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Fighting Words: A Toolkit for Combating the Religious Right Paperback – August 25, 2006

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About the Author

Robin Morgan is an award-winning poet, novelist, political theorist, feminist activist, journalist, editor, and best-selling author. She has published 20 books, including the now-classic anthologies Sisterhood Is Powerful (Random House, 1970) and Sisterhood Is Global (Doubleday, l984; updated edition, The Feminist Press, 1996); with the recent Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women’s Anthology for A New Millennium (Washington Square Press, 2003). A founder/leader of contemporary US feminism, she has also been a leader in the international women’s movement for 25 years. In 1990, as Ms. Editor-in-Chief, she relaunched the magazine as an international, award-winning, ad-free bimonthly, resigning in late 1993 to become Consulting Global Editor. A recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Prize (Poetry), and numerous other honors, she lives in New York City, (www.robinmorgan.us)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (August 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560259485
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560259480
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Lukespack on November 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
Finally a book which sites examples of the religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs of our founding fathers. Ms. Morgan gives numerous quotations from our first presidents citing their concerns about the power of religion in society and their determination to totally seperate religion and the state.

She mentions the phrase "in God we trust" coming into government use during the McCarty era of the fifties. It

was used to distingush the US from the Soviet Union at that time.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Sara McGuiness on November 21, 2006
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Without being preachy, Morgan manages to remind us that this country was founded on the idea of Freedom with a capital 'F' and not Religion with a capital 'R.' Our separation of church and state, and the clouding of the dichodomy between the two in recent decades is front and center here. Our founders were thinkers who came out of the Enlightenment, not believers in a Christian state. When everyone is free to believe, or not, all our freedoms are guaranteed. A terrific and fun read.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Doepke on April 2, 2007
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This is a handy reference for the quick riposte, particularly against the zealot who believes this is a Christian country founded by Christian framers on similarly Christian principles. Considering how early American history is taught in most highschools, there are millions of these folks living in ignorance who are not necessarily fundamentalist in their belief. It's the latter, however, who threaten to turn their ignorance into a jihad against the nation's separation of church and state. Unable to compete with the scientific method, these literalists are working to turn government into an arm of the church, forcing the rest of us into second-class citizenship, at best. If you think this an exaggeration, scope out some of the quotes in Chapter 7 from some of the more prominent spokespeople for the American Taliban.

There's a strong feminist subtext to the booklet. That's understandable since these same anti-separationists are usually the first seeking to herd women back into the kitchen and the maternity ward minus any other options. In that same vein, I'm glad Morgan points out the historical nexus between Hitler's Third Reich and the German churches, both Catholic and protestant (with exceptions), one of whose provisions was to restrict women's rights by law. Needless to say, this is another embarrassing reality that somehow gets left out of highschool history books.

Don't expect too much from this slender volume. It doesn't pretend to depth, but does furnish bibliographical notes for further research. The full texts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are included. At first, I thought these were unnecessary. But then I changed my mind, considering how remote these provisions are from most of us (myself included).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tinker on October 2, 2007
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I purchased this book because it has all the words in the important documents that made our country so I would have a reference for the separation of church and state and what the founding fathers felt about religion. It's not an in depth book on the subject, but it is helpful to have all the documents like the Constitution in one place for quick reference.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Laurence Crews on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a Unitarian Universalist (and several of these early leaders were also), I am very pleased to see a clarification of their views. Too often Adams and Jefferson are characterized incorrectly. They never had the positions attributed to them by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. In fact, they were often the opposite. This brings many of these contradictions into focus and shows the liars for what they are.

Robin Morgan accurately and astutely asserts that our founders were more secular than religious and that they strongly supported the separation of church and state. I am tired of being insulted by the "religious right" as they try to hijack America for Christ, behaving just like religious fanatics in the middle east. I really hope that those who will be in power after the next election remember that you cannot have freedom OF religion unless you have freedom FROM religion.

There is a similarity in the basic beliefs of radical fundamentalists all over the world. The American version of Taliban is a kinder, gentler one, but the basic values are very much the same as those of the original Taliban.

Thanks for the ammunition, Robin.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Kelly K. Verdier on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a short, easily read book that is easy to quote. A lot of material in a brief format. A must for people who feel bullied by religionists.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By angel.white on October 15, 2008
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Wonderful book, especially the founding fathers section.

It includes many gems such as the first version of the Declaration of Independence.

A Christian tried to tell me today that we were founded as a Christian nation by pointing out that the early Congress appointed chaplains for Congress and the Armed Forces I went to this book, and found two refutations, one with Madison -- principle author of the Constitution -- citing that very event a violation of the constitution, and another with Washington urging Hancock not to institute chaplains in the Army, as it will only lead to religious disputes, and coerce people to follow gods they do not worship.

Very applicable, this book makes me very proud of my country, and I'm not one who normally takes pride in being a member of some group. I think I am more proud of my country when I read the founding fathers than at any point during my tour in the Air Force.

I strongly advocate every American atheist read Jefferson, this man has done so much for our rights, I honestly think that my life, in particular, is better as a result of him, he's about the only hero I have, though they all get me excited.

It really is a shame that the necessity of these principles is so frequently forgotten.
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