Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic, by Matthew Stewart (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2014, ISBN 978-0-393-06454-4). 566 pp. Hardcover, $28.95.
Several years ago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) succeeded in a court challenge to a large, lighted cross atop a radio tower at a fire station in a Chicago suburb during the holiday season. During the ensuing hubbub, the local ACLU sponsored a meeting at which I was the speaker. After I outlined our history of religious freedom through church-state separation, an irate woman in the audience, a supporter of the lighted cross, accused me of being the author of the First Amendment. (I really don’t look that old.)