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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2016
Mary Eberstadt, “one of the most acute and creative social observers of our time,” (Francis Fukuyama) shines a much-needed spotlight on a disturbing trend in American society: discrimination against traditional religious belief and believers, who are being aggressively pushed out of public life by the concerted efforts of militant secularists.
In It’s Dangerous to Believe, Mary Eberstadt documents how people of faith—especially Christians who adhere to traditional religious beliefs—face widespread discrimination in today’s increasingly secular society. Eberstadt details how recent laws, court decisions, and intimidation on campuses and elsewhere threaten believers who fear losing their jobs, their communities, and their basic freedoms solely because of their convictions. They fear that their religious universities and colleges will capitulate to aggressive secularist demands. They fear that they and their families will be ostracized or will have to lose their religion because of mounting social and financial penalties for believing. They fear they won’t be able to maintain charitable operations that help the sick and feed the hungry.
Is this what we want for our country?
Religious freedom is a fundamental right, enshrined in the First Amendment. With It’s Dangerous to Believe Eberstadt calls attention to this growing bigotry and seeks to open the minds of secular liberals whose otherwise good intentions are transforming them into modern inquisitors. Not until these progressives live up to their own standards of tolerance and diversity, she reminds us, can we build the inclusive society America was meant to be.
Mary Eberstadt is an essayist, novelist, and author of several influential works of non-fiction, including How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization; Adam and Eve after the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution; and Home-Alone America. Her novel The Loser Letters: A Comic Tale of Life, Death, and Atheism, has been adapted for stage and will premiere in fall 2016. She is also editor of the anthology Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys.
A frequent contributor to magazines and journals including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and First Things, Mrs. Eberstadt (nee Tedeschi) has also served as an editor at The Public Interest, The National Interest, and Policy Review. She has been associated with various think tanks, including most recently the Hoover Institution and the Ethics and Public Policy Center. In 2011, she founded a literary organization called the Kirkpatrick Society that has mentored hundreds of writers.
During the Reagan administration, Mrs. Eberstadt spent two years as a speechwriter to Secretary of State George Shultz.. She graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a double major in philosophy and government. She lives in the Washington, DC area.
“I don’t think the debate over religious freedom can rightly take place now without engaging her arguments. It’s Dangerous to Believe is a quick and easy read, but packs a wallop.”
“A searing indictment of the hypocrisy and duplicity of many secularists who have abandoned the old rules of mutual respect. Instead they exhibit rank bigotry in the name of ‘tolerance’ and conduct themselves, especially on sexual matters, more as an evangelical sect than as a movement of reason and dialogue.”
“Every man and woman of the left should read It’s Dangerous to Believe. If they are honest with themselves, the book will change their assumptions about religion in America, and about the meaning and value of religious freedom.”
“In the midst of increasing and often disrespectful challenges to groups that uphold and defend the Church’s teaching, I recommend Mary Ebestadt’s book as an important resource for all who hold religious freedom to be a priority for the Church and society.”
“Mary Eberstadt is one of America’s most vibrant and compelling thinkers. This book takes on the question of religious liberty, and does so without mincing words. The book will equip you to know what’s happening to America’s first freedom and will inspire you to act.”
“Mary Eberstadt is one of the most perceptive and thoughtful observers of contemporary social maladies. She appeals to the good sense that has brought us through religious wars in the past. We must understand, she pleads, that ‘the enemies of religious freedom are the enemies of liberalism itself.’”
The “cultured despisers of religion” are now the cultured despisers of religious freedom, too. In her terrific new book It’s Dangerous to Believe, Mary Eberstadt exposes these tin pot Torquemadas. She has given friends of religious liberty and the rights of conscience a powerful new manifesto.
“It’s clear that the keepers of the new progressive orthodoxy have garnered enough establishment backing to push as far as they choose. A read through Eberstadt’s research is a good first step toward getting oriented in this new cultural landscape”
“Eberstadt, in a neat series of chapters, contrasts the self-descriptions of progressives and secularists with their actions. They believe themselves champions of civil rights, while circumscribing the freedoms of fellow citizens...They make blacklists and call themselves open-minded.”
“Eberstadt is a superb analyst. Her hypothesis-carefully demonstrated and ringing true-is that secular progressivism is not just a political ideology; it is a competing faith, a religion.”
“Eberstadt’s argument is hard-hitting and convincing.”
“Eberstadt’s description of the bewildered faithful, caught up in rapid social changes, is deeply affecting…One hopes liberals and progressives will accept her call...particularly in institutions of higher learning whose leaders speak ceaselessly of their commitment to diversity.”
I can’t think of a better way to start than for Christians to read this book and equip themselves to stand up for the future of faith in this country, with fortitude and hope.
“[Eberstadt] offers scores of cases, all from recent years, in which Christians have been denied freedoms and protections that would be afforded as a matter of course to any other group. The arguments given for this suppression are transparently ludicrous or paranoid. Christians have real reason to be afraid.”
“Eberstadt asks the progressive victors in the culture wars whether their vision of public life demands that traditional religious belief and believers be expunged. This book marks a turning point-whether it’s one toward a gracious return to liberal tolerance or into a different and darker period, we shall see.”