Thursday, April 14, 2011

Brief on Founding Fathers and Islam I Co-Authored For the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding...:

Is now online and accessible here. I co-authored this with Dr. James Hanley.

Here is the except from the website:

In 2010, almost nine full years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a surge of outrage over plans to build a Muslim community center in lower Manhattan swept the United States. Critics were eager to interpret the project as an insult, an offense, and a sacrilege. Moreover, deliberate efforts were made to delegitimize American Muslims and deny them the protections of the Constitution. Such efforts to demonize specific subgroups and deny their legitimacy as citizens of the country in which they reside have often been a prelude to harsher political treatment that goes beyond the merely verbal. As one small effort to counteract this dangerous tendency, we argue here that the United States is not a “Christian” nation in the political sense and that its history and laws provide a space for people of all religions to live freely and practice their faith openly. Using two related lines of argument, we will show (1) that many of the country’s key founders were not “orthodox” Christians and rejected the idea that the country they were creating was politically based on a Christian identity and (2) that important foundational documents of the American republic, including but not limited to the Constitution, clearly eliminate the possibility that the U.S. was meant to be a Christian nation in a political sense.

No comments: