In Religious Liberty in America, author Bruce T. Murray brings forth a concise and valuable overview of religion in our history as well as the impact of the religious liberty clauses in the First Amendment . As a former journalist, I can testify to the lack of knowledge I brought with me to the newsroom on religion. As an American history major, I can further bear witness to the lack of interest on my part and the lack of emphasis on my University's part in stressing religion's historical role in legislation and court decisions.
I should say that Mr. Murray is my former editor when we worked with the Los Angeles Times. I say this because I remember when Mr. Murray asked me to write on religious subjects. To me, it was as if he had just consigned me to the worst of all news beats.
Mr. Murray's book has done more to instill in me the need to be well-versed in religious issues, historic and contemporary. It has helped give me respect for a subject area I had dismissed years ago as fringe and unimportant. It has given me a base from which to further study religion in America and the first Amendment. It has provided me a more solid comprehension of these issues than many other books and classes. It is an important book that I keep referring to as I continue my education, especially my reading of US Supreme Court decisions.