In God We Trust by Kathryn Page Camp is a serious work of nonfiction describing how the clause in the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of established religion affects how we practice religion today. Each chapter addresses different Supreme Court cases heard throughout history regarding the “establishment clause.” Though the author’s motivation for writing this book is not clearly presented, it seems to be geared more toward educating the American public than simply providing a book for leisure reading. Many of the issues presented are multi-layered, complicated, and intense. They are all well researched, but perhaps more intricately detailed than the common non-lawyer reader needs in order to appreciate the laws and their ramifications.
This book is laid out much like a government textbook, in which each chapter highlights a different type of case heard by the Supreme Court. At the end of each chapter are questions much like those students might be asked to complete for a test over a reading assignment.
As stated by the author in the introduction, “The purpose of this book is to help you reach your own conclusions.” Until the last chapter there are no opinions presented and the facts are stated in the most neutral way possible. It is up to the reader to decide whether the Supreme Court’s decisions during the last two centuries have either negatively or positively affected organized religion.
While this book is informative, not everyone will find it easy to read. It would be an excellent source for someone hoping to learn more about issues related to the separation of church and state. Whereas I would recommend this book to someone such as a lawyer, reporter, or pastor hoping to research the history of cases involving religion, it is definitely a challenge for the lay reader. -- Sarah Miner, Christian Book Previews.com
An unbiased account of the effect Supreme Court decisions have on organized religion.
Features the largest number of actual cases in one volume ever made available to the general public. A perfect resource for the library of those who are touched by the First Amendment and freedom of religion issues. A great reference for teachers, pastors, social activists, students and those interested in current events.
Find out the effect Supreme Court decisions have had on organized religion since the First Amendment was adopted.
The First Amendment has been the basis of many public controversies from prayer in school to the use of religious symbols on public property. As new members take their place on the Supreme Court it is important to understand which decisions earlier courts have made and what decisions are yet to be made. There are few areas of debate which stir the passions of people of faith more than those involving the First Amendment. In God We Trust is a book which should be on the reference shelf of every church leader and concerned Christian in the United States.
Written by a lawyer in everyday language.