Blasphemy How the Religious Right is Hijacking the


Blasphemy How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence ❰Read❯ ➬ Blasphemy How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence Author Alan M. Dershowitz – Thomashillier.co.uk In Blasphemy How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence author Alan Dershowitz proves that no relation exists between the Declaration of Independence’s “Creator and “Na In the Religious Right is Kindle - Blasphemy How the Religious the Religious PDF ↠ Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence author Alan Dershowitz proves that no relation exists between the Declaration of Independence’s “Creator and “Nature’s God” on the one hand and the Judeo Christian God of the Old and New Testaments on the other hand Learn about the religious right’s goal to Christianize America by using the Declaration of Independence and arguing that this document proves that the United States was founded Blasphemy How Kindle - on Biblical How the Religious Right is PDF or law Understand everything from the argument to the documentation that Dershowitz uses to disprove this historical distortion.

  • Hardcover
  • 208 pages
  • Blasphemy How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence
  • Alan M. Dershowitz
  • English
  • 23 January 2015
  • 9780470084557

About the Author: Alan M. Dershowitz

Alan the Religious Right is Kindle - Morton Dershowitz is an the Religious PDF ↠ American lawyer jurist and political commentator He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School He is known for his career as an attorney in several high profile law cases and commentary on the Arab Israeli conflictHe has spent most of his career at Harvard where at the age of he became the youngest full professor in its history until No.



10 thoughts on “Blasphemy How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence

  1. Liz Liz says:

    I have never read so much of Thomas Jefferson's actual writings letters and documents The author a professor of Law at Harvard Law School and one of the country's foremost appellate lawyers did not have to say much to get the point across Jefferson is not the man that the religious conservatives are saying he is The uestion that comes up at the end of the book is therefore why do they want to make him and other Founding Fathers Evangelical Christians? And by default the Declaration of Independence a Christian document? They were clearly deists and John Adams was a Unitarian buried in Unitarian Church In the author's view they are rewriting history to tear down the walls between church and state The author makes a strong case at the end about the critical need for the separation of church and state Turning our democracy into a theocracy would damage both organized religion and churches as well as make our country divided than ever His arguments are cogent well researched and demanding of our understanding Well worth a readFour stars because he does belabor some points with lots of uotes from the early framers of the Declaration and the Constitution Yet he clearly predicts what is happening now in our political climate and points out how dangerous it is to go down this road Jefferson would turn over in his grave

  2. Richard Etzel Richard Etzel says:

    The author enables the reader to understand how the religious right picks and chooses items within the Declaration of Independence and interprets them as if they were propounded by Thomas Jefferson Yet historical understanding of the meaning of Jefferson's words is exactly opposite those interpretations He calls that callous disregard for the truth a Blasphemy The book ought to be read by everyone so that other interpretations of that famous document can show how the religious right uses bits and pieces of the document to convince readers that America is really a Christian country Their purpose is to tear down the long standing belief that there ought to be separation of Church and State for the good of both bodies

  3. Justin Justin says:

    Many of the nonfiction books I've been reading lately fall under the banner of important but somewhat outdated to the extent that I should probably make a shelf for that Blasphemy is no exception though only in the sense that the dangers it talks about have only gotten pressing in the 13 years since it was written Some elements such as the look into the mindsets of the founding fathers are essentially timeless so those will hold up regardless of when this book is read But while Dershowitz recognizes that the assault on the separation between church and state has been ongoing for a long time and that the tactics of the religious right are perhaps ironically evolving the political climate back in 2007 wasn't nearly as caustic as it is today If anything the alarm raised by Blasphemy come across as an understatement these daysThat said the exploration of the intent behind the drafting of the Declaration of Independence still provides a solid basis for defending the document from current attempts to distort it As a primer for providing rebuttals to the Christian nation argument you could do a lot worseReally my only major uibble with this book is its repetition of uotations For a tome of well under 200 pages there's no need to reuse the same paragraph long uotes two sometimes three times The page count is short enough already without that sort of padding In spite of that Blasphemy is still an important book whose only true shortcoming is only a reflection of just how contentious its central topic has become in the years since it came out

  4. Libertine Libertine says:

    I recently finished an interesting book BlasphemyHow the Religious Right is Hijacking Our Declaration of Independence by Alan Dershowitz That is he refutes attempts by Christian fundamentalists to rewrite the history of our nation's founding by claiming that the Founders were all orthodox Christians who never intended the separation of church and state but founded the USA as a Christian NationThis short book contains three long chapters The first examines the beliefs of the Founding Fathers focusing on the decidedly not Christian Thomas Jefferson uoting extensively from his writings The views of other founders are also covered in less detailThe first chapter also looks at the God language that was used by the Founders though the lens of Deism which many of the Founding Fathers including Jefferson believed in He goes into detail as to how Deism and Universalism differs from today's conservative evangelical ChristianityThe second chapter covers the Religious Right's strategy for making the Founding Fathers over in their image and their plans to turn the US into a theocracy He asserts that their plan is essentially two fold The first step would be a Trojan horse to lower the wall of separation between church and state enough to allow non threatening generic religion God nonsectarian prayer multiple religious images into the government sphere The next step would be to then insist that Christianity is America's only true religion as our nation was in their view founded by Christian on Christian principles This would effectively make adherents of other religions be second class citizens with atheists and agnostics being officially condemned as immoral and would no doubt bring back the legality of having religious tests in order to hold elected officeThe third chapter What Are the 'Laws of Nature' and 'Nature's God'? is the most fascinating in the book in my opinion In this chapter Dershowitz compares the concept of natural laws vs positive legal enactments He shows the logical fallacies in the notion of natural law yet concedes that it is a useful legal fiction that give the legal basis on which to oppose or resist unjust laws that have been properly enactedDershowitz shows that human knowledge from which laws flow comes from three main sources discovery invention and revelation Positive law is based on invention which is an imperfect thing and is subject to amendment and improvement as times and circumstances change Natural law on the other hand is based on discovery andor divine revelation It is fully developed and flawless and is just waiting for humans to discoverdiscern it then to live from thence forward by its unchanging principlesBut the sticking point in natural law is the fact that nature itself is morally neutral Dershowitz uotes Robert Ingersoll In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are only conseuences Anatole France concurred Nature in its indifference makes no distinction between good and evilDershowitz asserts Morality evolves with experience and nature is part of that experience but not the only part In constructing a moral code one should not ignore the varieties of human nature but the diverse components of nature cannot be translated directly into morality The complex relationship between the is of nature and the ought of morality must be mediated by human experienceRather than the laws of nature or God's revealed word Dershowitz believes that source of higher morality is human experience trial and error We are at our best when we recognize our past mistakes and try build a better system of morality to avoid repetition of those mistakes Rights come from wrongs He goes on to say Our present system of rights is not based on Nature of God but rather on a recognition of our past wrongs and a desire not to repeat them or do worse

  5. Psykeactiv1 Psykeactiv1 says:

    This book not only outline ls the constituents proponents and events involved with the Declaration of Independence It details how the struggle to maintain a separation of Church and State is an eternal war from which one can never relent It primes the eye to recognize the strategy of religious majorities to force sectarian policies on their behalfWhat it does not discuss however is how corporations that are sponsored by the religious right have been using the ambiguities of the law concerning religious freedom to force policy for themselves as well as other countries Dershowitz does his best to unveil how through the election of George Bush Jr we as Americans can historically witness how certain liberties were revoked and sectarian policy enforced in the name of Christian Justice However when mentioning how proselytizing charity organizations which came to exist as a result of George Bush Jr's policies are feeding people in the name of Jesus he's not taking into account how this may be affecting the sites where these charities occur For example there are places where Christian Proselytizing would inevitably come into conflict with the status uo of the host nation but needs the aid such as Sudan In this country Islam is the crux of government policy and culture If a Christian organization is feeding the people under the guise of Christian evangelism they're not only predisposing the people to danger by giving them a worldview antagonistic to their everyday reality They're also fanning the flame of intolerance against the people they're trying to help the government knows who's accepting such views and likewise Christianity makes it virtuous to suffer for Christ hence the dilemma Just as President Bush in the uest to liberate Ira in the name of a democracy which they did not want in the case of the people of the country Sudan who could bitereject the hand that feeds them? Such Fait Accompli is common strategy amongst Christian organizations who's sole mission is to expand influenceLikewise Dershowitz reveals there has been a permissible attack on public education by the demand to teach the Christian alternative to Scientific Theory In his arguments however he digresses to suggest that religion is not to be fully vilified Religion in his view as a maximalist power may exist as a checks and balance to the unbounded freedoms of market and government The uestion this raises though is whether it is efficient to regard this role to religion or allow cultural discourse to take precedent as an authorityinfluence for such situationsFrom what I gather from my own life experience and this book cultural discourse can be as free as social media polls and conversations or debates in media that espouse or represent these views It doesn't reuire an institution like a church to operate effectively rather a means by which persons involved are educated and discuss decisions based on the given facts It is my deepest desire to aid to such endeavor and to pioneer such a future for my country

  6. John John says:

    The language of the US Constitution has long presented problems to members of the religious right who take it as an article of faith that the United States being founded by Christians must be a Christian nation The Constitution though mentions religion only twice in the Establishment clause of the First Amendment and the rule against religious tests for public office Art 6 Sec 3 and Christianity not at all The Declaration of Independence however makes several references to religion if not Christianity As a result the RR seeks to use the Declaration as a bridge document urging it as evidence that the founders did indeed intend the United States to be a Christian nation Dershowitz through careful textual analysis of each instance of religious language in the the Declaration as well as letters and other contemporaneous writings argues that although Jefferson used language such as Creator and Nature's God this language reflected the views of Jefferson and the others as Deists not Christians Deist who were uite prevalent among the educated founders did believe in a creator but as believed his workings could be discerned through careful observation of nature's workings and rigorous rationality about those observations Dershowitz posits evidence that their creator was like a celestial watchmaker who having constructed the universal machine set the gears in motion and then stepped back taking no further action to interfere with human affairs Conseuently the Deists like Jefferson abjured belief in anything miraculous written in the bible as against the very observable workings of nature Further Jefferson himself abhorred the idea of organized religion as a pious fraud and argued vigorously no church should be permitted to influence the affairs of the nation in any way or the same corruption of good governance would occur as had in Europe which did have state sponsored religions This is an excellent book for those interested in constitutional history law or the intellectual thought of Jefferson Adams and others as well as those looking for ammunition for arguments with friends and relatives in the religious right

  7. Joseph F. Joseph F. says:

    A small book with a self explanatory title Dershowitz starts his book with what Jefferson actually meant when he referred to God when he wrote the Declaration He uses a series of uotes left by Jefferson's letters It is pretty obvious after reading them that Jefferson as well as many at that time had severe criticisms of the Bible and saw God as deists do a being who designed the world and no longer intercedes with humans He also did not have a son named Jesus Jefferson arrived at this through what he believed was his reason If someone else came to a different conclusion using their reasoning skills that would be fineThe second chapter deals with how so many conservative Christians have latched on to the Declaration as proof that it is a Christian doctrine They do this by misrepresenting what Jefferson meant when he wrote his work in order to push their agenda This chapter will either make you laugh or cry at the insidiousness of some peopleThe book is a bit repetitive and the author even sometimes uses the same uotes than onceBut what pushes this book into the 4 star realm is the interesting chapter 3 Agree or disagree with it it gives much food for thought as to what inalienable rights actually mean Do we have an inborn propensity for such things as liberty? Also when someone says we all have a right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness it does not take a lot of thinking for everyone to claim these are good ideas The uestion is are these rights enough? They are not We still need to create man made laws positive laws to use legalese in order to safeguard peoples' rights And every time a law is passed do we lose a bit of liberty? Best of all is there really such a thing as natural law? Or does everything come down to positive law in the long run?Finally there is in the appendix the Declaration itself for convenience How coolI recommend reading it first before you read the book itself

  8. Daniel Daniel says:

    Blasphemy by Alan M Dershowitz is a concise and educational look into the beliefs of the Founders particularly Thomas Jefferson in regards to religion While the creator is often uoted by religious Conservatives to mean the God of Abraham Dershowitz says that is an outright falsehood Jefferson Dershowitz says was a Deist if anything believing in an impersonal god and not one that watches over creation The esteemed Founder also did not believe in miracles and the many other teachings of Judeo Christian belief Many other Founders felt the same way and were not basing the new nation's laws and political system on anything from Scripture In fact Dershowitz makes a convincing case for how churchstate separation is beneficial to religion as it distances the religious institutions from blame for the excesses of the stateWhile the book is short and sometimes meanders outside its own professed scope it delivers a potent case against the attempt by religious Conservatives to keep a foot in the door to put their religious convictions into public policy This book can be very instrumental in educating the reader on the true secular nature of the Declaration of Independence warts and all Despite the fact that for me it was preaching to the choir as it were this book gave me a greater appreciation of the Declaration of Independence and the beliefs of the Founding Fathers in regards to the relation of religion and politics

  9. Penelope Green Penelope Green says:

    This was a prime example of what I consider the American tendency to believe that what is in their foundational documents is right rather than things that are right should be put into foundational documents Through a long discussion lauding at every moment the Declaration of Independence Dershowitz does establish that the DoI is ambiguous about what God is invoked that Jefferson clearly did not mean the god of the Christian right and that a separation of the federal government and church was intended by the foundersHe does a less good job of critiuing the DoI and the constitution leaving them up on the pedestal and thus preserving the contested ground He never really establishes how seriously the Declaration of Independence should be taken in considering the legal and social set up of modern America given the constitution is the governing document or even if Jefferson and his committee intended any reliance to be place on it beyond the inspiration for a rebellion He is also heavy on the America Is The Greatest Nation Ever rhetoricIn all the dust jacket uote A must for lovers of the founding documents who are concerned with the relations of church and state is probably accurate But if you don't have an unconditional love for said founding documents I'd give it a miss

  10. John L John L says:

    Watch out for religious fundamentalists of all stripes Makes a very convincing case that the Religious right of this country has completely turned around the original concepts of our constitutions founding fathers especially Thomas Jefferson to make it seem that the US is a solely Christian country founded on Christian principals Don't believe 'em when they say that the word Creator was meant to be the Christian's bible's God It wasn't A small book only 170 pages or so and small pages at that but difficult reading Not for your casual sitting at the beach relaxation time

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