Religion on Trial: How Supreme Court Trends Threaten the Freedom of Conscience in Americaby Phillip E. Hammond, David W. Machacek, Eric Michael Mazur, Eric Michael Mazur
The free exercise of conscience is under threat in the United States. Already the conservative bloc of the Supreme Court is reversing the progress of religious liberty that had been steadily advancing. And this danger will only increase if more conservative judges are nominated to the court. This is the impassioned argument of Religion on Trial. Against Justices
The free exercise of conscience is under threat in the United States. Already the conservative bloc of the Supreme Court is reversing the progress of religious liberty that had been steadily advancing. And this danger will only increase if more conservative judges are nominated to the court. This is the impassioned argument of Religion on Trial. Against Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Chief Justice Rehnquist, the authors argue that what the First Amendment protects is the freedom of individual conviction, not the rights of sectarian majorities to inflict their values on others. Beginning with an analysis of the origins of the Constitution and then following the history of significant church-state issues, Religion on Trial shows that the trajectory of American history has been toward greater freedoms for more Americans: freedom of religion moving gradually toward freedom of conscience regardless of religion. But in the last quarter-century, conservatives have gained political power and they are now attempting to limit the ability of the Court to protect the rights of individual conscience. Writing not just as scholars, but as advocates of church-state separation, Hammond, Machacek, and Mazur make the strong case that every American needs to pay attention to what is happening on the Surpeme Court or risk losing the liberties of conscience and religion that have been gained so far.
Robert W. Langran, Villanova University
- AltaMira Press
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Meet the Author
Phillip E. Hammond is D. Mackenzie Brown Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has written numerous books and articles, including The School Prayer Decisions: From Court Policy to Local Practice (1971), The Protestant Presence in Twentieth Century America: Religion and Political Culture (1992), Religion and Personal Autonomy: The Third Disestablishment in America (1992), and With Liberty for All: Freedom of Religion in the United States (1998). David W. Machacek is resident fellow at the Greenberg Center for Religion in Public Life and visiting assistant professor of public policy at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. His relevant publications include: 'Religious and Sexual Liberty: Civic versus Personal Morality in the United States' in his forthcoming volume Sexuality and the World's Religions (2003), 'The Problem of Religious Pluralism' in the journal Sociology of Religion (2003), and 'Religion in Civil Society' in The Encyclopedia of Community (2003). He is also co-author with Phillip E. Hammond of Soka Gakkai in America: Accomodation and Conversion (1999). Eric Michael Mazur is associate professor of religion at Bucknell University. His publications include The Americanization of Religious Minorities: Confronting the Constitutional Order (1999), ''The Supreme Law of the Land': Sources of Conflict between Native Americans and the Constitutional Order' in American Indian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Contemporary Issues (1997), 'Constitutional Authoirty and Prospects for Social Justice for High Tension Religious Communities' in the journal Social Justice Research (1996), and with Phillip Hammond, 'Church, State, and the Dilemma of Conscience' in the Journal of Church and State (1995).
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