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Our Non-Christian Nation: How Atheists, Satanists, Pagans, and Others Are Demanding Their Rightful Place in Public Life

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Less and less Christian demographically, America is now home to an ever-larger number of people who say they identify with no religion at all. These non-Christians have increasingly been demanding their full participation in public life, bringing their arguments all the way to the Supreme Court. The law is on their side, but that doesn't mean that their attempts are not me Less and less Christian demographically, America is now home to an ever-larger number of people who say they identify with no religion at all. These non-Christians have increasingly been demanding their full participation in public life, bringing their arguments all the way to the Supreme Court. The law is on their side, but that doesn't mean that their attempts are not met with suspicion or outright hostility. In Our Non-Christian Nation, Jay Wexler travels the country to engage the non-Christians who have called on us to maintain our ideals of inclusivity and diversity. With his characteristic sympathy and humor, he introduces us to the Summum and their Seven Aphorisms, a Wiccan priestess who would deck her City Hall with a pagan holiday wreath, and other determined champions of free religious expression. As Wexler reminds us, anyone who cares about pluralism, equality, and fairness should support a public square filled with a variety of religious and nonreligious voices. The stakes are nothing short of long-term social peace.


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Less and less Christian demographically, America is now home to an ever-larger number of people who say they identify with no religion at all. These non-Christians have increasingly been demanding their full participation in public life, bringing their arguments all the way to the Supreme Court. The law is on their side, but that doesn't mean that their attempts are not me Less and less Christian demographically, America is now home to an ever-larger number of people who say they identify with no religion at all. These non-Christians have increasingly been demanding their full participation in public life, bringing their arguments all the way to the Supreme Court. The law is on their side, but that doesn't mean that their attempts are not met with suspicion or outright hostility. In Our Non-Christian Nation, Jay Wexler travels the country to engage the non-Christians who have called on us to maintain our ideals of inclusivity and diversity. With his characteristic sympathy and humor, he introduces us to the Summum and their Seven Aphorisms, a Wiccan priestess who would deck her City Hall with a pagan holiday wreath, and other determined champions of free religious expression. As Wexler reminds us, anyone who cares about pluralism, equality, and fairness should support a public square filled with a variety of religious and nonreligious voices. The stakes are nothing short of long-term social peace.

30 review for Our Non-Christian Nation: How Atheists, Satanists, Pagans, and Others Are Demanding Their Rightful Place in Public Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ed Erwin

    Good, detailed, yet not too long discussion of legal issues in the USA related to religion in public spaces.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Yusuf Nasrullah

    Excellent content on the need for all minority faiths and persuasions to come to the forefront and resist the encroachment of Christian Orthodoxy in the USA - well-reasoned and nicely detailed with actual case histories and anecdotes!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Silas

    This is a great look at civic engagement by non-Christians in an America where religion is being brought into government, mostly from the efforts of Evangelical Christians. Of course, this opens the door to other groups, and this book highlights their efforts. There is some attention given by the author as to whether it is better to have so many different groups participating or to have a purely secular public square, but since the door is already open, he argues, it is better to have a multitud This is a great look at civic engagement by non-Christians in an America where religion is being brought into government, mostly from the efforts of Evangelical Christians. Of course, this opens the door to other groups, and this book highlights their efforts. There is some attention given by the author as to whether it is better to have so many different groups participating or to have a purely secular public square, but since the door is already open, he argues, it is better to have a multitude of voices, rather than a purely Christian one, and he points out that non-Christian participation often results in shutting down religious participation entirely. He covers a number of groups, from the efforts to get pentacles on veterans' headstones by Wiccans to Islamic charter schools to Satanic monuments to Hindu invocations at governent meetings, as well as efforts to be included by atheists and humanists. All of the groups are treated with respect here, even though the author is an atheist. I was familiar with a few of these efforts, and they are covered well, if briefly, and I assume the others I was less familiar with were given similar treatment. This book does a good job pointing out ways in which people have become involved, and the somewhat conflicting legal decisions that have come from that involvement and the resulting backlash. It was worth reading.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pete Apple

    Finished this excellent book this morning. We are not quite at the point yet where our Christian majority is completely comfortable with the fact that we are indeed a nation of "many creeds". It doesn't just deal with non-believers, but also the various non-majority religions such as Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans, etc. and how they are striving for "equal membership" in the various forums and funding that federal/state/local governments provide. My personal favorite is the fight for adding pagan and Finished this excellent book this morning. We are not quite at the point yet where our Christian majority is completely comfortable with the fact that we are indeed a nation of "many creeds". It doesn't just deal with non-believers, but also the various non-majority religions such as Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans, etc. and how they are striving for "equal membership" in the various forums and funding that federal/state/local governments provide. My personal favorite is the fight for adding pagan and other symbols as options at Arlington Cemetery. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Greg Soden

    Loved this book. Who is America’s public space for?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mannie Liscum

    Review coming...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jarrett Neal

    Would have been a better book if it wasn't for the author's snarky editorializing. Would have been a better book if it wasn't for the author's snarky editorializing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    D Friedman

    I wrote this review https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/a... I wrote this review https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/a...

  9. 5 out of 5

    MGLVNA

    Wexler falls into the documentarian's trap of talking about himself just a little too much, but otherwise a fascinating read on the Establishment Clause's implications for religious pluralism. Wexler falls into the documentarian's trap of talking about himself just a little too much, but otherwise a fascinating read on the Establishment Clause's implications for religious pluralism.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Interesting look at the ways in which minority religions and the non-religious can and should participate in US public life, but a bit repetitive at times for my taste. 3.5/5

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steve Erickson

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alice Palumbo

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mortellus

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jodie

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Book

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jara

  18. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Hall

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeci Klikas

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anna Rebecca

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chase Thomas

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ian Bryant-Smith

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary Steffenhagen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Perry

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lott

  27. 5 out of 5

    Les Gehman

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  29. 5 out of 5

    WitchOfTheWood13

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tressa

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