Event Details

So help me God


Author: Forrest Church
Publisher: Harcourt
Publication Place: n\a
Pages: 544
ISBN: 9780151011858
Category: n\a


Todays dispute over the line between church and state (or the lack thereof) is neither the first nor the fiercest in our history. In a powerful retelling of the birth of the American body politic, religious historian Forrest Church describes our first great culture war—a tumultuous yet nearly forgotten conflict that raged from George Washingtons presidency to James Monroes. On one side of the battle, the proponents of order—Federalists, Congregationalists, New Englanders—believed that the only legitimate ruler of men is God. On the other side, the defenders of liberty—republicans, Baptists, Virginians—cheered the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, and believed that only the separation of church and state would preserve mans freedom. Would we be a nation under God, or with liberty for all? In this vigorous history, Forrest Church offers a new vision of our earliest presidents beliefs, reshaping assumptions about the debates that still reverberate across our land.

Table of contents

Act I George Washington 
1. Out of Many, One 
2. With Liberty and Order for All 
3. Unum Versus Pluribus 
Act II John Adams 
4. A Churchgoing Animal 
5. Black Cockades and Tricolors 
6. “Order Is Heaven s First Law” 
7. “The Grand Question” 
Act III Thomas Jefferson 
8. The American Dreamer 
9. “For Jefferson and Liberty” 
10. Utopia Meets Reality 
Act IV James Madison 
11. Constructing Freedom s Altar 
12. Defending the Empire of Liberty 
Act V James Monroe 
13. All for One and One for All 
14. Considerations of Humanity Epilogue Appendix: Did George Washington Say “So Help Me God”?