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Deep Conviction: True Stories of Ordinary Americans Fighting for the Freedom to Live Their Beliefs

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Deep Conviction features four ordinary Americans who put their reputations and livelihoods at risk as they fought to protect their first amendment right to live their personal beliefs. Though these individuals couldn’t be more different, they share a similar conviction and determination, and the principles of religious freedom apply equally to all of them.
In 1813, a Cat
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Shadow Mountain
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May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have never read a book quite like this one! It was amazing just how much I enjoyed this one. It is well-written, interesting and informative.

The way this one is written, it discusses 4 first amendment cases that went to the Supreme Court. 3 of the four cases were before I remember being cognizant of the news. The 4th is a case that I remember hearing a bit about, but not a lot.

Reading about the Supreme Court cases was really interesting. I’ve never really known how the court worked and what ex
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this AMAZING book! Not only is it told in a gripping story-like fashion, but it also really makes you think! It questions what religious freedom truly means as it tells in amazing detail the true stories of four individuals with deep conviction (a Catholic priest, an atheist, a Native American, and a Born-Again Christian) as they fought to protect their religious beliefs against a political system ruled by a majority that does not share their beliefs. It also tells in less detail ...more
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating read. It brought home and to light how important religious freedom really is, and how far people will go to keep that freedom. I was enthralled with these stories of individuals who wouldn't back down on their personal beliefs no matter what the consequence. In the end, the book caused me to reflect on my personal beliefs and how deep my conviction is. Would I be willing to stand up the way these people did? It was incredibly enlightening and I would recommend it to everyo ...more
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book took some time to get into - I wouldn't say the writing style was captivating, but the subject matter was and after I got started, I was hooked. This important book explores four Supreme Court cases that examined religious freedom and then explored the impact of those decisions. I'm so glad I read it as it will be a book I reflect on over and over. It helped me understand how important religious freedom is for whichever religion is in the minority. This is a universal human right worth ...more
This gave me a greater understanding of and appreciation for the separation of church and state. I think everyone would benefit from reading this book. We can find a way to respect others convictions and not force our own convictions on anyone else.
Kevin R.
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Considering this book is all about the intricacies of complex legal cases, it is pretty approachable for regular, non-lawyer readers, like me. I appreciated the way the author presented the arguments on each side, so you could get an idea about what kind of decisions the judges were asked to make. I recommend it to anyone looking to understand the history of religious freedom in the USA.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
If the writing was a little better, I would give this five stars. Regardless, this is a must read. This book really helped me understand what freedom of religion is and what the government's role is in maintaining freedom of religion.
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was easy to assign five stars to this book. I wouldn't have predicted giving it that high of a rating going in. The book highlights the first amendment, religious liberty, by presenting four different individuals from four different time periods each of whose first amendment rights were threatened. Because Collis (the author) is an attorney, I presumed the focus would be on the law rather than the individuals involved in each case. I also thought I would be guided through each case from his p ...more
Ty Turley Trejo
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an excellently framed overview of religious freedom in America. I’d probably give it a 3.5 instead of 4 stars if goodreads allowed ½ stars. Only because of its melodramatic prose at times. The author’s clunky use of similes throughout was distracting from the substance. I think he was trying to liven up the stories, but I don’t think that was necessary. The stories are fascinating on their own merit.

The great value of this book is reading the well-researched details and backstory of eac
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I won this through the Goodreads giveaway.

This is an extremely interesting book that gives an overview of four landmark Supreme Court cases regarding freedom of religion and the concept of "compelling interest" when it comes to laws that affect religious beliefs. It also explores how the Al Smith case in the 80s (regarding the religious use of peyote) has affected the current view of freedom of religion. The book is well-organized and well-written, and I appreciated that the author kept a neutra
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a collection of a few ordinary American lives fighting for their First Amendment rights. Collis chooses a peculiar mix: Roman Catholic priest; Maryland atheist; Klannath Indian; and a Christian baker. Many of these were quite controversial for their time. Also, you may or may not agree with the individual's choice; however, the constitutional argument case followed by Collis is captivating to say the least. I found it captivating to peek behind the curtain at the judicial process leading ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, inspiration
#Deep Conviction. #NetGalley

Four engaging true stories, about legal situations, concerning religious preferences. Steven Collis, knows just how to keep the wrds flowing, I really liked his writing style. Each story is unique and told in such a way, that it kept me capdivated.
. I realy liked this quote: The rule regarding religious freedom should be a constant fixture in our constitutional stars. Instead, it is as unpredictable as the next election. And those who cherish religious liberty only w
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well researched book about several court cases that happened throughout the years that helped to change the future of religious freedoms in the USA.
While they didn't seem like they would fit together at the onset because of the time when they happened and the details, when really looking into it, they all fit and make a difficult case to argue together.
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the best books I have ever read! It is fascinating to listen to each of these court cases and the author does a marvelous job at honoring both sides of each argument. I wish more Americans understood tolerance and the importance of cooperation. The extreme positions being taken by many is causing so much harm. I sure wish this book could be required reading. I highly recommend it!
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book was really captivating and so good! I learned so much from each (true) micro story in this book. It was easy for me to follow and understand -and I feel more passionate than ever about protecting religious freedom for all -and not just the majority. Well written!
Kelly Knapp
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Kelly by: Won as part of the Goodreads Firstreads giveaways
This book has reminded me of how much I enjoyed my American Constitutional Law course. I had learned about two of these cases in class in class, but one is too recent. I has reminded me that we must fight to preserve our rights, especially our first amendment rights.
Kara Martin
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking and well written. If you have any interest in the history of religious freedom in the United States this is a must read.
Leigh Anna
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting to see how America doesn’t really have as much religious freedom as I believed. It was a great to reflect on how I would have ruled the cases had I been the judge.
Nancy Miller
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
We don't get to pick and choose who gets religious freedom and who doesn't.
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Extremely thought provoking.
Apr 22, 2020 rated it liked it
An interesting read about court cases and deeply held religious convictions. I asked myself throughout my reading, would I have what it takes to stand up for what I believe?
Mindi Jeppson
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fascinating read. I had a hard time sticking with it because of other distractions and getting lost in a legal language causing me to take much longer to read than I expected. Totally worth the read.
Joe Meservy
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Superb! The attention to detail and flow made this book read like a novel. And Collis’ ability to tell these important histories with an even-hand to even a layman reader is masterful.
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting takes on four legal cases about religious freedom.
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it
I listened to most and then read the last section. There were too many details like the color of the tie someone wore to court. I think the stories need to be told so people of future generations can be grateful for the freedom.
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Nov 28, 2019
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Mar 28, 2020
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Jan 20, 2020
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Nov 22, 2019
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Steven T. Collis is the author of the nonfiction book Deep Conviction and the novel At Any Cost. He is an equity partner at Holland & Hart LLP and chairs the firm’s nationwide religious institutions and First Amendment practice group. An adjunct professor of religious liberty law at the University of Denver College of Law, he is a sought-after speaker to audiences across the United States, includi ...more

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