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First Freedom First: A Citizen's Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State Paperback – April 1, 2008
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"If we forsake our freedom of religion, it's not the kind of thing we can ask nicely to have returned to us when we realize later how much we need it. First Freedom First explains why we ought to avoid this mistake, but, crucially, also how to avoid it—how respect for the First Amendment can unify even the most disparate elements in America's spiritual life."—Rachel Maddow, Air America Radio
About the Author
The Rev. Barry W. Lynn is executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State in Washington, D.C.
Top Customer Reviews
First Freedom First opens with a pronouncement stressing the present crisis that religious freedom faces as the various factions of the Religious Right continue to erode religious freedom and continue to push the nation slowly toward a more theocratic form of government. Once the book has grabbed the reader's full attention in the introduction, it proceeds to talk about the issue of religious freedom complete with historical perspectives on religious freedom; the politicization of religion by certain groups; the debunking of popular church/state separation myths; the different ways that the Religious Right has tried to change the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution; and the importance of protecting the integrity of religion by keeping it beyond the reach of government control. Gaddy writes convincingly as he confronts the common falsehoods surrounding the meaning of the First Amendment and as he offers different means to promote religion by keeping it out of the political realm.
Lynn's part of the book is only slightly different.Read more ›
This book is very anti religious right and anti George W. Bush and his administration, so be forewarned.
I only wish I could attend Rev. Gaddy's church services.
"The Religious Right claims an interest in recovering morality in America by seeking to outlaw all abortions, stem cell research, gay rights, and same-sex unions while advocating the teaching of religious doctrine as sound science. They also advocate, through a system of school vouchers often lauded as a way to help the poor, providing public tax dollars for the funding of public parochial schools. In recent years, the Religious Right has been loud in its advocacy for advancing the president's faith-based initiatives, displaying the Ten Commandments in public buildings, teaching the Bible in public schools, electing 'God-chosen' leaders to public offices, and supporting the president of the United States in sopeaking and acting as the chief religious leader of the nation. However, the Religious Right has been strangely silent on the war in Iraq, increases in the numbers of people without adequate medical care and health insurance, the torture of prisoners, ... [I leave out the rest of this sentence, because it is really the part I quote here that I want to address]"
When I read the first two of these sentences, I was willing to accept what Gaddy (the author of this introduction) says. But then I hit the next two sentences.Read more ›