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A Nation Under God?: The ACLU and Religion in American Politics (Claremont Institute Series on Statesmanship and Political Philosophy) Paperback – September 8, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0742550889 ISBN-10: 0742550885

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Product Details

  • Series: Claremont Institute Series on Statesmanship and Political Philosophy
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (September 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742550885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742550889
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,485,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Perhaps no organization has done more to pervert the public understanding of civil liberties and the meaning of the Constitution than the ACLU. Krannawitter and Palm, experts in the political philosophy of the American Founding, expose the real agenda of the ACLU. They explain how the ACLU's relentless assaults on public expressions of traditional religious faith are part of its larger political purpose, a purpose wholly inconsistent with those who framed and ratified our Constitution. A Nation Under God? provides Americans with the intellectual and rhetorical tools to refute the ACLU and reclaim the Constitutional government that is rightfully ours. (William A. Rusher, founding publisher of National Review magazine)

If you want to know why school teachers and principals offer thoroughly secularized Christmas programs for fear of ACLU lawsuits, if you don't understand why the ACLU sues local governments over nativity scene displays yet defends the rights of atheists and Satanists, if you wonder why an organization supposedly dedicated to the Bill of Rights has gone to such extremes to redefine it, read A Nation Under God? The ACLU and Religion in American Politics. (Hugh Hewitt, nationally syndicated radio host and author of In, But Not Of)

This book should be viewed as a solid contribution to the debate about the future of church-state jurisprudence in the United States. (Laura R. Olson, Clemson University)

The ACLU has often been at legal and intellectual war with the First Amendment and our Founders' framing of it. That war is joined by Professors Thomas Krannawitter and Daniel Palm who show us where and why the ACLU is wrong. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand the compelling debate about religion and the public square. (William J. Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education, author of The Book of Virtues)

About the Author

Thomas L. Krannawitter is a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute and an assistant professor of political science at Hillsdale College. He is the author of An Introduction to Citizenship for New Americans (2002).

Daniel C. Palm is a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute and an associate professor of political science at Azusa Pacific University. He is the editor of On Faith and Free Government (1997).

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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M. Walker on January 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Dr. Dan Palm, Chair of the History and Political Science Department at Azusa Pacific University, and Dr. Thomas Krannawitter from Hillsdale College in Michigan, write on the history of ideas behind the American Civil Liberties Union, the federal Courts, and the conflicting ways America has come to understand itself in the Twentieth Century. _A Nation Under God?_ argues that, from its founding in the 1900's, the ACLU's primarily motivation has been derived from modern progressivism - a philosophy that denies the possibility human nature for the sake of remaking society in terms of participatory evolution enforced by a powerful administrative state. Though often appearing in the guise of democracy and individual rights, progressivism rejected what the American Founders knew to be the basis of liberty, rooted in self-evident truths of human equality and eternal God-given rights, as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Far from establishing a "Christian nation" - as indeed many Right-wing factions claim - Palm and Krannawitter show how the Founders merely intended to provide a general basis for the cultivation of the virtues needed to maintain a constitutional democracy. The First Amendment's Establishment Clause only forbids a national denomination; it is of course coupled with the protection of Free Exercise. Yet the Supreme Court's reading of the First Amendment has brought these two clauses into collision, giving way to rulings that are no longer based on principle - thus giving the ACLU very arbitrary power in shaping national life. The authors call on us as citizens to realize the contingency of these judge-made laws, and rethink the character of our regime in light of the "laws of nature and nature's God."
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Format: Paperback
The authors clearly do not understand that constant threat that Christianity has presented and continues to present to pluralistic society.

The speak as if conventional Christian dominance is an un-mixed blessing to a free society, which it clearly is not. In fact the crushing force of Christian ideology seeks to undermine the liberty of "others" repeatedly throughout history. The men who defined America knew the risks from a dominant religion -- after all they, or their immediate ancestors, had been victims of those risks -- it was in that spirit that they wrote a document to protect America from the religious wars that had driven them out of Europe.

"... the work of the ACLU is informed by a larger political project-modern liberalism-to transform American government and society into an administrative-welfare state." As if the state is stepping on church turf where they can serve people who submit to their version of truth. This is simply a basic disagreement over the existence of secular society predicated on a separation of church and state. We agree that our rights come from a higher power than the state; however that power is not the Christian religion.

I do not know anything of the other author but Thomas L. Krannawitter is far too erudite, to have written this work out of ignorance, this is a work of zeal -- religious zeal that has outstripped the colonial American history that he knows at least as well as I do.
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More About the Author

Dr. Krannawitter holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Claremont Graduate University, specializing in American political thought and classical political philosophy. He has taught at Claremont McKenna College, Hillsdale College, and George Mason University. He is one of the principal instructors for the Leadership Program of the Rockies, and frequently advises organizations on effective communications, development, and critical thinking.

After many years as a classroom instructor, Dr. Krannawitter now helps Americans speak to one another with civility, instead of past each other with hostility. As president of Speakeasy Ideas, his research has focused on creating environments of civil trust: helping people work together to solve the real political problems we face.

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A Nation Under God?: The ACLU and Religion in American Politics (Claremont Institute Series on Statesmanship and Political Philosophy)
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