Not because he doesn’t make good points, but they are too strident and not new and I wasn’t feeling patient. But I persevered.
I know that George Washington was famously present in church, but would neither stand nor kneel nor take communion.
I know that Franklin tended to think that religion was a useful opium for the masses.
And that Jefferson was not a Christian in any useful sense of the word.
I also know that right wing people are using Christianity as an excuse to peddle corporate tax cuts and their own neuroses.
So if I’m going to read about this, I expect to learn something in the first fifty odd pages, but somehow failed to. And I don’t think it’s my fault.
The Bible has many issues. Or rather, I have many issues with much of the Bible. Seidel lays them all out, but I didn’t pick up a book on why the Bible is contradictory or even hypocritical, but rather (I thought) on constitutional issues. And you lose a certain status which contributes to credibility when you are so gleeful about it.
At some point, I finally realized my objection. Seidel quotes and references Christopher Hitchens several times and it was after reading one, particularly Hitchensesque Hitchens quote that it finally became clear.
I wanted to read a book about constitutional history, theory, and practice.
If I had wanted to read a screed against Christianity, I would have picked up a copy of one of Hitchens many books with such things. While I might not have agreed with his ultimate conclusions, I would have been greatly amused by the last, great eighteenth century political wit of the twenty-first century.