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Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom…
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Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn't Give You the Right to Tell…

by Robert Boston

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A discussion of the role of the religious right in political, educational, and other areas of our life. The author writes well and readably, and covers quite a bit of territory in a smallish book, but that actually can be a problem. His coverage is shallow and superficial, and he often makes some statements that could make a reader shake their head in disbelief that a man who has spent so much of his time studying and observing the religious right could believe such things...but does he? Or is he just being optimistic because that's what editors want from writers? It can be hard to tell. And his constant paeans to the religious left can be grating, especially since he totally ignores the fact that the religious left often howls loudly at the loss of privileges, too, thereby giving aid and comfort to their less liberal buddies. And some of his historical opinions are extremely careless, with that mystic glow of "better" days back then. In fact, the freedom he touts so easily wasn't really the norm even then. It wasn't until the 20th century that we came to recognize the broad freedoms we take for granted now, and recognizing that could have helped his analysis a great deal, especially in terms of understanding the pattern of why things happened when they did. He realizes that the religious right wants to get back power it once had, but still peddles the idea that the First Amendment ushered in some utopian age of tolerance until fairly recently. A decent book, but not a deep one. ( )
  Devil_llama | Jan 18, 2015 |
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"A concise and lucid explanation of what religious freedom is and isn't. Increasingly, conservative religious groups are using religious liberty as a sword to lash out at others. In this forcefully argued defense of the separation of church and state, Robert Boston makes it clear that the religious freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment is an individual right, the right of personal conscience, not a license allowing religious organizations to discriminate against and control others. The book examines the controversy over birth control, same-sex marriage, religion in public schools, the intersection of faith and politics, and the "war on Christmas," among other topics. Boston concludes with a series of recommendations for resolving clashes between religious liberty claims and individual rights"--… (more)

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