Conflict of Authorities10. Liberal and Conservative Moral Visions11. The Liberal Moment12. A Majority?Conclusion: Moral Maximalism and Religious ControlPostscript to the Paperback EditionAcknowledgmentsNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"New and compelling... timely... an important corrective to the ongoing culture wars between the religious right, which claims this country was birthed on a Christian foundation, and secularists, who insist that the First Amendment spells out a separation of church and state." --Publishers Weekly