Our Non-Christian Nation

How Atheists, Satanists, Pagans, and Others Are Demanding Their Rightful Place in Public Life

Less and less Christian demographically, America is now home to an ever-larger number of people who say they identify with no religion at all. These non-Christians have increasingly been demanding their full participation in public life, bringing their arguments all the way to the Supreme Court. The law is on their side, but that doesn’t mean that their attempts are not met with suspicion or outright hostility. In Our Non-Christian Nation, Jay Wexler travels the country to engage the non-Christians who have called on us to maintain our ideals of inclusivity and diversity. With his characteristic sympathy and humor, he introduces us to the Summum and their Seven Aphorisms, a Wiccan priestess who would deck her City Hall with a pagan holiday wreath, and other determined champions of free religious expression. As Wexler reminds us, anyone who cares about pluralism, equality, and fairness should support a public square filled with a variety of religious and nonreligious voices. The stakes are nothing short of long-term social peace.

 

 

Timely, trenchant, and tremendously engaging, Our Non-Christian Nation is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the contemporary battles over religion’s role in our national politics and culture.

Phil Zuckerman

author of Living the Secular Life

In this brilliantly erudite and hugely entertaining romp through recent religious and legal history, Jay Wexler shows why, as our country becomes more religiously diverse, non-Christians need to get their voices heard and Christians need to help repair the wall between church and state. A marvelous read.

Michael Shermer

Skeptic magazine

What would it mean to take seriously the idea of religious diversity in the public sphere? Jay Wexler tells the stories of Wiccans, Muslims, and other religious and non-religious groups outside the mainstream who show what existing constitutional doctrine means in practice. The picture he paints provokes us to think differently about what that doctrine should be.

Mark Tushnet

Harvard Law School

In this fine book, Jay Wexler urges humanists, atheists, Satanists, and members of minority religious traditions to take advantage of a fascinating new phenomenon: the opening of public space to a variety of beliefs and institutions. His compelling account of ‘belief’ in public life will be of interest to the deeply religious as well as those who cringe at the very thought of religion. I highly recommend it.

Anthony B. Pinn

author of Humanism: Essays on Race, Religion and Cultural Production

Tuttle in the Balance book cover

Stanford University Press, June 2019
ISBN: 9780804798990

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