Stephen Prothero talks about putting together The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation, an exploration of texts that unite, divide, and define Americans today. He includes works such as Thomas Paine's Common Sense, Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Twain’s Huck Finn, the speeches of Presidents Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan, and the novels of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Ayn Rand.
Since our country's founding, Americans have debated the speeches and tracts sacred to our founding, from the Exodus story to the Declaration of Independence. In this election year, politicians and pundits constantly debate the "true" meaning of America's core canon, asking what the founding fathers or Martin Luther King, Jr. or Eleanor Roosevelt would think of immigration reform, or affirmative action, or birth control. In his new book, author and professor Stephen Prothero has collected these core texts in his new book, "The American Bible."
America is the most religious industrialized country in the world, but a new survey finds that few Americans are well-informed when it comes to religion. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life called more than 3,4000 Americans and asked them to answer 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions and leaders. The study found that most Americans answered around half the questions incorrectly. The people that scored highest were agnostics and atheists, with Jews and Mormons following closely behind.