“Question with boldness even the existence of a god.”--Thomas Jefferson.
“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind.”--James Madison
“I doubt of Revelation itself.”--Benjamin Franklin
“My own mind is my church.”--Thomas Paine
The religious right is gaining enormous power in the United States, thanks to a well-organized, media-savvy movement with powerful friends in high places. Yet many Americans—both observant and secular—are alarmed by this trend, especially by efforts to erase the boundary between church and state, re-making the United States into a theocracy.
But most Americans lack the tools for arguing with the religious right, especially when fundamentalist conservatives claim their positions originated with the Framers of the Constitution. Until now. . . .
Did you know that:
• The Constitution contains not one reference to a deity--on purpose?
• Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence did not mention “endowed by the Creator”?
• “In God We Trust” was not on our currency, and “Under God” was not the U.S. motto, until the McCarthy-ite 1950s?
• The 15th-century Roman Catholic Church considered abortion moral?
• The Treaty of Tripoli--initiated by George Washington and signed into law by John Adams--declares: “The United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion”?
• James Madison, “father of the Constitution,” denounced the presence of chaplains in Congress--and in the armed forces--as unconstitutional?
• Lincoln’s first drafts of The Emancipation Proclamation and Gettysburg Address made no mention of any deity?
In Fighting Words, Robin Morgan has assembled a toolkit for arguing, a verbal karate guide: a lively, accessible, eye-opening collection revealing what the framers (and other leading Americans) really believed—in their own words. She resurrects the Founders as the revolutionaries they were: “A hodgepodge of freethinkers, Deists, agnostics, Christians, atheists, Freemasons—and radicals.
Fighting Words is the indispensible Little Red (and White and Blue) Book for reclaiming our country, a Quotations from Chairman Jefferson--plus Washington, Madison, Franklin, and many more. Funny, eye-opening, accessible, smart, and best of all really useful for combating the "Christianizing of America."—LILY TOMLIN and JANE WAGNER
“Here are the real words of our founders, free of the prison of rightwing distortion--and we've never needed them more!”—GLORIA STEINEM
A crucial, must-have book!--BARRY LYNN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE|Robin Morgan channels the Framers in her new book, Fighting Words. Recommended.--FEMINIST LAW PROFESSORS