How to Be Secular by Jacques Berlinerblau
A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom

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Founding father Thomas Jefferson believed that “religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God,” but these days many people seem to have forgotten this ideal. Conservatives claim America is a “Christian nation” and urge that laws be structured around religious convictions. Hardcore atheists, meanwhile, seek to undermine and attack religion at all levels. Surely there must be a middle ground.

In How to Be Secular, Jacques Berlinerblau issues a call to the moderates—those who are tired of the belligerence on the fringes—that we return to America’s long tradition of secularism, which seeks to protect both freedom from and for religion. He looks at the roots of secularism and examines how it should be bolstered and strengthened so that Americans of all stripes can live together peacefully.

“Jacques Berlinerblau mounts a careful, judicious, and compelling argument that America needs more secularists . . . The author’s argument merits a wide hearing and will change the way we think and talk about religious freedom.” —Randall Balmer, author of Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts Faith and Threatens America

About Jacques Berlinerblau

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Jacques Berlinerblau, professor at Georgetown University and director of the Program for Jewish Civilization, is the author of four books. He has appeared on radio, television, and print, including NPR, CNN, Al-Jazeera, The Economist, The Jerusalem Post, U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post. He is the host of the webcast "Faith Complex," which appears on The Huffington Post and elsewhere.
Published September 11, 2012 by Mariner Books. 336 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Berlinerblau calls for the strengthening of secularism to guarantee “both freedom of and freedom from religion in American life.” In tracing the roots of the American secular vision, the author points to the shared beliefs of Martin Luther, Roger Williams, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson and James M...

Aug 01 2012 | Read Full Review of How to Be Secular: A Call to ...

Publishers Weekly

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Berlinerblau, director of Georgetown’s Program for Jewish Civilization, comes avidly to the defense of secularism, which he defines as a philosophy that attempts to “balance the individual citizen’s need for freedom of, or freedom from, religion” with “a state’s need to maintain order...

Jun 11 2012 | Read Full Review of How to Be Secular: A Call to ...

Englewood Review of Books

In his chapter “The Christian Right and the GOP,” Berlinerblau quotes Rick Warren, who claims, “I believe in the separation of church and state, completely.

Nov 27 2012 | Read Full Review of How to Be Secular: A Call to ...

Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL — Is it disrespectful to refer to a distinguished Georgetown professor — the director, at Georgetown of the Program for Jewish Civilization, no less — as a cross between Chicken Little and a cheerleader?

Oct 18 2012 | Read Full Review of How to Be Secular: A Call to ...

The Humanist

Read Jacques Berlinerblau and Kenan Malik's Twitter debate on Storify Read a response to this review by Jacques Berlinerblau Subjects: books politics religion secularism This article is from New Humanist magazine, produced by the Rationalist Association, a charity dedicated to reason, scien...

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