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Marvin E. Frankel

Faith and Freedom


Frankel, former U.S. district judge has written an extended essay on separation of church and state. In light of the current clamor for a Constitutional amendment providing for school prayer, it is unfortunate that his book lacks contemporary urgency, sketching instead the history of U.S. religious liberty and summarizing court decisions over the decades not just on school prayer but on public buses for parochial schools, moments of silence, public creches and other religious displays, and on religious practices such as peyote use or animal sacrifice that violate criminal laws. He makes a good case for his position that the separation of church and state must be interpreted strictly in order to protect minorities, including such telling evidence as a Jewish schoolchild's testimony about being harassed after not praying during a mandated moment of silence. However, Frankel treats questions of religious liberty strictly as differences of religious belief and practice, ignoring the competing social and political agendas of religious groups. And his writing is often awkward and pretentious: "In what critics condemn as a crazily wavering line, but I tend to accept as good-faith efforts by fallible and nonuniform judges, there has been a diversity of cases and fine distinctions."

Format: Paperback
Published: in USA in 1994
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 144
Language: English
ISBN 13: 9780809015757
ISBN 10: 0809015757

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Faith and Freedom