The Last Freedom
Religion from the Public School to the Public Square


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The Last Freedom
Religion from the Public School to the Public Square

by Joseph P. Viteritti (Author)



ISBN: 9780691130118


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Argues that there is a basic tension between religion and democracy because religion often rejects compromise as a matter of principle while democracy requires compromise to thrive. This book draws on politics, history, and law, to define an approach to the church-state question that protects the religious and the secular alike.

Challenging much conventional opinion, Viteritti argues that the courts have failed to adequately protect religious minorities, that the rights of the religious are under greater threat than those of the secular, and that democracy exacts greater compromises and sacrifices from the religious than it does from the secular. He takes up a wide range of controversies, including the pledge of allegiance, school prayer, school vouchers, evolution, abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, and religious displays on public property. A fresh and surprising approach to the church-state question, The Last Freedom is squarely aimed at the wide center of the public that is frustrated with the extremes of both the Left and the Right.


ISBN 691130116
ISBN13 9780691130118
Publisher Princeton University Press
Format Hardback
Publication date 04/06/2007
Pages 296
Weight (grammes) 542
Published in United States
Height (mm) 229
Width (mm) 152

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xvii
Chapter 1: Fear and Loathing 1
Chapter 2: Religion and Public Life 15
Chapter 3: Tennessee Tales 44
Chapter 4: Why Schools Matter 66
Chapter 5: Politics, Education, and Religion 87
Chapter 6: Free Exercise, Vacated and Denied 114
Chapter 7: Ageless Wisdom 145
Chapter 8: American Landscape 176
Chapter 9: Conscience and Compromise 208
Notes 241
Index 263