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Holy Hullabaloos

by Jay Wexler

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423472,338 (3.56)2
After ten years spent riddling over the intricacies of church/state law from the ivory tower, law professor Jay Wexler decided it was high time to hit the road to learn what really happened in some of the most controversial Supreme Court cases involving this hot-button issue. In Holy Hullabaloos, he takes us along for the ride, crossing the country to meet the people and visit the places responsible for landmark decisions in recent judicial history, from a high school football field where fans once recited prayers before kickoff to a Santeria church notorious for animal sacrifice, from a publicly funded Muslim school to a creationist museum. Wexler's no-holds-barred approach to investigating famous church/state brouhahas is as funny as it is informative.… (more)
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Not as funny as Assassination Vacation, a book that HH draws comparisons to, but Wexler is really smart, really opinionated, and really invested in getting people to understand church-state law better. ( )
  wearyhobo | Jun 22, 2020 |
A lawyer reviews some of the pertinent church state decisions, and visits the areas where they happened. Although this is a valuable book, the author treats some things a bit superficially, including his discussion of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) which he thinks is a good thing. One wonders if his opinion on that has changed since the recent decision in the Hobby Lobby case? He also buys into the idea that it was unanimous, which means he didn't research it thoroughly enough to understand the strange maneuvers that were used to get it passed at all. In addition, he does what is one of the most annoying things in these sorts of books - he spends a couple of hours visiting with people, and decides that everyone is likable, and poo-poos the fears of those of us who live daily with these surroundings. He also presents a very superficial - and inaccurate - view of history when he states that without the churches, there would have been no abolitionist movement, no civil rights movement, etc. While there were churches and religious people involved, this totally ignores the very real participation and leadership of non-believers, and fails to acknowledge that many saw these as "atheist" movements. The book itself is written in a snarky, half-serious vein that is fun at times and at times becomes a bit off-putting. Some great analogies - check out the Texas longhorns analogy to the Ten Commandments monuments. All in all, a mixed bag, and therefore not a good starting point for someone really interested in these cases. ( )
2 vote Devil_llama | Nov 1, 2014 |
This book wasn't really what I was hoping for when I picked it up. I thought it would be an in-depth look of the stories behind some of the landmark cases involving the separation of church and state. Instead this was more of a amusing overview of the law concerning freedom of religion that included a few interviews with people involved in some of the cases. While the author is good at explaining the constitutional law aspects of different cases and is definitely amusing, I felt he spent too much time doing this. I've already taken con law and didn't really care about the legal issues, I wanted to know more about the stories behind the cases. So while others might find this book more enjoyable, I was disappointed. ( )
  DDay | Jun 12, 2012 |
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After ten years spent riddling over the intricacies of church/state law from the ivory tower, law professor Jay Wexler decided it was high time to hit the road to learn what really happened in some of the most controversial Supreme Court cases involving this hot-button issue. In Holy Hullabaloos, he takes us along for the ride, crossing the country to meet the people and visit the places responsible for landmark decisions in recent judicial history, from a high school football field where fans once recited prayers before kickoff to a Santeria church notorious for animal sacrifice, from a publicly funded Muslim school to a creationist museum. Wexler's no-holds-barred approach to investigating famous church/state brouhahas is as funny as it is informative.

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Beacon Press

An edition of this book was published by Beacon Press.

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