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Product Code: XB258
Title: God and Country: Politics in Utah
Editor: Jeffery E. Sells
Publisher: Signature Books
List Price: $34.95
Special Price: $10.00
Date: 2005
Pages: 356
Additional Info: Foreword by Harold J. Berman


"For the first two decades after creation of the Territory of Utah, elections were consistently one percentage point shy of unanimous: 99 percent in favor of Mormon church-approved candidates. The legislature's record was equally striking—a nearly unanimous vote on all issues during the same period.

"In the twenty-first century, a majority of Utahns still look to the Latter-day Saint (LDS) church for political direction, and the church obliges by weighing in on matters it considers to be 'moral issues'—also flexing its political muscle in recent years by trying to gain control of the Salt Lake Tribune and successfully acquiring a downtown block of Main Street, among other examples.

"Opponents of religious influence in civic affairs have appealed to the doctrine of separation of church and state even though strict constructionists say the U.S. Constitution retrains government only, not the ability of churches to influence politics. This reality, as interpreted recently by the U.S. Supreme Court, leaves civil libertarians and churches uncertain about what path to follow. Ironically, even though the Constitution of the State of Utah is more explicit in prohibiting church influence in politics, attorneys have been reluctant to appeal to state courts, which tend to be more protective of religion than the federal courts.

"But is the role of the church in America limited to what is legally permissible? Here is where theologians and ethicists weigh in by acknowledging that historically much of the grief in the world has been the result of ecclesiastical hubris. Even so, none prefer a world that is devoid of the moral guidance offered by religion.

"Ultimately, the question may be, not what is legal, but how churches, politicians, and individuals might consider what is best for all beyond the narrow self-interest of any particular group, with deference to the moral teachers of the various religious traditions and the vision of the American Founding Fathers, all of whom expressed concern for minority interests and freedom to act according to conscience. In the end, what is best for all is also in the best interest of everyone individually." (From inside jacket.)

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Reconciliation of Government and Religion, Harold J. Berman
Editor's Preface
Introduction, Michael D. Zimmerman

Part I: Historical and Philosophical Underpinnings

  1. "Almighty God Hath Created the Mind Free": Colonial Antecedents of the First Amendment, Judith S. H. Atherton
  2. The First Amendment to the Constitution: A Brief Historical Survey, Jeffery E. Sells
  3. "The Things That Are Caesar's": Religion and Society, Peter C. Appleby
  4. The Persistant Pattern of Establishment in Mormon Land, Jan Shipps
  5. Toleration of Religious Sentiment: Helping It Work from the Governor's Chair, Calvin L. Rampton
  6. The LDS Church and Utah Politics: Five Stories and Some Observations, Rod Decker
  7. Exporting Utah's Theocracy Since 1975: Mormon Organizational Behavior and America's Culture Wars, D. Michael Quinn

Part II: The Social Consequences of Religious Dominance

  1. The Trouble with Dominant Religions, Thomas R. Goldsmith
  2. Freedom and Theocracy: The Anglican Tradition of Involvement, Jeffery E. Sells
  3. The Ethics of Marginalization: The Utah Example, John J. Flynn
  4. Ethics, Academic Freedom, and Education in the Theocratic State of Utah, L. Jackson Newell
  5. "Why Did the Watchdogs Never Bark?" Edwin B. Firmage
  6. "The Only Game in Town": An ACLU Perspective, Stephen C. Clark
  7. The Other Voice in Utah: The Role of the Salt Lake Tribune, John W. Gallivan Sr.
  8. Singing as We Go: Black and Baptist in Utah, France A. Davis
  9. Living a Jewish Life in Utah Society, Frederick L. Wenger
  10. A Muslim Family in Utah, Maqbool Ahmed

Epilogue: What Would Dostoevsky Have to Say? Craddock Matthew Gilmour
In Memoriam: Craddock Matthew Gilmour, 1909-2004, Jack C. Potter
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