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The Culture of Disbelief

Hardback|Oct 1993
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$105.00

Written by the author of Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, this book argues that in America's zeal to keep religion out of politics, it has forced the religiously devout to act as if their faith doesn't really matter. Stephen...


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Written by the author of Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, this book argues that in America's zeal to keep religion out of politics, it has forced the religiously devout to act as if their faith doesn't really matter. Stephen Carter takes on the conventional wisdom that to secure religious freedom we must keep religion out of the public realm.;Carter uses liberal means to arrive at what are often considered conservative ends. A firm believer in the separation of church and state (just as he endorses some forms of affirmative action), he argues that it is possible, even vital, to maintain that separation without trivializing religious belief or treating religious believers with disdain. A wide range of issues appear in a new light - from religion in schools to Moonie weddings, from abortion to the Clarence Thomas hearings.
-Publisher

"America, it is often noted, is the most religious nation in the Western world. At the same time, many political leaders and opinionmakers have come to view any religious element in public discourse as a tool of the radical right for reshaping American society. In our sensible zeal to keep religion from dominating our politics, Stephen L. Carter argues, we have constructed political and legal cultures that force the religiously devout to act as if their faith doesn't really matter." "This book 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. Carter explains how preserving a special role for religious communities can strengthen our democracy. The book recovers the long tradition of liberal religious witness (for example, the antislavery, antisegregation, and Vietnam-era antiwar movements), and argues that the problem with the 1992 Republican convention was not the fact of open religious advocacy but the political positions being advocated. A vast array of issues appear in a new light: everything from religion in schools to the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's mass weddings, from abortion to the Branch Davidians."--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
-Publisher

In our (Americans) sensible zeal to keep religion from dominating our politics, argues Carter (law, Yale U.), we have constructed political and legal cultures that force the religiously devout to act as if their faith doesn't really matter. Carter goes on to explain how we can preserve the separation of church and state while embracing rather than trivializing the faith of millions of citizens. Written clearly, without jargon, for a wide audience including--yes--secular humanists. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
-Publisher

PRODUCT DETAIL

Stephen L Carter

Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University. ýBorn in 1954 in Washington, D.C., Professor Carter was educated in the public schools of New York City, Washington, and Ithaca, New York. In 1976 he received his bachelor's degree with honors from Stanford University, where he majored in history, and in 1979 he received his law degree from the Yale Law School. ýFollowing his graduation from law school, Professor Carter served as law clerk to Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III of the United States Court of Appeals in Washington D.C., and, the next year, as

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