How many times have you noticed these or similar statements, written or spoken in classrooms, media commentaries, political discussions, or even religious events?
"No religious outlook should ever be allowed to invade American politics."
"The founders of this nation set out to construct a 'godless' Constitution and a secular political system."
"A secular atmosphere in education, science, and law has been a positive development, resulting in unparalleled progress in American thought and practice."
"Liberalism, with (a) its aversion to 'coercion' and emphasis upon individual autonomy, (b) its insistence that the state remain neutral regarding 'the good life,' and (c) its separation of the 'public' from the 'private' sphere, is a coherent philosophy in accordance with which the American people may continue to thrive."
"The United States Supreme Court is a judicial body that does not seek to legislate its own philosophic preferences into law."
"All Americans are immigrants and, therefore, no particular language or set of customs and mores should be dominant over others."
"It is incumbent upon Americans to be respectful and tolerant of all points-of-view."
Each of these statements is an expression of a conventional and largely uncritical position. Dr. L. Scott Smith, in a tough-minded new book, offers a probing analysis of them, demonstrating their problematic status. His book is America Unraveling: A Politically Incorrect Analysis of Public Faith and Culture.