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The Religious Test: Why We Must Question the Beliefs of Our Leaders
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The Religious Test: Why We Must Question the Beliefs of Our Leaders

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  13 ratings  ·  3 reviews
The Constitution states that “no religious test” may keep a candidate from aspiring to political office. Yet, since John F. Kennedy used the phrase to deflect concerns about his Catholicism, the public has largely avoided probing candidates’ religious beliefs. Is it true, however, that a candidate’s religious convictions should be off-limits to public scrutiny?

Damon Linker
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 27th 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published July 20th 2010)
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Linker presents an interesting argument about the place of religious beliefs and our elected leaders. While his position allows for strong religious beliefs held by our leaders, he does make a compelling case that some beliefs, particularly many currently espoused by today's evangelical Christians, may in fact create conflicts that cause those elected officials to disregard the essential separation of church and state, a bedrock of our democratic principles. This book is definitely worth reading ...more
Jon Wilson
This read like a long (very long) introduction to some other book which never seemed to materialize. And the animosity to the "new atheists" (as he kept referring to Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, et al) had me wondering if they threw a party and neglected to invite him. He seemed to bear them quite a grudge.

Another good pass at the ms by an editor might have helped to tighten the prose--there were definitely long bits that seemed to plod along. Still, despite its shortcomings it proved a serviceabl
The American Conservative
'This is really a book about the alleged danger posed by Christian conservatives. There are more of them, some do want to be leaders, and it’s possible to imagine a few awkward moments in public life if they were to rise to the top. Even so, readers need not fear that the republic is in danger.'

Read the full review, "Fear of God," on our website:
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Damon Linker is a contributing editor for the New Republic and is a Senior Writing Fellow in the Center for Critical Writing at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two children.
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