Clifford's Reviews > Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty

Founding Faith by Steven Waldman
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's review
Jan 08, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction-politics, philosophyandreligion, reading-liberally
Read from January 08 to 23, 2011

I'm very glad I read this book because it better equips me to argue in favor of strict separation of church and state. I confess that I had misunderstood the religion of the founders, but, as it turns out, so have conservatives. The history of religious conflict in the colonies and the advocacy of separation by, especially, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, is fascinating.

If I have one quibble it's that the author doesn't seem to have a firm grasp of the doctrine of incorporation, the principle under which, after ratification of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, some but not all provisions of the Bill of Rights have been applied to state and local government. In fact, incorporation has been selective and it was only in 2010 that the current conservative court incorporated the 2nd Amendment.

But that's a relatively minor complaint. Everyone who wishes to be better informed about the issue of church/state separation should read this book.

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