The Theme is Freedom: Religion, Politics, and the American Traditions

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9780895264978: The Theme is Freedom: Religion, Politics, and the American Traditions

Splendidly argued and intensely interesting, especially to modern conservatives and also to liberals who like to have their assumptions challenged.--Booklist

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From Booklist:

Like the generally liberal historian Page Smith in Rediscovering Christianity , Evans shows that the roots of U.S. liberties lie in the Christian understanding of the Bible. He uses a rather different set of authorities--namely, our political founding fathers and their English forebears more than the clerics (Luther, Calvin, etc.), whom Smith preferred to cite (both men appeal crucially to St. Augustine, though). His aims in reestablishing that the U.S. is definitely a Christian nation differ from Smith's. Smith stressed the disjunction of Christian principles and the spirit of capitalism, whereas Evans strives to convince us "that religious belief and its associated values are conceptually indispensable to a regime of freedom." So doing, Evans also argues that modern political liberalism undermines freedom as it undermines religion, and here he sometimes comes a cropper, as when he views the gay lifestyle as a pagan resurgence that is antilibertarian. But most of the book is splendidly argued and intensely interesting, especially to modern conservatives and also to liberals who like to have their assumptions challenged. Ray Olson

From Library Journal:

That there is conflict over the accepted place of religion in our public life and institutions goes without saying. Journalist Evans argues that we have erroneous notions about the origins of our country, institutions, and freedoms. He finds many of these mistakes to be the product of an accepted "liberal history lesson." For example, Evans opposes the common belief that there must be a "wall of separation" between church and state. Like Stephen Carter in The Culture of Disbelief (LJ 9/1/93), Evans believes that religion is wrongly subordinated to other elements of modern American culture and that religion and religious faith should be significant parts of our public life. Carter's book is the more scholarly and principled, Evans's the more polemical. Recommended for public libraries.
Jerry Stephens, U.S. Court of Appeals Lib., Oklahoma City
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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