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March 01, 2005

Bleg

I'm participating in a quarterly right-left debate tomorrow. Format is three people each side doing the debate, with each responsible for a two minute statement on a topic besides. I've got secularism. I don't know much about it, so if you guys have any resources on church-state separation plus founding fathers stuff, it'd be a big help. Also, UCLA (or LA) folks are welcome to come -- just e-mail me for the info.

March 1, 2005 | Permalink

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Posted by: Padraig | Mar 1, 2005 1:17:12 AM

Uhm, did you read Sunday's NY Times? Front of the week in review section.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/27/weekinreview/27kirk.html

Posted by: bunny | Mar 1, 2005 1:41:35 AM

Just go to New Republic and find everything Leon Wieseltier (SP?) has ever written.

Also, note my URL: I have a new blog! (You can bleg, but I can't plug?)

Posted by: Daniel A. Munz | Mar 1, 2005 2:12:07 AM

You can try "The Godless Constitution: The Case Against Religious Correctness" by Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore, although it doesn't appear that your library has a copy of that book.

failing that you can also try these links:

Chapter One of "The Godless Constitution

Our Godless Constitution, by Brooke Allen

Although whenever someone nutcase tries to say that religion should be the basis of our laws, I just tell them that the refusal of our government to establish a religion has led to a growth and vibrancy of religious life in America that is in steep decline in formerly caesaropapist European countries.

Or in order to be blunt for these idiots, I just say if we do what the Puritans did, we wouldn't be celebrating Christmas.

Posted by: ItAintEazy | Mar 1, 2005 2:14:49 AM

A lot of the founders were Deists rather than holy rollers. These links may be of some help.
http://www.deism.com/deism_vs.htm
http://www.deism.com/DeistAmerica.htm

Posted by: Tim Z. | Mar 1, 2005 7:06:49 AM

How fast can you read Under God by Garry Wills?

Posted by: Steve M. | Mar 1, 2005 8:10:16 AM

Bruce Prescott discussed the role of early American Baptists in their strong support of the separation of church and state in his blog on Jim Inhofe's 'hoaxes'. He also has some more detail on Virginia Baptist John Leland and his role in the First Amendment.

Posted by: Harold Brooks | Mar 1, 2005 8:42:21 AM

A couple of interesting and informative articles.

"Confessions of a Lonely Atheist" by Natalie Angier
http://ffrf.org/timely/angier.php

Also, "Raising Children with Secular Values in a Religious World"
http://www.cfimetrony.org/natalie.html

Confessions will probably give you more information for your debate.

Also, secular web has quite a lot of good articles:

http://www.secweb.org/

Posted by: mark | Mar 1, 2005 9:18:52 AM

I thought this Nation article hit on all cylinders:

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050221&s=allen

Posted by: Karl the Idiot | Mar 1, 2005 9:46:45 AM

http://www.secularhumanism.org/fi/

They publish Free Inquiry and are affiliated with CSICOP.

Posted by: Matt | Mar 1, 2005 10:18:49 AM

I second itainteazy on the Brooke Allen article- top notch.

I read "Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism" by Susan Jacoby, recently. It is very much worth reading- and it's not too long.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0805074422/002-4624870-3368063?v=glance

She heads the Center For Inquiry- Metro New York:
http://www.cfimetrony.org/

Also, consider the correspondence of Jefferson and Adams (if you've more time than... you have...)

Posted by: TJ | Mar 1, 2005 10:31:08 AM

I would talk less about America and more about Afghanistan. Then I might read one or two quotations from the Reverend Fred Phelps.

Posted by: Matt Singer | Mar 1, 2005 11:28:01 AM

Let me recommend Part One of Sarah Barringer Gordon's excellent book The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America. She looks at how the need to combat Mormons' establishment of polygamy in the Utah Territory brought the nation to abandon its distrust of federalism. The Republican Party campaigned hard for the ability of the federal government to overrule local decisions that undermined the "Christian" social order, such as polygamy (but also slavery; the two often went hand-in-hand). You can at least get the introduction online from UNC Press, which published the book.

Posted by: Musing Michael | Mar 1, 2005 11:28:31 AM

Good inputs but time is a short bastard. Try infidels.org

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