Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Religion in public life

Today's Chicago Tribune quotes from author Jon Meacham's new book, American Gospel, here:
When the subject is faith in the public square, secularists reflexively point to the Jeffersonian `wall of separation between church and state' as though the conversation should end there; many conservative Christians defend their forays into the political arena by citing the founders, as though Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin were cheerful Christian soldiers.

Yet to claim that religion has only recently become a political force in the United States is uninformed and unhistorical; in practice, the `wall' of separation is not a very tall one. Equally wrongheaded is the tendency of conservative believers to portray the founding fathers as apostles in knee britches.

Is it time to buy a book?