Bad Religion

Bad Religion

How We Became A Nation of Heretics

Book - 2012
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Traces the decline of Christianity in America since the 1950s, posing controversial arguments about the role of heresy in the nation's downfall while calling for a revival of traditional Christian practices.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2012
Edition: 1st Free Press hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781439178348
9781439178300
1439178305
Branch Call Number: 277.3 DOU 2012
Characteristics: x, 337 p. ; 24 cm

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ZekeZemke
Jul 04, 2017

I am very disappointed with Douthat. Although he traces out many of the social factors which have lead to a decline in mainline Christianity, he has totally ignored one key point. Catholicism has lost most, if not all, of its moral authority because it has been protecting pedophile priests for decades. Why should anyone listen to their moral precepts when they have been aiding and abetting child molesters?

I could overlook this shortcoming in the book if Douthat were Protestant. But he isn't. So Douthat is in denial about corruption in his own denomination. And since he is in denial here, how do I know he isn't twisting the truth elsewhere?

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DelcanE
Oct 22, 2015

While well-presented and eloquently written, Douthat's basic thesis - that the United States has fallen into moral and social decay because of a lapse of religious orthodoxy - suffers much from a "golden age" mentality that presents the 1950's as an enlightened period of Catholic and mainline Protestant cultural dominance, a claim that might be made for a portion of the United States of the era but doesn't stand up well to the nation as a whole. He also holds up Catholic orthodoxy as a shining beacon of stability over the last two thousand years, having held firm and unchanging while heresies come and go. To anyone with a knowledge of the Church's history, this is hilarious. These, in addition to many other strange and unsupported assumptions, make the book little more than a bitter complaint about "Christians These Days" from an Ivy Leaguer pining for good old days that never were.

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