John Meacham

478 Words2 Pages
Some atheists and agnostics argue to remove "in God we trust" from our currency. Conservatives on the religious right work for prayer in our public schools. Secularists fear religious zealotry, and believers abhor moral anarchy. In this popular level historical overview of the relationship between church and state, religion and politics, Jon Meacham, the managing editor of Newsweek and a practicing Christian, argues against both extremes. There is, he insists, a well-defined historical common middle ground, what he calls a "sensible center," that best serves the many and varied interests of our country. Meacham writes to help us recover that successful effort of our founding fathers to "assign religion its proper place in civil society." He writes with the hope that we can move beyond discord and division to both reverence and tolerance.…show more content…
George Washington, for example, is not known to have taken communion, and one bishop who knew him was confident he was not a believer. Jefferson's scissored-down New Testament is well known. In the realm of what Meacham calls "public religion" the founding fathers thus assiduously avoided any sectarian bias. They strongly protected the right of every citizen to freely exercise "private faith," or no faith at all, as each individual conscience saw fit. Such was the paradox between political liberty and religious faith: "Many, if not most, believed; but none
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