The United States is the most religiously diverse nation in the world, due in large part to the clauses of the First Amendment that guarantee freedom for and from religion. But as we debate displaying Christmas trees at city hall and the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, we must ask: in what other ways is our religious liberty being compromised.
In First Freedom First, with clear language and recognizable examples, two of the most trusted voices on church-state separation address head-on the many areas where religion and politics overlap, with consequences for all Americans. This book is for anyone concerned about such issues as:
* Churches hosting politicians and insisting they give testaments of their faith
* Science teachers questioning the theory of evolution in their public school classrooms
* Public religious debates on private issues involving end-of-life decisions and reproductive choices
* Federal funding for religious organizations, including those that discriminate openly
With religion a constant presence in political discussions, First Freedom First offers practical and easy ways to remind our leaders and our community of the importance of keeping religion and politics separate, for the sake of both institutions.
About the Author
Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy is the president of the Interfaith Alliance and the Interfaith Alliance Foundation. Rev. Gaddy has held numerous positions of leadership both within and outside of the Baptist movement and is a member of the Council of 100 Leaders, which seeks to bridge the gap between Islam and the West. The author of more than twenty books and the host of a nationally syndicated radio show, Rev. Gaddy focuses on promoting religion as a positive force in national life.
Rev. Barry W. Lynn is the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. An accomplished writer, speaker and lecturer, Lynn has appeared frequently on television and radio to offer analysis of First Amendment issues.
"This is a book for every American. Gaddy and Lynn have provided us with a volume that informs and challenges, as well as inspires and guides us, on issues of vital importance—our founding fathers' vision for religious liberty and their constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state."—Walter Cronkite
"If we forsake our freedom of religion, it's not the kind of thing we can ask nicely to have returned to us when we realize later how much we need it. First Freedom First explains why we ought to avoid this mistake, but, crucially, also how to avoid it—how respect for the First Amendment can unify even the most disparate elements in America's spiritual life."—Rachel Maddow, Air America Radio