Why religion fell off the radar in Australia - and how it can get back on At the time of Federation 98% of Australians identified themselves as Christians. Now only 8% say they regularly go to Church. What's changed? How did Australia become a post-Christian nation and what part did the Churches play in their own decline? Author Roy Williams (God, Actually, In God they trust?) has long been an impassioned defender of Christianity. Here, he tackles the decline of the church head on, acknowledging that in many cases, inflexibility, negativity and a refusal to listen have led to a tarnished image. But he also argues that Australia had a long and often misunderstood Christian heritage. And without it, he says, we will become a society with no moral centre, a community where rampant materialism is the only rule. Offering a bold roadmap for the Church to change, Williams challenges atheists, agnostics and true believers to a genuinely open debate about the force of faith.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham reveals how the Founding Fathers viewed faith—and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice. At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Debates about religion and politics are often more divisive than illuminating. Secularists point to a “wall of separation between church and state,” while many conservatives act as though the Founding Fathers were apostles in knee britches. As Meacham shows in this brisk narrative, neither extreme has it right. At the heart of the American experiment lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin called “public religion,” a God who invests all human beings with inalienable rights while protecting private religion from government interference. It is a great American balancing act, and it has served us well. Meacham has written and spoken extensively about religion and politics, and he brings historical authority and a sense of hope to the issue. American Gospel makes it compellingly clear that the nation’s best chance of summoning what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” lies in recovering the spirit and sense of the Founding. In looking back, we may find the light to lead us forward. Praise for American Gospel “In his American Gospel, Jon Meacham provides a refreshingly clear, balanced, and wise historical portrait of religion and American politics at exactly the moment when such fairness and understanding are much needed. Anyone who doubts the relevance of history to our own time has only to read this exceptional book.”—David McCullough, author of 1776 “Jon Meacham has given us an insightful and eloquent account of the spiritual foundation of the early days of the American republic. It is especially instructive reading at a time when the nation is at once engaged in and deeply divided on the question of religion and its place in public life.”—Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Already the most discussed and most important religious book of the decade." --David Brooks In this controversial bestseller, Rod Dreher calls on American Christians to prepare for the coming Dark Age by embracing an ancient Christian way of life. From the inside, American churches have been hollowed out by the departure of young people and by an insipid pseudo-Christianity. From the outside, they are beset by challenges to religious liberty in a rapidly secularizing culture. Keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House may have bought a brief reprieve from the state's assault, but it will not stop the West's slide into decadence and dissolution. Rod Dreher argues that the way forward is actually the way back--all the way to St. Benedict of Nursia. This sixth-century monk, horrified by the moral chaos following Rome's fall, retreated to the forest and created a new way of life for Christians. He built enduring communities based on principles of order, hospitality, stability, and prayer. His spiritual centers of hope were strongholds of light throughout the Dark Ages, and saved not just Christianity but Western civilization. Today, a new form of barbarism reigns. Many believers are blind to it, and their churches are too weak to resist. Politics offers little help in this spiritual crisis. What is needed is the Benedict Option, a strategy that draws on the authority of Scripture and the wisdom of the ancient church. The goal: to embrace exile from mainstream culture and construct a resilient counterculture. The Benedict Option is both manifesto and rallying cry for Christians who, if they are not to be conquered, must learn how to fight on culture war battlefields like none the West has seen for fifteen hundred years. It's for all mere Christians--Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox--who can read the signs of the times. Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do. Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that has overtaken us. These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.
In the wake of September 11, 2001, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created to prevent terrorist attacks in the US.This led to dramatic increases in immigration law enforcement - raids, detentions and deportations have increased six-fold. Immigration Nation critically analyses the human rights impact of this tightening of US immigration policy. Golash-Boza reveals that it has had consequences not just for immigrants, but for citizens, families and communities. She shows that even though family reunification is officially a core component of US immigration policy, it has often torn families apart. This is a critical and revealing look at the real life - frequently devastating - impact of immigration policy in a security conscious world.
War and PTSD are on the public's mind as news stories regularly describe insurgency attacks in Iraq and paint grim portraits of the lives of returning soldiers afflicted with PTSD. These vets have recurrent nightmares and problems with intimacy, can’t sustain jobs or relationships, and won’t leave home, imagining “the enemy” is everywhere. Dr. Edward Tick has spent decades developing healing techniques so effective that clinicians, clergy, spiritual leaders, and veterans’ organizations all over the country are studying them. This book, presented here in an audio version, shows that healing depends on our understanding of PTSD not as a mere stress disorder, but as a disorder of identity itself. In the terror of war, the very soul can flee, sometimes for life. Tick's methods draw on compelling case studies and ancient warrior traditions worldwide to restore the soul so that the veteran can truly come home to community, family, and self.
How the billionaire owners of Hobby Lobby are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make America a “Bible nation” Like many evangelical Christians, the Green family of Oklahoma City believes that America was founded on a “biblical worldview as a Christian nation.” But the Greens are far from typical evangelicals in other ways. The billionaire owners of Hobby Lobby, a huge nationwide chain of craft stores, the Greens came to national attention in 2014 after successfully suing the federal government over their religious objections to provisions of the Affordable Care Act. What is less widely known is that the Greens are now America’s biggest financial supporters of Christian causes—and they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in an ambitious effort to increase the Bible’s influence on American society. In Bible Nation, Candida Moss and Joel Baden provide the first in-depth investigative account of the Greens’ sweeping Bible projects and the many questions they raise. Bible Nation tells the story of the Greens’ rapid acquisition of an unparalleled collection of biblical antiquities; their creation of a closely controlled group of scholars to study and promote their collection; their efforts to place a Bible curriculum in public schools; and their construction of a $500 million Museum of the Bible near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Bible Nation reveals how these seemingly disparate initiatives promote a very particular set of beliefs about the Bible—and raise serious ethical questions about the trade in biblical antiquities, the integrity of academic research, and more. Bible Nation is an important and timely account of how a vast private fortune is being used to promote personal faith in the public sphere—and why it should matter to everyone.
Presents ideas about the state of Christianity in the United States
Conventional wisdom holds that America has been a Christian nation since the Founding Fathers. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse argues that the idea of “Christian America” is nothing more than a myth—and a relatively recent one at that. The assumption that America was, is, and always will be a Christian nation dates back no further than the 1930s, when a coalition of businessmen and religious leaders united in opposition to the FDR’s New Deal. With the full support of Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s, these activists—the forerunners of the Religious Right—propelled religion into the public sphere. Church membership skyrocketed; Congress added the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance and made “In God We Trust” the country’s official motto. For the first time, America became a thoroughly religious nation. Provocative and authoritative, One Nation Under God reveals how the comingling of money, religion, and politics created a false origin story that continues to define and divide American politics today.
Traces the decline of Christianity in America since the 1950s, posing controversial arguments about the role of heresy in the nation's downfall while calling for a revival of traditional Christian practices.
Christopher Hitchens, described in the London Observer as “one of the most prolific, as well as brilliant, journalists of our time” takes on his biggest subject yet–the increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world. In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, The End Of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope’s awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix. From the Hardcover edition.
Argues that the increasing power of Christian fundamentalists in American politics threatens the country's citizens, blames the Bible for promoting intolerance of other faiths, and describes atheism as "an admission of the obvious."
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER A call to action from three of Washington's premier political scholar-journalists, One Nation After Trump offers the definitive work on the threat posed by the Trump presidency and how to counter it. American democracy was never supposed to give the nation a president like Donald Trump. We have never had a president who gave rise to such widespread alarm about his lack of commitment to the institutions of self-government, to the norms democracy requires, and to the need for basic knowledge about how government works. We have never had a president who raises profound questions about his basic competence and his psychological capacity to take on the most challenging political office in the world. Yet if Trump is both a threat to our democracy and a product of its weaknesses, the citizen activism he has inspired is the antidote. The reaction to the crisis created by Trump’s presidency can provide the foundation for an era of democratic renewal and vindicate our long experiment in self-rule. The award-winning authors of One Nation After Trump explain Trump’s rise and the danger his administration poses to our free institutions. They also offer encouragement to the millions of Americans now experiencing a new sense of citizenship and engagement and argue that our nation needs a unifying alternative to Trump’s dark and divisive brand of politics—an alternative rooted in a New Economy, a New Patriotism, a New Civil Society, and a New Democracy. One Nation After Trump is the essential book for our era, an unsparing assessment of the perils facing the United States and an inspiring roadmap for how we can reclaim the future.
When a giant wave destroys his village, Mau is the only one left. Daphne—a traveler from the other side of the globe—is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. Separated by language and customs, the two are united by catastrophe. Slowly, they are joined by other refugees. And as they struggle to protect the small band, Mau and Daphne defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down.
GOD, ACTUALLY is a unique new book about Christianity. GOD ACtUALLY is a highly original and eclectic book about Christianity, covering a wide range of subjects. Williams doesn't preach to the converted or attempt to browbeat sceptics. Instead, he persuades using rational argument drawn from non-religious sources: physics, chemistry and biology; politics, history and sociology; music, novels, poetry and film. In part the book is a counter to the recent bestsellers by atheists like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, and shows that belief in Christianity can and should be based on logical deductions from known facts. It is not a matter of ignorant superstition or blind faith.
Pay attention, people of faith. Dark clouds are gathering. The winds of intolerance are blowing. There’s a great storm approaching. American Christians are facing uncertain times. Our nation’s values are under assault. Religious liberty has been undermined. We live in a day when right is now wrong and wrong is now right. The vicious leftwing attack against the recent traditional marriage stance of Chick-fil-A should serve as a wakeup call to people of faith. It’s not about a chicken sandwich. It’s about religious liberty. It’s about free speech. It’s about the future of our nation. As a reporter covering the culture war for FOX News, Todd Starnes is on the front lines of these attacks against traditional values. In God Less America, he uses both recent news stories and compelling interviews with today’s top conservative leaders to bring to light what is happening across our country. In his award-winning, satire-meets-serious writing style, he strikes an important blow in today’s culture wars.
The Kingdom of God Is Within You is the non-fiction magnum opus of Leo Tolstoy. The book was first published in Germany in after being banned in his home country of Russia. It is the culmination of thirty years of Tolstoy's Christian anarchist thinking, and lays out a new organization for society based on a literal Christian interpretation. The title of the book is taken from Luke 17:21. In the book Tolstoy speaks of the principle of non-violent resistance when confronted by violence, as taught by Jesus Christ. When Christ says to turn the other cheek, Tolstoy asserts that Christ means to abolish violence, even the defensive kind, and to give up revenge. Tolstoy rejects the interpretation of Roman and medieval scholars who attempted to limit its scope. "How can you kill people, when it is written in God’s commandment: ‘Thou shalt not murder’?” Tolstoy took the viewpoint that all governments who waged war are an affront to Christian principles. As the Russian Orthodox Church was—at the time—an organization merged with the Russian state and fully supporting state's policy, Tolstoy sought to separate its teachings from what he believed to be the true gospel of Christ, specifically the Sermon on the Mount. Tolstoy advocated non-violence as a solution to nationalist woes and as a means for seeing the hypocrisy of the church. In reading Jesus' words in the Gospels, Tolstoy notes that the modern church is a heretical creation: "Nowhere nor in anything, except in the assertion of the Church, can we find that God or Christ founded anything like what churchmen understand by the Church.”
Posing arguments about growing G-20 restrictions and the inability and unwillingness of powerful governments to mediate global challenges, a portrait of an imminent "G-Zero" world without a single country driving international agendas predicts intensified conflicts that will benefit and victimize specific nations. Reprint.
“People who take God seriously will not remain silent about their faith. They will often disagree about doctrine or policy, but they won’t be quiet. They can’t be. They’ll act on what they believe, sometimes at the cost of their reputations and careers. Obviously the common good demands a respect for other people with different beliefs and a willingness to compromise whenever possible. But for Catholics, the common good can never mean muting themselves in public debate on foundational issues of human dignity. Christian faith is always personal but never private. This is why any notion of tolerance that tries to reduce faith to private idiosyncrasy, or a set of opinions that we can indulge at home but need to be quiet about in public, will always fail.” —From the Introduction Few topics in recent years have ignited as much public debate as the balance between religion and politics. Does religious thought have any place in political discourse? Do religious believers have the right to turn their values into political action? What does it truly mean to have a separation of church and state? The very heart of these important questions is here addressed by one of the leading voices on the topic, Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Denver. While American society has ample room for believers and nonbelievers alike, Chaput argues, our public life must be considered within the context of its Christian roots. American democracy does not ask its citizens to put aside their deeply held moral and religious beliefs for the sake of public policy. In fact, it requires exactly the opposite. As the nation’s founders knew very well, people are fallible. The majority of voters, as history has shown again and again, can be uninformed, misinformed, biased, or simply wrong. Thus, to survive, American democracy depends on an engaged citizenry —people of character, including religious believers, fighting for their beliefs in the public square—respectfully but vigorously, and without apology. Anything less is bad citizenship and a form of theft from the nation’s health. Or as the author suggests: Good manners are not an excuse for political cowardice. American Catholics and other persons of goodwill are part of a struggle for our nation’s future, says Charles J. Chaput. Our choices, including our political choices, matter. Catholics need to take an active, vocal, and morally consistent role in public debate. We can’t claim to personally believe in the sanctity of the human person, and then act in our public policies as if we don’t. We can’t separate our private convictions from our public actions without diminishing both. In the words of the author, “How we act works backward on our convictions, making them stronger or smothering them under a snowfall of alibis.” Vivid, provocative, clear, and compelling, Render unto Caesar is a call to American Catholics to serve the highest ideals of their nation by first living their Catholic faith deeply, authentically.
Six years ago, Vegas Tenold embedded himself among the members of three of America's most ideologically extreme white nationalist groups-the KKK, the National Socialist Movement, and the Traditionalist Workers Party. At the time, these groups were part of a disorganized counterculture that felt far from the mainstream. But since then, all that has changed. Racially-motivated violence has been on open display at rallies in Charlottesville, Berkeley, Pikesville, Phoenix, and Boston. Membership in white nationalist organizations is rising, and national politicians, including the president, are validating their perceived grievances. Everything You Love Will Burn offers a terrifying, sobering inside look at these newly empowered movements, from their conventions to backroom meetings with Republican operatives. Tenold introduces us to neo-Nazis in Brooklyn; a millennial Klanswoman in Tennessee; and a rising star in the movement, nicknamed the "Little Führer" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, who understands political power and is organizing a grand coalition of far-right groups to bring them into the mainstream. Everything You Love Will Burn takes readers to the dark, paranoid underbelly of America, a world in which the white race is under threat and the enemy is everywhere.
This book will help me to understand who Donald Trump is, what he really believes, where his vision for America will lead us, and where God is in all of this.