The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion

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9780385474986: The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion

The Culture Of Disbelief has  been the subject of an enormous amount of media  attention from the first moment it was published.  Hugely successful in hardcover, the Anchor paperback  is sure to find a large audience as the  ever-increasing, enduring debate about the relationship of  church and state in America continues. In The  Culture Of Disbelief, Stephen Carter  explains how we can preserve the vital separation of  church and state while embracing rather than  trivializing the faith of millions of citizens or  treating religious believers with disdain. What makes  Carter's work so intriguing is that he uses liberal  means to arrive at what are often considered  conservative ends. Explaining how preserving a special  role for religious communities can strengthen our  democracy, The Culture Of Disbelief  recovers the long tradition of liberal religious  witness (for example, the antislavery,  antisegregation, and Vietnam-era antiwar movements). Carter  argues that the problem with the 1992 Republican  convention was not the fact of  open religious advocacy, but the political  positions being advocated.

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"Rational argument rarely seems as warm, as human, as it does in this book...Carter leads the reader to contemplate the embattled constitutional wall between the state and religion, and he does so without furor, without dogma, with only the qualities he envisions in the ideal public square: moderation, restraint, respect." -- The New Yorker.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An important broadside attack on, as Carter (Law/Yale; Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, 1991) puts it, the ``effort to banish religion for politic's sake.'' In this passionately argued polemic--which Carter, a black Episcopalian, backs with personal anecdote, historical research, and legal brief--the case is made that something has gone awry in American politics since the heyday of the civil-rights struggle. To wit: In the 1960's, Martin Luther King, Jr., was applauded for bringing religious convictions to the public arena and thus continuing an American tradition of Judeo-Christian moral activism. But today, Carter says, the media and the liberal establishment wish to tuck religious beliefs back in the closet (witness the dismay when Hillary Rodham Clinton wore a cross around her neck to some inaugural events). While Carter supports strict separation of church and state, he wonders at recent court decisions that seem to go for the religious jugular. Especially at risk, he believes, are minority religions, as evidenced by the recent judicial approval of logging on Native American sacred lands. This wide-ranging study offers discussions of creationism, classroom prayer, private funding for parochial schools, euthanasia, sex education, and the ultimate hot potato, abortion--all noteworthy for their patient analysis and moderate stance. While the law can never establish religion, concludes Carter, we would do well to reclaim the venerable idea that religious faith can be our best guide for political action. Sure to provoke much acclamation and dissent. -- Copyright 1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Anchor Books ed. 53 x 28 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Culture Of Disbelief has been the subject of an enormous amount of media attention from the first moment it was published. Hugely successful in hardcover, the Anchor paperback is sure to find a large audience as the ever-increasing, enduring debate about the relationship of church and state in America continues. In The Culture Of Disbelief, Stephen Carter explains how we can preserve the vital separation of church and state while embracing rather than trivializing the faith of millions of citizens or treating religious believers with disdain. What makes Carter s work so intriguing is that he uses liberal means to arrive at what are often considered conservative ends. Explaining how preserving a special role for religious communities can strengthen our democracy, The Culture Of Disbelief recovers the long tradition of liberal religious witness (for example, the antislavery, antisegregation, and Vietnam-era antiwar movements). Carter argues that the problem with the 1992 Republican convention was not the fact of open religious advocacy, but the political positions being advocated. Rational argument rarely seems as warm, as human, as it does in this book.Carter leads the reader to contemplate the embattled constitutional wall between the state and religion, and he does so without furor, without dogma, with only the qualities he envisions in the ideal public square: moderation, restraint, respect. -- The New Yorker. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780385474986

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