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Readers witness the anguish of religious dissenters under the oppressive reign of Bloody Mary and the first sparks of liberty with the rise of Oliver Cromwell and the English Commonwealth. A little more than one hundred years later, across the sea, James Madison, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson fight to establish a bill of rights that will guarantee every American citizen the “free exercise” of their religion. Without sugarcoating either side of the story, author Michael Farris, an exemplary twenty-first-century statesman and constitutional lawyer who regularly defends religious freedom on Capitol Hill, shares eye-opening historical details regarding the sacrifices people made then to secure the inalienable rights we enjoy today.
“We must tell the story of the Christian persecutors, so that we can put to the test the claim that people who cared little about faith and religion were the heroes of liberty. The true heroes are not to be found among the salons of the Enlightenment philosophes, but in the cells in King’s Bench Prison and tied to the stake at Smithfield.”
This is their story.