Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book Beginnings on Friday: July 22, 2011

How to participate: Share the first line (or two) of the book you are currently reading on your blog or in the comments. Include the title and the author so we know what you're reading. Then, if you would like, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line, and let us know if you liked or did not like the sentence. The link-up will be at A Few More Pages every Friday and will be open for the entire week.

Thanks to Becky at Page Turners for starting this meme and to Rose City Reader for inspiring it!

This week I'm reading Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? by John Fea. Here's the beginning of the first chapter:

'The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.'

So begins Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, a 1797 agreement between the United States and Tripoli, a Muslim nation located on the Barbary Coast of northern Africa.

At first glance you might think that this beginning answers the title question with a resounding no, but that isn't the whole story. I've only gotten to about the third chapter so far (non-fiction is much slower going for me than fiction), and Fea seems to be taking the middle road. His approach is interesting because he is looking at it from several angles, including the beliefs of various founders and the general public. It seems to be a pretty well-rounded view, and it is interesting that he disagrees with people on both ends of the spectrum of the argument. I think it's more realistic than saying absolutely yes or absolutely no (because the founders are a large group of men who will each have their own take on the matter and Christians themselves didn't all agree about it at the time). So I'm finding this to be really interesting so far.

What is the first line of your current read, and how did you like it? Please leave the link to your specific post, not just to the front page of your blog.


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