Synopses & Reviews
The culture wars have distorted the dramatic story of how Americans came to worship freely. Many activists on the right maintain that the United States was founded as a “Christian nation.” Many on the left contend that the First Amendment was designed to boldly separate church and state. Neither of these claims is true, argues Beliefnet.com editor in chief Steven Waldman. With refreshing objectivity, Waldman narrates the real story of how our nations Founders forged a new approach to religious liberty.
Founding Faith vividly describes the religious development of five Founders. Benjamin Franklin melded the Puritan theology of his youth and the Enlightenment philosophy of his adulthood. John Adamss pungent views on religion stoked his revolutionary fervor and shaped his political strategy. George Washington came to view religious tolerance as a military necessity. Thomas Jefferson pursued a dramatic quest to “rescue” Jesus, in part by editing the Bible. Finally, it was James Madison who crafted an integrated vision of how to prevent tyranny while encouraging religious vibrancy.
The spiritual custody battle over the Founding Fathers and the role of religion in America continues today. Waldman at last sets the record straight, revealing the real history of religious freedom to be dramatic, unexpected, paradoxical, and inspiring.
With refreshing objectivity, beliefnet.com editor in chief Waldman narrates the real story of how America's Founding Fathers forged a new approach to religious liberty--a revolutionary formula that promoted faith by leaving it alone.
About the Author
Steven Waldman is co-founder, CEO, and editor in chief of Beliefnet.com, the largest faith and spirituality website. Previously, Waldman was the national editor of U.S. News & World Report
and a national correspondent for Newsweek
. His writings have also appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Slate, The Washington Monthly, National Review,
and elsewhere. He appears frequently on television and radio to discuss religion and politics. He is also the author of The Bill
, a book about the creation of AmeriCorps. Waldman lives in New York with his wife, the writer Amy Cunningham, and their children, Joseph and Gordon.
From the Hardcover edition.