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God on Trial: Dispatches from America's Religious Battlefields
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God on Trial: Dispatches from America's Religious Battlefields

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  79 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
An in-depth look at five recent landmark court battles over the separation of church and state

Over the past two decades, federal courts have become contentious battlefields in America�s growing religious wars. Since 1989, five momentous court cases have divided communities�and the nation. Peter Irons, a noted constitutional scholar, lawyer, and author of the bestselling
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published May 17th 2007 by Viking Adult (first published 2007)
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Mar 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
This book dives into some of the bigger court cases dwelling on the First Amendments Establishment Clause, more commonly known as, the separation of church and state. This issue is very dear to my heart so I read this book with great interest! In addition to details about each case, the motives behind both sides and the details on the entire case movement from court-to-court, the book also included personal reflections written by the main participants from both sides of each case.

I found this bo
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me think about society in a different way. In fact, it left me asking myself more questions than it answered. I appreciated the attempt at neutrality by the other, but it is definitely slanted liberal, but not overly so. I appreciated being able to hear from someone on each side of the case. It helped me to see why they thought they were doing the right thing. Funny thing is that some of the people were so sure of their side, that they didn't even see the hate in their statement ...more
Aug 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: three, 2010
Having read parts of this for a law class, I decided it was time to go back and read the rest of it.

While I found it informative on the cases presented, I thought the writing was rather mundane. Luckily, I enjoy reading about this sort of thing and could handle the rather bland writing.

I was a little put off by the fact that the author said he used a lot of internet resources, but I find the book to be a good introduction into the subject rather than the be all and end all. He also said he did
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
I read this book for my foundations in education class at UGA. The book discusses several large religious cases that have an impact in the classroom as well as many important landmarks. It was interesting to learn the history behind monuments and cases that impacted history. However, the chapters were very long and it would have probably been better to simply read segments of the book rather than the entire book. I think it is a good book for educators to have to know why certain laws have come ...more
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a well-written book by an author who is new to me. He takes the reader through a number of well known court cases that involve religion in America, basically struggling with the separation of church and state. In addition to simple descriptions of the motions, verdicts, appeals and the legal process, he describes the people involved and how these struggles have affected them. This should be worth reading by those who are interested in the law but also those who take their freedoms seriou ...more
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it
An interesting read regarding religion and politics and how both have impacted our everyday lives. The author does a pretty good job of presenting unbiased information on how both sides fought for their cause and how many of the resulting decisions were made. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in politics or religion.
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So far I really love the fact that Irons includes the perspective from a major player at ghe end of his court summaries on both sides of each of the conflicts. May religious and ideological freedom reign! And may freedom of speech always be our most fundamental right. The trouble is when these two sets of ideals collide.
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book--It was really eye opening for me, who grew up in a culture that mourns the decline of "America as a Christian nation". Many of the cases highlighted in this book demonstrate the horrible things "Christian" people have done in the name of God, even in the US in the last hundred years. A really fascinating history.
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
At bottom this is a legal history of constitutional freedom of religion and establishment clause cases, but what could be a dry recitation takes on life as it is told in a conversational style with interviews with the litigants. This is a superb story both for lawyers and laymen.
Jan 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Mostly reading it to get through the course, but it's been an interesting read. I don't care to know so much about specific lawyers, but it's good to know where they're coming from and what these groups support.
Dec 02, 2010 rated it liked it
An interesting report of the people involved in recent First Amendment cases, and the issues as they saw them.
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Dry like toast. I was disappointed that he left out the "breathtaking inanity" quote from the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision.
Nov 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
A good follow up to the book "40 Days and 40 Nights" --- focuses on major separation of church cases that went to the Supreme Court.
Good mix of the legal and the personal, as Irons does well. But reading some of the statements of those in favor of mixing religion and government... as Atrios would say, "The stupid, it burns!"
David Melbie
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Americans!
Recommended to David by: Picked from library
I like the way this book is put together; first, the author describes the case, then the opposing viewpoints have their say. A very riveting read indeed!
Apr 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Currently reading (and enjoying) for my Religious Studies seminar.
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Extremely accessible history of the separation of church and state in the United States with discussion of landmark cases from recent times. I couldn't put it down.
Max Twine
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Aug 22, 2007
Kristy Bryson
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