So Help Me God by Forrest Church
The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



Today’s dispute over the line between church and state (or the lack thereof) is neither the first nor the fiercest in our history. In a revelatory look at our nation’s birth, Forrest Church re-creates our first great culture war—a tumultuous, nearly forgotten conflict that raged from George Washington’s presidency to James Monroe’s. 

Religion was the most divisive issue in the nation’s early presidential elections. Battles raged over numerous issues while the bible and the Declaration of Independence competed for American affections. The religous political wars reached a vicious peak during the War of 1812; the American victory drove New England's Christian right to withdraw from electoral politics, thereby shaping our modern sense of church-state separation. No longer entangled, both church and state flourished.

Forrest Church has written a rich, page-turning history, a new vision of our earliest presidents’ beliefs that stands as a reminder and a warning for America today.


About Forrest Church

See more books from this Author
Forrest Church is senior minister at All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City. He has written or edited twenty books, including The Jefferson Bible, Restoring Faith: America's Religious Leaders Answer Terror with Hope, and, most recently, Bringing God Home: A Traveler's Guide. He lives with his family in New York.
Published September 8, 2008 by Mariner Books. 540 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for So Help Me God

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Discussion about the separation of church and state often devolves into one-sided, black-and-white debate—either America was founded as a “Christian nation” or every last framer was deeply committed to secularism.

Sep 01 2007 | Read Full Review of So Help Me God: The Founding ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In this beautifully crafted and timely work, the aptly named Church (minister of Manhattan’s Unitarian All Souls Church and author or editor of 22 books) takes us through the complex thoughts and actions of the nation’s founders in a way that will give pause to most readers.

Jul 16 2007 | Read Full Review of So Help Me God: The Founding ...

Daily Kos

James Madison, who declared four National Fast Days as president, later recommended that the offices of congressional and military chaplain be abolished, and that future governments tightly regulate religious corporations, lest their unchecked wealth and political power undermine the state;

Dec 16 2007 | Read Full Review of So Help Me God: The Founding ...

Reader Rating for So Help Me God

An aggregated and normalized score based on 16 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review