Endowed by Our Creator: The Birth of Religious Freedom in America

Front Cover
Yale University Press, Jun 5, 2012 - Law - 320 pages
0 Reviews

The debate over the framers' concept of freedom of religion has become heated and divisive. This scrupulously researched book sets aside the half-truths, omissions, and partisan arguments, and instead focuses on the actual writings and actions of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and others. Legal scholar Michael I. Meyerson investigates how the framers of the Constitution envisioned religious freedom and how they intended it to operate in the new republic.

Endowed by Our Creator shows that the framers understood that the American government should not acknowledge religion in a way that favors any particular creed or denomination. Nevertheless, the framers believed that religion could instill virtue and help to unify a diverse nation. They created a spiritual public vocabulary, one that could communicate to all—including agnostics and atheists—that they were valued members of the political community. Through their writings and their decisions, the framers affirmed that respect for religious differences is a fundamental American value, Meyerson concludes. Now it is for us to determine whether religion will be used to alienate and divide or to inspire and unify our religiously diverse nation.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Acknowledgments
Before the Beginning
A Tolerant Protestant Nation
The Second American Revolution
Adding the First Amendment
Freedom of Religion in the New Nation
Original Wisdom
List of Abbreviations
Bibliography
Index
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

A01

Bibliographic information