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
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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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About the Author:

M. Stanton Evans is the director of the National Journalism Center in Washington D.C.

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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

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