Just as the documentary Eyes on the Prize captured the rich drama of the civil rights movement, Sacred Liberty brings to life the remarkable story of how America became one of the few nations in world history that has religious freedom, diversity and high levels of piety at the same time. Finally, Sacred Liberty provides a roadmap for how, in the face of modern threats to religious freedom, this great achievement can be preserved.
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Table of Contents
The long march to religious freedom.
1 Failed Experiments 11
For more than two hundred years, the American colonies try traditional approaches to religious tolerance. It does not go well.
2 Madison's Model 25
James Madison helps craft the Constitution, the First Amendment, and an ingeniously counterintuitive theory of religious freedom.
3 The Startup Boom 49
The state religious establishments collapse and religious fervor erupts.
4 The Romish Threat 65
America confronts a flammable question: Should religious freedom apply to Catholics?
5 The Religious Freedom of Slaves 81
African spirituality and Islam are purged, creating a "spiritual holocaust."
6 The Divine Plan 89
Real religious freedom exists because of the Fourteenth Amendment, which exists because of Representative John Bingham, a devout Christian on a special mission.
7 The Mormon Challenge 97
The astonishing American war on Mormonism reveals the shallowness of the nineteenth-century commitment to religious freedom.
8 Kill the Indian, Christianize the Man 119
The efforts to help Native Americans include the campaign to ban their spiritual practices and convert their children to Christianity.
9 The KKK, Al Smith, and the Fight for the Public Schools 141
The surge in Catholic immigration prompts an ugly Protestant backlash.
10 The Witnesses 163
A tiny, reviled, and obnoxious American religion forces the nation to define what religious liberty really means.
11 World War II and the Judeo-Christians 177
To defeat Hitler and the Communists, America elevates and redefines religious freedom and invites Jews to the table.
12 Enter the Supreme Court 197
The full power of the First Amendment is finally felt as the Court becomes a major player.
13 "Alien Blood" 215
Millions of Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists enter America-transforming the dynamics of religious freedom-thanks to the immigration act of 1965.
14 Political Bedfellows 227
The poison gets drained from the Protestant-Catholic relationship-in part because of the rise of the religious right.
15 The "War" on "Christianity" 239
Evangelical Christians go from "moral majority" to persecuted minority.
16 All-American Islam 257
Muslims are on their way to becoming the latest fully mainstreamed American religion. Until 9/11.
17 "An Enemy Inside Our Perimeter" 271
A major attack on religious freedom is launched against American Muslims, accelerated by a new kind of media and a new kind of leader.
18 Preserving Religious Freedom 301
Why it took so long, how we might lose it, and how we can save it.
Captions, Permissions, and Credits 389