Church, State, and the Crisis in American Secularism

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Indiana University Press, Jun 1, 2011 - Law - 312 pages
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Since 1947, the Supreme Court has promised government neutrality toward religion, but in a nation whose motto is "In God We Trust" and which pledges allegiance to "One Nation under God," the public square is anything but neutral -- a paradox not lost on a rapidly secularizing America and a point of contention among those who identify all expressions of religion by government as threats to a free society. Yeshiva student turned secularist, Bruce Ledewitz seeks common ground for believers and nonbelievers regarding the law of church and state. He argues that allowing government to promote higher law values through the use of religious imagery would resolve the current impasse in the interpretation of the Establishment Clause. It would offer secularism an escape from its current tendency toward relativism in its dismissal of all that religion represents and encourage a deepening of the expression of meaning in the public square without compromising secular conceptions of government.

 

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Contents

The Supreme Courts Promise of Government Neutrality toward Religion
3
The Failure of the Supreme Court to Redeem the Promise of Government Neutrality
24
3 Why Only the People and Not History Can Resolve the Establishment Clause Crisis
46
4 Proposals That Have Failed to Resolve the Establishment Clause Crisis
72
Part 2 Using Government Speech and Higher Law to Resolve the Establishment Clause Crisis
95
5 The Establishment of Higher Law
97
6 Using Religious Symbols to Establish Higher Law
120
7 Applying Higher Law in ChurchState Issues
143
8 The Failure of Secularism under the New Atheism
171
9 The New New Secularism and the Higher Law
190
10 Is God a Universal Symbol?
210
11 The New Politics of Higher Law Secularism
229
Perfecting Democracy
246
Notes
249
Selected Bibliography
267
Index
271

Part 3 Using the Higher Law Establishment Clause to Save Secularism
169

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About the author (2011)

Bruce Ledewitz is Professor of Law at Duquesne University School of Law and author of American Religious Democracy: Coming to Terms with the End of Secular Politics and Hallowed Secularism: Theory, Belief, Practice. Ledewitz is a recognized expert in the fields of constitutional law and criminal law.

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