One Nation under God : How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin M. KruseThe provocative and authoritative history of the origins of Christian America in the New Deal eraWe're often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the belief that America is fundamentally and formally Christian originated in the 1930s.To fight the'slavery'of FDR's New Deal, businessmen enlisted religious activists in a campaign for'freedom under God'that culminated in the election of their ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. The new president revolutionized the role of religion in American politics. He inaugurated new traditions like the National Prayer Breakfast, as Congress added the phrase'under God'to the Pledge of Allegiance and made'In God We Trust'the country's first official motto. Church membership soon soared to an all-time high of 69 percent. Americans across the religious and political spectrum agreed that their country was'one nation under God.'Provocative and authoritative, One Nation Under God reveals how an unholy alliance of money, religion, and politics created a false origin story that continues to define and divide American politics to this day.
Publication Date: 2015-04-14
The Power Worshippers : inside the dangerous rise of religious nationalism by Katherine Stewart"For too long the Religious Right has masqueraded as a social movement preoccupied with a number of cultural issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In her deeply reported investigation, Katherine Stewart reveals a disturbing truth: this is a political movement that seeks to gain power and to impose its vision on all of society. America's religious nationalists aren't just fighting a culture war, they are waging a political war on the norms and institutions of American democracy. Stewart pulls back the curtain on the inner workings and leading personalities of a movement that has turned religion into a tool for domination. She exposes a dense network of think tanks, advocacy groups, and pastoral organizations embedded in a rapidly expanding community of international alliances and united not by any central command but by a shared, anti-democratic vision and a common will to power. She follows the money that fuels this movement, tracing much of it to a cadre of super-wealthy, ultraconservative donors and family foundations. She shows that today's Christian nationalism is the fruit of a longstanding antidemocratic, reactionary strain of American thought that draws on some of the most troubling episodes in America's past. It forms common cause with a globe-spanning movement that seeks to destroy liberal democracy and replace it with nationalist, theocratic and autocratic forms of government around the world. Religious nationalism is far more organized and better funded than most people realize. It seeks to control all aspects of government and society. Its successes have been stunning, and its influence now extends to every aspect of American life, from the White House to state capitols, from our schools to our hospitals"
Call Number: BR516 .S74 2019
Publication Date: 2020-03-03
The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment by Ellis McKinney WestThe First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution begins: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . ." The Supreme Court has consistently held that these words, usually called the "religion clauses," were meant to prohibit laws that violate religious freedom or equality. In recent years, however, a growing number of constitutional law and history scholars have contended that the religion clauses were not intended to protect religious freedom, but to reserve the states' rights to legislate on. If the states' rights interpretation of the religion clauses were correct and came to be accepted by the Supreme Court, it could profoundly affect the way the Court decides church-state cases involving state laws. It would allow the states to legislate on religion-even to violate religious freedom, discriminate on the basis of religion, or to establish a particular religion. This book carefully, thoroughly, and critically examines all the arguments for such an interpretation and, more importantly, all the available historical evidence. It concludes that the clauses were meant to protect religious freedom and equality of the individuals not the states' rights.
Publication Date: 2010-11-01
Religious Freedom and the Constitution by Christopher L. Eisgruber; Lawrence G. Sager
Call Number: KF4783.E357 2007
Publication Date: 2007-02-28
The Role of Religion in Public Policy by Eamon Doyle (Editor)One of the fundamental rights granted in the United States is religious freedom, but does this mean that religion should be entirely removed from politics or that all religious voices should be considered equally? The separation of church and state was established in the Constitution, but the fact that as of 2015, 84 percent of Americans hold some sort of religious belief means that this is easier said than done. Religious morality frequently colors debates surrounding various policy issues, ranging from reproductive rights to education. This volume exposes readers to the ways in which religion inflects policymaking and the varying perspectives about religion's role in politics.
Call Number: BR516 .R65 2019
Publication Date: 2018-12-15
Separation of Church and State by Jonathan A. WrightExamining an issue that has been a matter of controversy since the founding of the United States, Separation of Church and State offers a chronological survey that helps put the ongoing debate in broad historical context. The book briefly traces the earliest instances of tension between church and state within the Western tradition, from the era of Constantine to the Reformation, before moving on to the American experience. Attention is paid to the colonial debates about the ideal relationship between faith and politics, the 18th-century trends that culminated in a constitutional settlement, and the experiences of various religious groups during the early republic and 19th century. Finally, the book focuses on the post-1940 era, during which church-state controversies came before the Supreme Court. In the course of the discussion, readers will learn about complex legal and theological issues and debates between the great and powerful, but also about ordinary Americans whose religious scruples led to some of the most important legal cases in U.S. history.
Becket Fund for Religious LibertyPublic-interest legal and educational institute that seeks to protect the free exercise of all faiths; supports the principle that religious freedom is a fundamental human right.
Freedom from Religion FoundationNonprofit dedicated to defending and promoting the constitutional principle of separation of state and church and to educating the public on nontheism (the absence of belief in a god or gods).
Judgment day : intelligent design on trial by Joseph McMasterCaptures the turmoil that tore apart the community of Dover, Pennsylvania, in a landmark battle over the teaching of evolution in public schools. In 2004, the Dover school board ordered science teachers to read a statement to their high school biology students about an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution called intelligent design. This idea states that life is too complex to have evolved naturally and so must have been designed by an intelligent agent. The teachers refused to comply, and both parents and teachers filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the school board of violating the constitutional separation of church and state.
Call Number: DVD QH366.2.J83 2008
Publication Date: 2008
Church and State: Christianity, Religious Diversity, and Secular Humanism in AmericaThe separation of church and state represents one of the most fundamental principles of American democracy. While some contend that the United States needs to return to its roots as a “Christian nation,” others point out that the Founding Fathers crafted a system specifically designed to guard against any form of state-sanctioned religion. After reviewing the substance of the debates that took place during the Constitutional conventions, this program examines the evolution of Christianity in the U.S. and reflects upon the growth of religious diversity as well as trends toward secular humanism. Participants include Boston University’s Stephen Prothero; Diana Eck, of The Pluralism Project at Harvard University; Robert Bellah, of U. C. Berkeley; retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong; Princeton University’s Robert Wuthnow; and the Reverend Peter Gomes, of The Memorial Church of Harvard University. (28 minutes)
God and the ConstitutionDr. Martin Marty, a professor of the history of modern Christianity at the University of Chicago, and Leonard Levy, editor of The Encyclopedia of the American Constitution and a professor of humanities and history at the Claremont Graduate School in California, examine the legality of school prayer. The program also explores the issues of religious symbols on municipal property as well as tax-exempt status for religious institutions. (60 minutes)
God in GovernmentA documentary exploring the complex relationship between religion and politics in the contemporary world. With the United States as the focal point, and Iran, Israel, and India as object lessons, the film asks fundamental questions: What are the consequences when religion and politics become intertwined? What are the fault lines along which tensions and conflicts occur? What is the appropriate relationship between "church" and state in a modern society?
The Hellfire NtionAward-winning journalist Mobeen Azhar travels the length and breadth of the United States to discover how the resurgent Christian right has gained momentum since the election of Donald Trump, posing an increasing threat to America’s long-standing secularist traditions. The Founding Fathers of the United States insisted on a wall of separation between Church and State. However radical evangelical beliefs are still a potent force in the country today and continue to influence how many Americans see their nation’s destiny, with some people holding onto the idea that they are leading the world for, and in the name of, God. Mobeen Azhar investigates how the Christian right is breaking through this wall, denouncing other faiths and capitalizing on Donald Trump’s promise to “Make America Great Again” in order to further their own religious agenda.
On Earth As It Is in HeavenThis program explores Christian Reconstructionism, a powerful grassroots movement that urges believers to become politically active in order to create a worldview where the Bible is the basis for all government, laws, and economic systems. The movement offers an all-encompassing view on how to run a government, an economy, or one’s personal life. Host Bill Moyers says the mainstream press has ignored the growth of Christian Reconstructionism just as it ignored the growth of the alliance of the political right with the religious right, until Ronald Reagan and Jerry Falwell joined forces on the national stage. But the Christian Reconstructionists are a potentially far more significant influence, Moyers believes. "Americans generally may have heard little of this movement so far," he says, "but they will hear much in the years to come. These new ‘Christian soldiers’ have enlisted for a long campaign." (60 minutes)