The Last Freedom: Religion from the Public School to the Public Square

The Last Freedom: Religion from the Public School to the Public Square

By: Professor Joseph P. Viteritti (author)Hardback

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Description

The presidency of George W. Bush has polarized the church-state debate as never before. The Far Right has been emboldened to use religion to govern, while the Far Left has redoubled its efforts to evict religion from public life entirely. Fewer people on the Right seem to respect the church-state separation, and fewer people on the Left seem to respect religion itself--still less its free exercise in any situation that is not absolutely private. In The Last Freedom, Joseph Viteritti argues that there is a basic tension between religion and democracy because religion often rejects compromise as a matter of principle while democracy requires compromise to thrive. In this readable, original, and provocative book, Viteritti argues that Americans must guard against debasing politics with either antireligious bigotry or religious zealotry. Drawing on politics, history, and law, he defines a new approach to the church-state question that protects the religious and the secular alike. Challenging much conventional opinion, Viteritti argues that the courts have failed to adequately protect religious minorities, that the rights of the religious are under greater threat than those of the secular, and that democracy exacts greater compromises and sacrifices from the religious than it does from the secular. He takes up a wide range of controversies, including the pledge of allegiance, school prayer, school vouchers, evolution, abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, and religious displays on public property. A fresh and surprising approach to the church-state question, The Last Freedom is squarely aimed at the wide center of the public that is frustrated with the extremes of both the Left and the Right.

About Author

Joseph P. Viteritti is the Blanche D. Blank Professor of Public Policy at Hunter College, CUNY. His many books include "Choosing Equality: School Choice, the Constitution, and Civil Society".

Contents

Preface ix Acknowledgments xvii Chapter 1: Fear and Loathing 1 Chapter 2: Religion and Public Life 15 Chapter 3: Tennessee Tales 44 Chapter 4: Why Schools Matter 66 Chapter 5: Politics, Education, and Religion 87 Chapter 6: Free Exercise, Vacated and Denied 114 Chapter 7: Ageless Wisdom 145 Chapter 8: American Landscape 176 Chapter 9: Conscience and Compromise 208 Notes 241 Index 263

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780691130118
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 296
  • ID: 9780691130118
  • weight: 539
  • ISBN10: 0691130116
  • translations: English
  • language of text: English

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