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The Court And The Cross -

2.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Beacon Press - (2008)
  • ASIN: B001J9YRAU
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,176,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EGD on December 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
Fredrick Lane's "The Court and the Cross" is part legal history, part current affairs tract that follows the creation, past judicial treatment, and future outlook for both the Free Exercise Clause (which assures religious liberty to all Americans) and Establishment Clause (which theoretically assures the secular administration of American government). It opens with a recounting of the acts and debates between prominent politicians of the early U.S. republic that led to both clauses, as well as the its extension to state governments by the 14th Amendment, then finally into the U.S. Supreme Court's treatment of modern church-state issues. Lane generally devotes about a chapter each to key topics like public funding of religious institutions, prayer or other religious activity on public land or in public institutions, efforts by religious organizations to interfere with the teaching of evolutionary science in public schools, the ceaseless debate over the right to abortion and other aspects of the right of privacy, and so on. In the process, Lane discusses many of the people and organizations on the respective sides of these debates, and the effects of major historic events and social trends that have shifted the context in which the most important cases have come to the Supreme Court.

Lane delivers his facts in a largely objective, journalistic style, as is his analysis of the court opinions and legal development. However, Lane does express a distinctly pro-secularist opinion of his subject matter; he openly laments the many Supreme Court decisions that have eroded the wall of separation between church and state, and cautiously fears the Roberts-led conservative majority on the present court.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a well written and enjoyable history and analysis of the religious right's attempts to inject their beliefs into the fabric of our government. Lane examines the issue of church versus state using relevant Supreme Court cases, outlining the difficulty of defining a clear line between church and state. This is the first book I've read on this topic and I found this to be an excellent summary of both the historical as well as the judicial perspectives underlying the religious right's issues. The book was thoughtful and objective, designed to give the reader a thorough overview without getting bogged down in theoretical jargon or sounding like just another "talking head." I recommend it to anyone who is a reasonably serious student of history wanting to take a deeper dive into this topic. I highly recommend it to the news media (liberal and conservative) and all of our politicians (liberal and conservative) who seem to be stricken with the "sound byte" plague.
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Format: Hardcover
Lane has authored just another bland "culture war in the courts" polemic. This same book has been written a thousand times over. "The Court and the Cross" occupies an undistinguished space in that derby of echoes. A public library is the ideal place to yawn through this one, assuming you don't have anything better to do like hanging drywall or watching Major League II on TBS again.
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Format: Hardcover
Frederick Lane leads the way to moral decline in his new book. All we need to do is to scare people into the belief that there is no God, Lane seems to say, and we can do it by frightening them about the next election. Next, when we rationalize the absurd we can throw stones at our neighbors too. This all makes sense, if you believe like Lane, that the moral order is bad. If you can turn the moral order upside down then what is to prevent endless war? Bad books will be forgotten and you can bet this one will be.
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