The First Liberty: America's Foundation in Religious Freedom, Expanded and Updated

Εξώφυλλο
Georgetown University Press, 7 Μαρ 2003 - 296 σελίδες

At a time when the concept of religion-based politics has taken on new and sometimes ominous tones—even within the United States—it is not only right, but also urgently necessary that William Lee Miller revisit his profound exploration of the place of religious liberty and church and state in America. For this revised edition of The First Liberty, Miller has written a pointed new introduction, discussing how religious liberty has taken on deeper dimensions in a post-9/11 world. With new material on recent Supreme Court cases involving church-state relations and a new concluding chapter on America's religious and political landscape, this volume is an eloquent and thorough interpretation of how religious faith and political freedom have blended and fused to form part of our collective history-and most importantly, how each concept must respect the boundaries of the other.

Though many claim the United States to be a "Christian Nation," Miller provides a fascinatingly vivid account of the philosophical skirmishes and political machinations that led to the "wall of separation" between church and state. That famous phrase is Jefferson's, though it does not appear in the Declaration of Independence nor in the Constitution. But Miller follows this seminal idea from three great standard-bearers of religious liberty: Jefferson, Madison, and Roger Williams. Jefferson, who wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, the precursor of the First Amendment of the Constitution; James Madison, who was politically responsible for Virginia's acceptance of religious liberty and who, a few years later, helped draft the Bill of Rights; and the even earlier figure, the radical dissenter Roger Williams, who propounded the idea of religious freedom not as a rational secularist but out of a deeply held spiritual faith.

Miller re-creates the fierce and vibrant debate among the founding fathers over the means of establishing public virtue in the absence of established religion—a debate that still reverberates in today's passionate arguments about civil rights, school prayer, abortion, Christmas crèches, conscientious objection during warfare—and demonstrates how the right to hold any religious belief has dynamically shaped American political life.

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Περιεχόμενα

Bill Number
1
The Vocation of James Madison
69
This Conscience Is Found in All Mankind
127
A Fixed Star in Our Constitutional Constellation
187
Concluding Notes on Liberty Shaping a Culture
233
Thomas Jefferson A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom 1777
255
James Madison Memorial and Remonstrance
257
Acknowledgments and Sources
265
Index
271
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Δημοφιλή αποσπάσματα

Σελίδα 257 - That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence ; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience ; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other.
Σελίδα 55 - The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty Gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Σελίδα 58 - ... truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them...
Σελίδα 85 - The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to ... freedom of worship . . . and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote ; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
Σελίδα 57 - ... to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty...
Σελίδα 255 - Almighty power to do ; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others...
Σελίδα 53 - ... to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern...
Σελίδα 63 - That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested or burthened, in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.

Αναφορές για αυτό το βιβλίο

A Religious History of the American People
Sydney E. Ahlstrom
Περιορισμένη προεπισκόπηση - 2004
The Political Origins of Religious Liberty
Anthony Gill
Περιορισμένη προεπισκόπηση - 2007

Σχετικά με τον συγγραφέα (2003)

William Lee Miller is now Scholar in Ethics and Institutions at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He retired from the faculty of University of Virginia in 1999 as Commonwealth Professor, and the Thomas C. Sorensen Professor, of Political and Social Thought. He has taught also at Yale University, Smith College, Indiana University, and other institutions, often teaching courses in church and state and religious liberty, subjects on which he has often written. He served on the Fund for the Republics Commission on Religion and a Free Society in the 1960s. He has been an editor and writer on a political magazine, a speechwriter, and a three-term alderman. His books include Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography, and Arguing About Slavery: John Quincy Adams and the Great Battle in the American Congress.

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