the curious case of kiryas joel the rise of a village theocracy and the battle to defend the separation of church

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Curious Case Of Kiryas Joel

Author : Louis Grumet
ISBN : 9781613735039
Genre : Law
File Size : 21. 84 MB
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Twenty years ago, on the last day of session, the New York State Legislature created a publicly funded school district to cater to the interests of a religious sect called Kiryas Joel, an extremely insular group of Hasidic Jews. The sect had bought land in upstate New York, populated it solely with members of its faction, and created a village that exerted extraordinary political pressure over both political parties in the Legislature. Marking the first time in American history that a governmental unit was established for a religious group, the Legislature's action prompted years of litigation that eventually went to the Supreme Court. The 1994 case, The Board of Education of the Village of Kiryas Joel v. Grumet, stands as the most important legal precedent in the fight to uphold the separation of church and state. In The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel, plaintiff Louis Grumet opens a window onto the Satmar Hasidic community and details the inside story of his fight for the First Amendment. This story—a blend of politics, religion, cultural clashes, and constitutional tension—is an object lesson in the ongoing debate over freedom of vs. freedom from religion.

When The Nazis Came To Skokie

Author : Philippa Strum
ISBN : UOM:39015039904738
Genre : History
File Size : 70. 23 MB
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In the Chicago suburb of Skokie, one out of every six Jewish citizens in the late 1970s was a survivor -- or was directly related to a survivor -- of the Holocaust. These victims of terror had resettled in America expecting to lead peaceful lives free from persecution. But their safe haven was shattered when a neo-Nazi group announced its intention to parade there in 1977. Philippa Strum's dramatic retelling of the events in Skokie (and in the courts) shows why the case ignited such enormous controversy and challenged our understanding of and commitment to First Amendment values. The debate was clear-cut: American Nazis claimed the right of free speech while their Jewish "targets" claimed the right to live without intimidation. The town, arguing that the march would assault the sensibilities of its citizens and spark violence, managed to win a court injunction against the marchers. In response, the American Civil Liberties Union took the case and successfully defended the Nazis' right to free speech. Skokie had all the elements of a difficult case: a clash of absolutes, prior restraint of speech, and heated public sentiment. In recreating it, Strum presents a detailed account and analysis of the legal proceedings as well as finely delineated portraits of the protagonists: Frank Collin, National Socialist Party of America leader and the son of a Jewish Holocaust survivor; Skokie community leader Sol Goldstein, a Holocaust survivor who planned a counter demonstration against the Nazis; Skokie mayor Albert Smith, who wanted only to protect his townspeople; and ACLU attorney David Goldberger, caught in the ironic position of being a Jew defending the rights of Nazis against fellow Jews.While the ACLU did win the case, it was a costly victory -- 30,000 of its members left the organization. And in the end, ironically, the Nazis never did march in Skokie. Forcefully argued, Strum's book shows' that freedom of speech must be defended even when the beneficiaries of that defense are far from admirable individuals. It raises both constitutional and moral issues critical to our understanding of free speech and carries important lessons for current controversies over hate speech on college campuses, inviting readers to think more carefully about what the First Amendment really means.

The Culture Of Disbelief

Author : Stephen L. Carter
ISBN : 9780385474986
Genre : Religion
File Size : 49. 74 MB
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In an updated version of his successful book, the author of Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby argues that religion can play a role in the nation's politics, law and culture while maintaining its separation from state. Reprint.

God Gave Me You

Author : Tricia Seaman
ISBN : 9781501131950
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 25. 84 MB
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Terminal cancer patient Trish Somers asks oncology nurse Tricia Seaman to care for her son.

Putting God Second

Author : Donniel Hartman
ISBN : 9780807063347
Genre : Abrahamic religions
File Size : 81. 30 MB
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Why have the monotheistic religions failed to produce societies that live up to their ethical ideals? A prominent rabbi answers this question by looking at his own faith and offering a way for religion to heal itself. In Putting God Second, Rabbi Donniel Hartman tackles one of modern life's most urgent and vexing questions: Why are the great monotheistic faiths--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--chronically unable to fulfill their own self-professed goal of creating individuals infused with moral sensitivity and societies governed by the highest ethical standards? To answer this question, Hartman takes a sober look at the moral peaks and valleys of his own tradition, Judaism, and diagnoses it with clarity, creativity, and erudition. He rejects both the sweeping denouncements of those who view religion as an inherent impediment to moral progress and the apologetics of fundamentalists who proclaim religion's moral perfection against all evidence to the contrary. Hartman identifies the primary source of religion's moral failure in what he terms its "autoimmune disease," or the way religions so often undermine their own deepest values. While God obligates the good and calls us into its service, Hartman argues, God simultaneously and inadvertently makes us morally blind. The nature of this self-defeating condition is that the human religious desire to live in relationship with God often distracts religious believers from their traditions' core moral truths. The answer Hartman offers is this: put God second. In order to fulfill religion's true vision for humanity--an uncompromising focus on the ethical treatment of others--religious believers must hold their traditions accountable to the highest independent moral standards. Decency toward one's neighbor must always take precedence over acts of religious devotion, and ethical piety must trump ritual piety. For as long as devotion to God comes first, responsibility to other people will trail far, far behind. In this book, Judaism serves as a template for how the challenge might be addressed by those of other faiths, whose sacred scriptures similarly evoke both the sublime heights of human aspiration and the depths of narcissistic moral blindness. In Putting God Second, Rabbi Hartman offers a lucid analysis of religion's flaws, as well as a compelling resource, and vision, for its repair.

Threading My Prayer Rug

Author : Sabeeha Rehman
ISBN : 9781628726664
Genre : Religion
File Size : 38. 39 MB
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ONE OF BOOKLIST'S TOP TEN RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY BOOKS OF 2016 ONE OF BOOKLIST'S TOP TEN DIVERSE NONFICTION BOOKS OF 2017 Honorable Mention in the 2017 San Francisco Book Festival Awards, Spiritual Category This enthralling story of the making of an American is also a timely meditation on being Muslim in America today. Threading My Prayer Rug is a richly textured reflection on what it is to be a Muslim in America today. It is also the luminous story of many journeys: from Pakistan to the United States in an arranged marriage that becomes a love match lasting forty years; from secular Muslim in an Islamic society to devout Muslim in a society ignorant of Islam, and from liberal to conservative to American Muslim; from student to bride and mother; and from an immigrant intending to stay two years to an American citizen, business executive, grandmother, and tireless advocate for interfaith understanding. Beginning with a sweetly funny, moving account of her arranged marriage, the author undercuts stereotypes and offers the refreshing view of an American life through Muslim eyes. In chapters leavened with humor, hope, and insight, she recounts an immigrant’s daily struggles balancing assimilation with preserving heritage, overcoming religious barriers from within and distortions of Islam from without, and confronting issues of raising her children as Muslims—while they lobby for a Christmas tree! Sabeeha Rehman was doing interfaith work for Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the driving force behind the Muslim community center at Ground Zero, when the backlash began. She discusses what that experience revealed about American society.

Making The Grade

Author : William A. Fischel
ISBN : 9780226251318
Genre : Education
File Size : 78. 68 MB
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A significant factor for many people deciding where to live is the quality of the local school district, with superior schools creating a price premium for housing. The result is a “race to the top,” as all school districts attempt to improve their performance in order to attract homebuyers. Given the importance of school districts to the daily lives of children and families, it is surprising that their evolution has not received much attention. In this provocative book, William Fischel argues that the historical development of school districts reflects Americans’ desire to make their communities attractive to outsiders. The result has been a standardized, interchangeable system of education not overly demanding for either students or teachers, one that involved parents and local voters in its governance and finance. Innovative in its focus on bottom-up processes generated by individual behaviors rather than top-down decisions by bureaucrats, Making the Grade provides a new perspective on education reform that emphasizes how public schools form the basis for the localized social capital in American towns and cities.

Brave New Neighborhoods

Author : Margaret Kohn
ISBN : 0415944635
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 29. 93 MB
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Fighting for First Amendment rights is as popular a pastime as ever, but just because you can get on your soapbox doesn't mean anyone will be there to listen. Town squares have emptied out as shoppers decamp for the megamalls; gated communities keep pesky signature gathering activists away; even most internet chatrooms are run by the major media companies. Brave New Neighborhood sconsiders what can be done to protect and revitalize our public spaces.

Ghosts Of The Desert

Author : Ryan Ireland
ISBN : 9781780748214
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 36. 81 MB
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To escape his troubled past, Norman heads to the Utah desert to lose himself in work. Having just received a research grant he plans to study the ghost towns and now-obsolete mines littering the inhospitable landscape. But when he comes across a desert-dwelling group of outcasts, and is taken captive by their charismatic yet ever-watchful leader, he is introduced to an alternate way of life that both repulses and attracts him. As Norman struggles to find his place and make sense of this strange new world – with its perverse and unorthodox practices – he must decide whether to take his chances and run, or yield, and risk becoming one of those around him. Ireland’s refined and sparse prose cut through to the dark heart of the American dream in this chilling novel about the complex relationship between the primitive and the civilized, the living and the dead.

Spiritual Sobriety

Author : Elizabeth Esther
ISBN : 9780307731890
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 58. 8 MB
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It's easy to get high on God in America. But is this good religion? In a compelling follow-up to her memoir, Girl at the End of the World, Elizabeth Esther explores how religious fervor can become religious addiction. The evidence is everywhere. In families who inexplicably choose to harm their children in order to abide by cultic church doctrine. But in ordinary believers too who use God the same way addicts use drugs or alcohol--to numb pain, alter their mood, or simply to escape the realities of this messy, unpredictable thing called life. If you've ever wondered how a religion that preaches freedom and love can produce judgmental and unkind followers; if you've ever felt captive to the demanding God of your own childhood; if you've struggled to find contentment without needing another emotional hit from a "life-changing" conference or "mountain-top" experience, then Spiritual Sobriety is for you. The author, who grew up in a hyper-controlling church cult, will help you find hope and rebirth in the ruins of disillusioned faith. Filled with stories and warm, practical advice, Spiritual Sobriety offers a gentle path out of the desperate cycles of craving-euphoria-hangover and into a freer, clean-and-sober faith practice.

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