Village atheists : how America's unbelievers made their way in a Godly nation / Leigh Eric Schmidt.
- Princeton : Princeton University Press, 
xix, 337 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
- Atheism -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
- "Leigh Eric Schmidt rebuilds the history of American secularism from the ground up, giving flesh and blood to these outspoken infidels, including itinerant lecturer Samuel Porter Putnam; rough-edged cartoonist Watson Heston; convicted blasphemer Charles B. Reynolds; and atheist sex reformer Elmina D. Slenker. He describes their everyday confrontations with devout neighbors and evangelical ministers, their strained efforts at civility alongside their urge to ridicule and offend their Christian compatriots. Schmidt examines the multilayered world of social exclusion, legal jeopardy, yet also civic acceptance in which American atheists and secularists lived. He shows how it was only in the middle decades of the twentieth century that nonbelievers attained a measure of legal vindication, yet even then they often found themselves marginalized on the edges of a God-trusting, Bible-believing nation. Village Atheists reveals how the secularist vision for the United States proved to be anything but triumphant and age-defining for a country where faith and citizenship were--and still are--routinely interwoven,"--Amazon.com.
- The making of the village atheist
The secular pilgrim; or, the here without the hereafter
The cartoonist; or, the visible incivility of secularism
The blasphemer; or, the riddle of irreligious freedom
The obscene atheist; or, the sexual politics of infidelity
The nonbeliever is entitled to go his own way.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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