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Isaac Kramnick (1938–2019)

Författare till The Portable Enlightenment Reader

17+ verk 1,286 medlemmar 9 recensioner

Om författaren

Foto taget av: Cornell University

Verk av Isaac Kramnick

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Every American concerned about the religious right's never ending attack on the constitution by trying to re-write history (I'm looking at you David Barton) needs to read this book. It completely destroys the claims that the founders of the United States had any intention of creating a christian nation, and proves that the first amendment really means what it says as far as separating church and state. I found it fascinating that the constitution was under attack by the church as an "atheist" document before the ink was even dry. Also, it turns out that baptists were initially supporters of the separation of church and state (before they had sufficient numbers to try and push their misguided morals into government).

My only nit to pick is that the book really needed endnotes. The authors state that because the book is intended for a general audience and that the material cited is familiar to historians and political scientists, that they have foregone including footnotes. However, for those of us (in the general audience) who are not historians and political scientists, endnotes would have been very useful in further study. Admittedly, complete endnotes would probably add 100 pages to the book, but they could have easily been provided via a web site.
… (mer)
lpg3d | 5 andra recensioner | Nov 12, 2022 |
how constitution deliberately excluded religious tests and involment of government in religion, Baptists change tune when not minority
ritaer | 5 andra recensioner | Jun 3, 2021 |
Laski was a participant as well as an observer in most of the political and social issues in both Britain and the US from the end of the Edwardian Age through to 1950 such as the eugenics movement, women's right to vote, labour rights, free speech, reproductive rights, socialism, fascism, communism, Zionism and the onset of the cold war. The book provides an interesting presentation on the evolution of these issues and his views on them. Highlights include his involvement in direct action in the suffragette movement, his relationship with Holmes, Frankfurter and Brandeis and his struggles in the Labour Party.… (mer)
drsabs | Jan 18, 2016 |
It is axiomatic to argue the Founding Fathers had enormous respect for religion, believed firmly that human rights originated from a divine being, and accepted that democracy would benefit from a moral citizenry who believed in God. So why does the Constitution make no mention of a divine being?

Most states (with the notable exception of New York and Virginia) had religious tests for public office that were specifically designed to keep out Quakers and especially the dreaded Papists (Quakers were anathema for their pacifist and antislavery views). One anti-Constitution article widely distributed in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts worried that the proscription of religious tests for office in the new Constitution would cause the government to be overrun with "1st. Quakers, who will make the blacks saucy, and at the same time deprive us of the means of defense - 2dly. Mohometans, who ridicule the doctrine of the Trinity - 3dly. Deists [Most of the Founding Fathers were in fact Deists, a non-doctrinaire group that rejected a supernatural, anthropomorphic God who intervened in human events, believing instead that God was a supreme intelligence who set things in motion to operate forever according to natural, rational and scientific laws.:] abominable wretches - 4thly. Negroes, the seed of Cain - 5thly. Beggars, who when sent on horseback will ride to the devil - 6thly. Jews, etc. etc. [sic:]."

There is a tradition the authors refer to as "religious correctness," which takes the position that America is a religious, especially Christian, nation and there is one correct religious persuasion that must exclude all others. The religious right has gone to great extremes to prove the Constitution was created to perpetuate "a Christian
Order," (James Dobson) and they would like to see a country "once again governed by Christians" (Ralph Reed) - I don't know what he considers Carter, Bush and Reagan.

Kramnick and Moore state flatly and demonstrate convincingly that this viewpoint is wrong. The Founding Fathers wanted to disassociate a person's religious convictions from the value of his political opinion. The Founding Fathers thinking originated from several traditions: the religious thought of Roger Williams, the Baptists of that era, and the English liberal tradition "that put at the center of its political philosophy individuals free of government, enjoying property and thinking and praying as they wished."

Roger Williams' secular approach to government was paradoxically religious in nature. Because "he believed that the number of true Christians would always be a small proportion of the population in any society, he rejected the concept of a nation under God. For England or for the Massachusetts Bay colony to make a claim that it was a Christian polity, a civil government party to a divine contract, was arrogant blasphemy. "

The authors suggest that the writers of the Constitution adopted this secular stance to protect religion from government, and to prevent the trivialization that "religious correctness" standards would cause. They wanted religion to do "what it did best, to preserve the civil morality necessary to democracy, without laying upon it the burdens of being tied to the fortunes of this or that political faction."
… (mer)
ecw0647 | 5 andra recensioner | Sep 30, 2013 |


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