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It's Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies by [Eberstadt, Mary]
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Editorial Reviews


“There has been a well-organized campaign against Christianity, making use of new interpretations of the concepts of free speech, civil rights, and social justice. Eberstadt argues correctly that this assault goes to the very core of our founding constitutional principles of freedom of worship and free association” (Donald Critchlow, National Review)

“I don’t think the debate over religious freedom can rightly take place now without engaging her arguments. It’s Dangerous to Believe is a quick and easy read, but packs a wallop.” (Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online)

“It’s clear that the keepers of the new progressive orthodoxy have garnered enough establishment backing to push as far as they choose. A read through Eberstadt’s research is a good first step toward getting oriented in this new cultural landscape” (The New Criterion)

“Eberstadt, in a neat series of chapters, contrasts the self-descriptions of progressives and secularists with their actions. They believe themselves champions of civil rights, while circumscribing the freedoms of fellow citizens...They make blacklists and call themselves open-minded.” (Michael Brendan Dougherty, The Week)

“Eberstadt is a superb analyst. Her hypothesis-carefully demonstrated and ringing true-is that secular progressivism is not just a political ideology; it is a competing faith, a religion.” (Luma Simms, Public Discourse)

“Eberstadt’s argument is hard-hitting and convincing.” (First Things)

“Eberstadt’s description of the bewildered faithful, caught up in rapid social changes, is deeply affecting…One hopes liberals and progressives will accept her call...particularly in institutions of higher learning whose leaders speak ceaselessly of their commitment to diversity.” (The American Conservative)

I can’t think of a better way to start than for Christians to read this book and equip themselves to stand up for the future of faith in this country, with fortitude and hope. (Catholic World Report)

“[Eberstadt] offers scores of cases, all from recent years, in which Christians have been denied freedoms and protections that would be afforded as a matter of course to any other group. The arguments given for this suppression are transparently ludicrous or paranoid. Christians have real reason to be afraid.” (Rachel Lu, The Federalist)

“Eberstadt asks the progressive victors in the culture wars whether their vision of public life demands that traditional religious belief and believers be expunged. This book marks a turning point-whether it’s one toward a gracious return to liberal tolerance or into a different and darker period, we shall see.” (Tod Lindberg, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author of The Political Teachings of Jesus and The Heroic Heart)

“A searing indictment of the hypocrisy and duplicity of many secularists who have abandoned the old rules of mutual respect. Instead they exhibit rank bigotry in the name of ‘tolerance’ and conduct themselves, especially on sexual matters, more as an evangelical sect than as a movement of reason and dialogue.” (Michael Novak, author of The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism and the recipient of the 1994 Templeton Prize)

“Every man and woman of the left should read It’s Dangerous to Believe. If they are honest with themselves, the book will change their assumptions about religion in America, and about the meaning and value of religious freedom.” (Thomas Farr, Director, The Religious Freedom Project)

“In the midst of increasing and often disrespectful challenges to groups that uphold and defend the Church’s teaching, I recommend Mary Ebestadt’s book as an important resource for all who hold religious freedom to be a priority for the Church and society.” (Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM, Cap., Archbishop of Boston)

“Mary Eberstadt is one of America’s most vibrant and compelling thinkers. This book takes on the question of religious liberty, and does so without mincing words. The book will equip you to know what’s happening to America’s first freedom and will inspire you to act.” (Russell Moore, president, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention)

“Mary Eberstadt is one of the most perceptive and thoughtful observers of contemporary social maladies. She appeals to the good sense that has brought us through religious wars in the past. We must understand, she pleads, that ‘the enemies of religious freedom are the enemies of liberalism itself.’” (John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America)

The “cultured despisers of religion” are now the cultured despisers of religious freedom, too. In her terrific new book It’s Dangerous to Believe, Mary Eberstadt exposes these tin pot Torquemadas. She has given friends of religious liberty and the rights of conscience a powerful new manifesto. (Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University)

From the Back Cover

Religious freedom is under assault today as never before. A country founded on freedom of speech and religious belief is being changed from within by activists hostile to both. Is this what we want America to be?

Religious freedom is a fundamental right, enshrined in the First Amendment. In It’s Dangerous to Believe, author and critic Mary Eberstadt documents how those who adhere to traditional religious beliefs—especially Christians—face widespread discrimination in today’s increasingly secular society.

For holding “wrong” opinions on flashpoint issues like birth control, abortion, and same-sex marriage, people of faith are being publicly attacked and demonized by aggressive anti-religious activists in an effort to drive them out of public life and cripple their institutions. Examples from across the country and elsewhere of self-appointed adversaries undermining believers in the workplace, intervening in faith-based charity efforts, and interfering in religious education reveal nothing less than a targeted assault on faith itself. Eberstadt writes to call attention to this underreported campaign and argues that it is a classic moral panic reminiscent of the Salem witch trials and the McCarthyism Red Scare of the 1950s.

Eberstadt reveals how recent laws, court decisions, and intimidation on campuses and elsewhere increasingly threaten believers’ freedoms of speech and action. They fear losing their livelihoods, their communities, and their basic constitutional liberties solely because of their convictions. They fear that their religious universities and colleges will capitulate to aggressive secularist demands. They fear that they and their families will be ostracized and that they won’t be able to maintain charitable operations that help the sick and feed the hungry.

In this spirited and powerfully argued manifesto, Eberstadt calls attention to today’s growing bigotry—and seeks to open the minds of secularists and progressives to the injustices being committed against believers by ideologues turned modern inquisitors. Citing titans of authority ranging from Thomas Jefferson to Martin Luther King Jr. and other eminent defenders of the open society, she builds the case that America will become truly inclusive if and only if the antagonists of religious faith live up to their own standards of tolerance and diversity.

Product details

  • File Size: 896 KB
  • Print Length: 197 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (June 21, 2016)
  • Publication Date: June 21, 2016
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,959 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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