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The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American Hardcover – May 14, 2019

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,322 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


“Seidel, a constitutional attorney, provides a fervent takedown of Christian Nationalism in his furious debut. After support by far-right Christian nationalists helped Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency, Seidel worries that Evangelical political influence is increasing and dangerous. He argues that America was not founded as a Christian nation on Judeo-Christian principles, and thus Christian nationalists are inherently wrong. Judeo-Christian principles, he argues, are directly opposed to the Enlightenment principles on which the United States was founded: ‘to put it bluntly, Christianity is un-American.’ Seidel points out subtle but pervasive Christian theocratic arguments that aim to link patriotism with religion by looking at the history of the 1950s media blitz conducted by Christian organizations promoting religion in American life, the 1954 addition by Congress of ‘under God’ to the Pledge of Allegiance, and Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan’s use of ‘God bless America’ as a concluding remark for presidential addresses. According to Seidel, Christian nationalists see Christianity as the foundation of American exceptionalism; Seidel subverts this claim by arguing that democratic freedoms (such as freedom of religion and speech) are what make America exceptional. While many readers who don’t agree with Seidel will dismiss his forceful tone, his well-conceived arguments will spark conversations for those willing to listen.” —Publishers Weekly

“Brilliant, ambitious, well-researched, and compelling. . . . Seidel has written a masterful book. No one henceforth can attempt to discuss the claim that America was founded as, and is today, a Christian nation without seriously addressing his work. Seidel’s scholarship, on religion, history, law, and the Constitution, is prodigious, wide ranging, authoritative, and comprehensive. . . . his arguments are well articulated, inventive, amply documented, and convincing. . . . [the] very recent and dangerous Supreme Court decision makes Seidel’s book even more timely and urgent. And it makes his concluding words even more imperative.” —
Los Angeles Review of Books

"Andrew Seidel, a constitutional attorney who litigates cases for the Freedom of Religion Foundation, is a powerful muse on this subject.
The Founding Myth is an invigorating double-shot espresso that reveals how the original Constitution and the version slathered in religious tomes to serve political purposes are not the same document.”—New York Journal of Books

“Seidel is far from the first author to address the historical myths and confusions of political philosophy that sustain Christian nationalism. But no one has written a book quite like this before, because of its sweep, its depth, its viewpoint and its tone. ‘The Founding Myth’ goes far beyond debunking the false history that Christian nationalists advance to a detailed examination of how biblical principles are fundamentally at odds with our constitutional order.” —

“That something as specious as Christian nationalism has and continues to influence public policy is the reason
The Founding Myth, written by constitutional attorney Andrew Seidel, is so important. Ten years in the making, this phenomenal and deftly argued book comes at the perfect time, laying to rest the claim that America is in any way founded on Christianity.” —The Crowded Bookcase (

About the Author

Andrew L. Seidel works as a constitutional attorney at the Freedom from Religion Foundation (, litigating cases involving religion and the Constitution. He has appeared on Fox and Friends, MSNBC, and TheO'Reilly Factor; numerous radio shows; speaks and writes extensively about religious freedom; and has been profiled on BBC News, BuzzFeed, International Business Times, and more. Learn more about Andrew at: @AndrewLSeidel on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Union Square & Co.; Illustrated edition (May 14, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1454933275
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1454933274
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.45 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 1,322 ratings

About the author

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Andrew L. Seidel is a constitutional and civil rights attorney, author, and former Grand Canyon tour guide. He can be found on Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Patreon, and Instagram: @AndrewLSeidel.

Andrew is the author of two books: The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American (2019) and American Crusade: How the Supreme Court is Weaponizing Religious Freedom (2022). He's also co-editor of an academic casebook for law students, Law and Religion: Cases and Materials (5th Edition), with Prof. Leslie Griffin. As a senior correspondent at Religion Dispatches, Andrew is a prolific author of opeds and scholarly articles, including organizing and contributing to the groundbreaking “Christian Nationalism at the January 6, 2021, Insurrection” report, which was published by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and Christians Against Christian Nationalism. Seidel is a frequent guest on radio, podcasts, and television, and has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, and countless local news stations and has written for Slate, Rewire News, Religion Dispatches, Religion News Service, ThinkProgress, The Cap Times, The Progressive, Irish Central, The Arizona Republic, The Salt Lake Tribune, and more.

When not litigating cases or standing up or standing up to religious bullies or defending the First Amendment, he travels the country discussing religious freedom, state-church separation, constitutional law, and other issues affecting the secular movement.

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
1,322 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Daniel Jay
5.0 out of 5 stars The creeping contamination of the US Constitution by religion now revealed.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 6, 2019
3 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars A scholarly work.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 14, 2021
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william jeffrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and thought provoking
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on November 4, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Very important.
Reviewed in Australia 🇦🇺 on November 5, 2022
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately will not be read be enough Americans
Reviewed in Germany 🇩🇪 on May 29, 2021