The Godless Constitution: A Moral Defense of the Secular State

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The Godless Constitution: A Moral Defense of the Secular State

Author: Isaac Kramnick
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Copyright: 1996
Pages: 224
Cover Price: $ 15.95

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The Godless Constitution is a ringing rebuke to the religious right's attempts, fueled by misguided and inaccurate interpretations of American history, to dismantle the wall between church and state erected by the country's founders. The authors, both distinguished scholars, revisit the historical roots of American religious freedom, paying particular attention to such figures as John Locke, Roger Williams, and especially Thomas Jefferson, and examine the controversies, up to the present day, over the proper place of religion in our political life. With a new chapter that explores the role of religion in the public life of George W. Bush's America, "The Godless Constitution" offers a bracing return to the first principles of American governance.

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Background Information

The United States Constitution is the written document by which both the federal government was instituted. Religion brought some of the first English colonists to the New World and religious variety has been a national hallmark. Roger Williams was driven from the Massachusetts Bay Colony due to his religious views and founded Providence, Rhode Island. The separation of church and state, incorporated in the First Amendment, is established without that exact phrase ever being used.