Culture wars between fundamentalist religionists and anti-religious secularists are among the conflicts facing our world, and the United States. All claim for their positions the ideals and worldviews of the founding fathers. This eye-opening historical probe reveals that the original intent and vision of the founding fathers are misinterpreted, distorted, and selectively referred to by extremists on both sides. Contrary to the adamant and destructive antagonism of both groups, the polarization that reigns today between those who take religion so seriously as to inject it into the Government and those who regard Faith as another foul F-word, has no historical justification whatever. Waldman carefully traces the religious development of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. He not only discusses their role ushering in the unique system of religious freedom and separation of church and state that characterizes the United States of America, but also demolishes every liberal and conservative fallacy on which the culture wars of today thrive. Though annotated with profuse scholarly end-notes, the book is very readable, informative, enlightening, and insightful.
October 1, 2008