So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State

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Harcourt, 2007 - History - 530 pages
7 Reviews
Today's dispute over the line between church and state (or the lack thereof) is neither the first nor the fiercest in our history. In a revelatory look at our nation's birth, Forrest Church re-creates our first great culture war--a tumultuous, nearly forgotten conflict that raged from George Washington's presidency to James Monroe's. 

Religion was the most divisive issue in the nation's early presidential elections. Battles raged over numerous issues while the bible and the Declaration of Independence competed for American affections. The religous political wars reached a vicious peak during the War of 1812; the American victory drove New England's Christian right to withdraw from electoral politics, thereby shaping our modern sense of church-state separation. No longer entangled, both church and state flourished.

Forrest Church has written a rich, page-turning history, a new vision of our earliest presidents' beliefs that stands as a reminder and a warning for America today.

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Review: So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

Effectively illustrates how the church vs. state arguments are decidedly not a recent features of American politics. Read full review

Review: So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State

User Review  - Jim Hansen - Goodreads

Wonderful way to introduce us to our founding concepts and a great way to engage in discussions with people who have very different views about the values behind our founding Read full review

About the author (2007)

FORREST CHURCH is currently serving histhirtieth year as minister of All Souls Church in Manhattan. He earned his doctorate in church history at Harvard and has written or edited twenty-two books, including The Separation of Church and State. He lives in New York.

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