The recent flurry of books on the religion clauses of the First Amendment suggests the durability of both free exercise and disestablishment, as well as the continuing contestations over their interpretation. Although religious diversity has characterized America since the colonial period, diversity has only increased in recent decades (especially since the Hart–Celler Act of 1965), prompting jurists, politicians, scholars, and Americans themselves to consider anew the ramifications of the First Amendment.
Dennis J. Goldford’s contribution to this conversation, The Constitution of Religious Freedom: God, Politics, and the First Amendment,arguesthat “government shall not take a position, nor do anything that amounts to taking a position, on the truth or worth of religion, religious beliefs and values, and religious practices” (p. 213). The U.S. government, Goldford says, is a secular institution and not a theological institution capable of rendering judgment on the merits of particular religions. When the government does so, the author contends, “it creates the structure of implicit coercion by forcing us to choose between what I call our civic identity and our religious identity” (p. 223).
Goldford builds his argument on constitu
To continue reading, see options above.
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
North Korea and the West
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
Articles | Book reviews
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.