Time: Putting God on Trial

Time magazine interviews Peter Irons about what sounds like a sober book that treats the religious battles of the culture wars in America.

Putting God on Trial

The never-ending march of court cases about church and state sometimes seems so rapid that they blur together. But Peter Irons, a longtime professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, and a member of the Supreme Court bar, has slowed down time to take in-depth looks at several highly symbolic disputes in his new book God on Trial: Dispatches from America's Religious Battlefields (Viking $26.95). He talked to TIME's David Van Biema about swing votes, death threats, and the rule of law.

TIME: Your book treats six First Amendment religion cases, several of which went to the Supreme Court. Briefly, what were they?

There was the San Diego case against a 43-foot Latin Cross erected in a veterans cemetery in San Diego; the football-game prayer case from Santa Fe, Texas, two Ten Commandments cases, the attempt to remove "under God " from the Pledge of Allegiance and the Intelligent Design case in Dover, Pa. ...

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