Discussion of the role of religion in the formation of the Republic becomes a soapbox for right-wing reimagining of American...


"THE THEME IS FREEDOM: Religion, Politics, and the American Tradition"

Discussion of the role of religion in the formation of the Republic becomes a soapbox for right-wing reimagining of American history by the chairman of the National Journalism Center. In his introduction, Evans lists among the titles his friends suggested for the project ""Everything You Were Ever Taught Was Wrong"" -- a situation he sets out to remedy. The so-called liberal version of US history distorts the role of religion, in particular Christianity, in the founding of the nation, he asserts; America was, and is, a Christian nation. The founders of our liberty were in his view deeply religious men (yes, men!) who sought to embody their faith in the principles of the new country, believing that religious precept was essential to freedom. Among his other points: Liberals, who would deny this nexus between religious values and our political system, distort the Bill of Rights provision that forbids a state-established church into a rigid wall of separation between church and state that allows them to ban prayer in public schools and to deride those who would seek to inject faith into public discourse. Such a distortion of the historical record also permits government intervention in economic affairs despite the fact that the framers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were firm supporters of private property and free enterprise. Far from being radicals, says Evans, those who engineered American independence were true conservatives, seeking to preserve the best elements of their Anglo-Saxon heritage while achieving political sovereignty. The great achievement of that heritage, to the author's mind, has been the imposition of limits on state power, a trend he claims modern liberals would reverse. This selective reading of history, complete with attacks on multiculturalism, will doubtless infuriate women, minorities, and those who consider themselves liberals. The religious right and true believers in Reaganomics, however, will cheer Evans on every step of the way.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1994


Page Count: 352

Publisher: Regnery

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1994