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Bleached FaithThe Tragic Cost When Religion Is Forced into the Public Square$
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Steven Goldberg

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758611

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758611.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
Bleached Faith
Stanford University Press

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the topics discussed in this book. It begins with a brief discussion of how religion is inevitably watered down or distorted beyond recognition when its symbols are forced into the public square. It argues that if religion is to have any real impact in America—if it is to serve as a source of moral values in a materialistic, scientific culture—it must have real content. The book discusses the odd fate of the Ten Commandments in America; the debate over teaching intelligent design in the public schools; and how Christmas and Chanukah have suffered in public life in America today. It concludes with a survey of the legal and political environment in which battles over the Ten Commandments, intelligent design, and the public celebration of religious holidays take place.

Keywords:   religion, religious symbols, America, Ten Commandments, intelligent design, Christmas, Chanukah, religious holidays

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