Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Right To Be Wrong

I reviewed a book that I also recommend: The Right To Be Wrong: Ending the Culture War over Religion in America by Kevin Seamus Hasson, the founder and chairman of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. I had to keep the review to a limited number of words so, as usual, I did not say all I wanted to. Who does? I do have some comments, though, about the book that did not make it into the review so I will post them soon. Until then, I give you the opening paragraphs and you can go check out the rest here.

Mary Dyer was regarded as a “very proper and comely young woman”—that is, before she broke the law and was hanged. Her crime: being a Quaker in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Laws against this were on the books and notice had been given. Everything was legal. Was it moral?

Three hundred years later, Zach, a first-grade student, was excited to learn that his teacher was going to let him read in front of the class for the first time. She added a personal touch to the experience by allowing him to read from his favorite book, which Zach brought the next day: the Beginner's Bible. The teacher told him he could not read it in front of the class and would have to read it to her in private. Is this right?

These are just two of the many anecdotes Kevin Seamus Hasson relates in The Right To Be Wrong: Ending the Culture War over Religion in America, his narrative account of the struggle over religious liberty. The work explains how certain events and laws helped to shape the codification of religious liberty in the United States—for good and for bad.

No comments: