|From The Publisher*||Founding father Thomas Jefferson believed that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God," but these days many people seem to have forgotten this ideal. Conservatives claim America is a "Christian nation" and urge that laws be structured around religious convictions. Hardcore atheists, meanwhile, seek to undermine and attack religion at all levels. Surely there must be a middle ground. In How to Be Secular , Jacques Berlinerblau issues a call to the moderates-those who are tired of the belligerence on the fringes-that we return to America's long tradition of secularism, which seeks to protect both freedom from and for religion. He looks at the roots of secularism and examines how it should be bolstered and strengthened so that Americans of all stripes can live together peacefully. "Jacques Berlinerblau mounts a careful, judicious, and compelling argument that America needs more secularists . . . The author's argument merits a wide hearing and will change the way we think and talk about religious freedom." -Randall Balmer, author of Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts Faith and Threatens America "|
|From The Publisher*||Equally tired of faith tests for politicians and atheist polemics about the crimes of religion? In HOW TO BE SECULAR, Jacques Berlinerblau issues a rousing defense of America's secular roots as our nation's best way of protecting religious freedom for all|
"How to Be Secular serves as an important reminder that, as I have noted in the past, we protect our rights to our personal beliefs by preserving the rights of our neighbors to believe otherwise. I agree wholeheartedly with Berlinerblau's argument and highly recommend this powerful book."
-Mario M. Cuomo, Former New York State Governor
"As someone whose faith is an important part of his life, I highly recommend this book and Berlinblau's defense of religious freedom. With great insight and clarity, he explains why it is important to protect and preserve secularism as a philosophy and he then lays out a twelve step program to revive it."
-Ambassador Dennis Ross, Counselor to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and former U.S. peace envoy to the Middle East
"In this new look at church-state relations in America, Berlinerblau manages to be serious and sprightly in equal measure. This is a call to reject extremism of any sort and return to the American genius for accommodation of our differences-even, indeed especially, our differences over the role of religion in our public life."
-Elliot Abrams, former Deputy National Security Advisor
"This book brought tears to my secular Jewish eyes, it was so good. Berlinerbau is not just an astonishing secular thinker; he knows how to turn a phrase, and he knows how to keep the pages turning. Now put that down that tefillin and read it!"
-Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story, among others
"As the nasty strife has heated up between religious leaders who intrude their particular values into public life on the one side and noisy atheists who insist that religiously-inspired voices should be banned from the public square on the other, I have looked for a book that sorts all this out in a reasonable and convincing manner. This is that book. Well-informed, even handed and crafted in a readable, engaging style, it shines a clear light into the murkiness."
-Harvey Cox, professor of divinity at Harvard and author of The Future of Faith
"This insightful book is not designed to convince you of the non-existence of God or the afterlife; it exists to convince both the non-theistic and the religious that if we don't find a way to work together, we will all pay a heavy price. Berlinerblau makes a compelling, urgent case, with rigorous regard to history as well as a keen eye for the relevance of today's many new variations of fundamentalism."
-Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State
"Jacques Berlinerblau mounts a careful, judicious, and compelling argument that America needs more secularists-not only among nonbelievers but among believers as well. The author's argument merits a wide hearing and will change the way we think and talk about religious freedom."
-Randall Balmer, author of Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts Faith and Threatens America, among others
"Passionately arguing secularism as essential for observance of the First Amendment's religion clauses, Berlinerblau eloquently divorces it from absolute separation and atheism, traces its history, emphasizing the mid-twentieth-century period of its greatest influence and the expansion of civil rights that abetted, and advocates its revival."
"Berlinerblau offers a solid history of secularism in America and a defense of its virtues at a time when conservative Christians attack it as a moral evil and advance the 'flawed' idea that one cannot be both religious and secular...An impassioned argument for 'a firm and dignified defense of the imperiled secularish virtues and moderation, toleration, and self-criticism.'"
"Berlinerblau succeeds in making concrete the current threats to secularism and offers a reasoned blueprint for an organized secular movement to regain its political power."
|Biographical Note||JACQUES BERLINERBLAU, professor at Georgetown University and director of the Program for Jewish Civilization, is the author of four books. He has appeared on radio, television, and print, including NPR, CNN, Al-Jazeera, The Economist, The Jerusalem Post, U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post . He is the host of the webcast Faith Complex," which appears on The Huffington Post and elsewhere."|