By Jon Meacham
The yankee Gospel–literally, the excellent news approximately America–is that faith shapes our public existence with no controlling it. during this brilliant ebook, manhattan instances bestselling writer Jon Meacham tells the human tale of the way the Founding Fathers seen religion, and the way they eventually created a country during which trust in God is an issue of choice.
At a time while our kingdom turns out divided by way of extremism, American Gospel attracts at the prior to supply a brand new standpoint. Meacham re-creates the interesting heritage of a kingdom grappling with faith and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s assertion of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil battle; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian modification to the structure to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s demand civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan.
Debates approximately faith and politics are usually extra divisive than illuminating. Secularists element to a “wall of separation among church and state,” whereas many conservatives act as if the Founding Fathers have been apostles in knee britches. As Meacham exhibits during this brisk narrative, neither severe has it correct. on the center of the yankee scan lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin referred to as “public religion,” a God who invests all people with inalienable rights whereas maintaining deepest faith from govt interference. it's a nice American balancing act, and it has served us well.
Meacham has written and spoken largely approximately faith and politics, and he brings old authority and a feeling of desire to the problem. American Gospel makes it compellingly transparent that the nation’s top likelihood of summoning what Lincoln known as “the larger angels of our nature” lies in improving the spirit and feel of the Founding. In on reflection, we could locate the sunshine to steer us ahead.
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Extra resources for American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation
84 This example shows that using the word “raid” to translate ghazwah in the context of the incidents studied in this chapter is sometimes inaccurate and indeed misleading. In six of these nine ghazawāt, the Prophet did not meet the clans or tribes who were his targets. No explanation is given and this might mislead readers about the nature and objectives of these ghazawāt. indd 23 1/14/2011 3:08:59 PM THE ISLAMIC LAW OF WAR animals could find water, he went there to meet them, but, by the time the Prophet reached these places, they had already moved on.
167 Firestone’s idea that the munāfiqūn were not willing to engage in what he portrays as offensive action is misinformation. ”168 Firestone gives no explanation to substantiate the idea that their refusal to engage in fighting was based on a rejection of the new ethos of war. ”170 Ironically, some of the verses he uses to construct his theory (Qur’ān 48:11, 16) speak of the munāfiqūn who refused to join the Prophet in his journey to perform ‛umrah in 6/628. 171 It was because of such behavior, in addition to their occasional treason, that they were called hypocrites.
Lammens clearly states: “In the old Arab law, the Hijra did not merely signify rupture with his [Prophet Muh ammad] native town, but was equivalent to a sort of declaration of war against it. 43 The tribe or the clan was the source of an individual’s security and sense of belonging. 47 Thus, the fact that they had been persecuted and driven out of their homes and tribes solely because of their beliefs was the Qur’ānic justification for permitting the Muslims to fight in their own defense against their oppressors (Qur’ān 22:39–40), as will be shown in chapter two.
American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation by Jon Meacham