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The Right to Be Wrong: Ending the Culture War over Religion in America
Image / 2012 / Paperback
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In our current culture war, how can we balance different views on the role of religion in our common lives without surrendering our principles? Drawing on a series of stories, both contemporary and historical, The Right to be Wrong narrates the struggle to define religious freedom in America and provides a path forward for our divided time. The only hope of ending the feud over religion exists in our ability to respect the right each person has to observe his or her beliefs; no matter how misguided you consider another to be. In other words, everyone has the right to be wrong.
In the running debate we call the "culture wars," there exists a great feud over religious diversity. One side demands that only their true religion be allowed in the public square; the other insists that no religions ever belong there. The Right to Be Wrong offers a solution, drawing its lessons from a series of stories--both contemporary and historical--that illustrates the struggle to define religious freedom. The book concludes that freedom for all is guaranteed by the truth about each of us: Our common humanity entitles us to freedom--within broad limits--to follow what we believe to be true as our consciences say we must, even if our consciences are mistaken. Thus, we can respect others' freedom when we're sure they're wrong. In truth, they have the right to be wrong.
KEVIN SEAMUS HASSON is the founder and chairman of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonpartisan, interfaith, public-interest law firm that protects the free expression of all religious traditions. He holds a law degree and an M.A. in theology from the University of Notre Dame and lives with his wife, Mary, and their children in Fairfax County, Virginia.
"Seamus Hasson is a gifted storyteller who also happens to be a genuine hero of the struggle to make the First Amendments promise a reality for members of all religious traditions." Mary Ann Glendon, professor of Law, Harvard University
"This is a rollicking, surprising, wholly original way of presenting the rival arguments for religious liberty in public America." Michael Novak, author of No One Sees God
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