Why the Religious Right is Wrong About Separation of Church and State
From All Creatures Book and Video Review Guide

Author: Robert Boston

Reviewed by Frank L. Hoffman


Published by:

Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive
Amherst, New York 14228-2197
Voice: 716-691-0133
Fax: 716-564-2711
Published 2003 ISBN # 1-59102-114-6


Why the Religious Right is Wrong About Separation of Church and State is an extremely well documented work.  Robert Boston has answered and corrected most of the Christian Right's misrepresentations of the facts involved in this issue.  It is an excellent reference source for anyone interested in this subject, as well as an excellent educational tool.

People will ask, "Why would a retired pastor be in favor of this book and encourage people to read it?"  It's because I remember when Bible reading and prayer were commonplace in the schools and how uncomfortable many students were made to feel, even those who regularly attended their own churches and synagogues.  The schools and other governmental institutions are not the venues to teach religion or things about God, because there are far too many religions, denominations, and doctrinal positions, and we can't all have the "correct" answers, no matter how strongly we may believe as individuals.  The place for teaching the Bible and the way we are to live before God is in our homes and religious communities. 

Nothing in the law prevents anyone from praying; it simply can't be forced on those who don't want to be a part of it, just as most of those who want public prayer don't want someone else's religious prayers being forced upon them.

We need to remember that most of the wars we have fought throughout history and most of the terrorist activities are/were conducted in the name of someone's religion.  Robert Boston correctly emphasizes the fact that many of the early Europeans who came to the United States came to escape the oppression of government-sponsored religions.  Furthermore, even many of the early States sponsored religions, and they were extremely intolerant of one another's religion, actually persecuting those who didn't believe as they did.  We corrected this problem with our Constitution and its amendments.  Today, we truly have religious freedom.  Why would anyone want to change it?

My wife and I have personally heard and experienced many of the Christian Right's distortions of the truth that Robert Boston writes about in Why the Religious Right is Wrong About Separation of Church and State.  We have heard teachings from the pulpits in some churches about how all of our founding fathers were born again Christians who founded the United States as a Christian Nation and provided for it in the Constitution.   When we confronted these people with the true facts, we were amazed that they really knew the truth but were simply trying to "rile up the troops" with fear.  What happened to their teachings about perfect love casting out fear (1 John 4:18) and about the truth setting us free (John 8:32)?  They weren't teaching about the things of God; they were teaching their political agenda.

We recommend that every person who truly loves God read Why the Religious Right is Wrong About Separation of Church and State.  We need to preserve our religious freedom!

About the Author:

Robert Boston has served as assistant director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the assistant Editor of AU's Church & State magazine since 1987.  He has also written other books.

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