I've looked through the book a few times at Border's or B&N, but haven't purchased it.
The book looks interesting, and the author interview is top notch.
But here's the really really really good part of the Slate.com interview:
Evolution is taught in American high schools and yet many still don't believe in it. How can that be counteracted?I'm going to buy that book this weekend.
Well, if you could figure that one out, someone would be interviewing you, not you interviewing me. You're absolutely right. That's a challenging problem and it's a problem that the Europeans are just shaking their heads over.
Why is that?
Because Europe doesn't have a robust fundamentalist subculture like America has had since the early parts of the 20th century. American religion has been characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit. In Europe, many of the great religious traditions wasted away because they were supported by government. They didn't need to be popular and have lots of people coming to worship on Sunday to continue. So they atrophied and people lost interest.
In America, without that kind of governmental support, religious leaders had to be entrepreneurial. So a charismatic evangelist can come up with a brand-new approach to faith and touch some chord contemporary with people's needs.
Any author who can slide an anti-government subsidy, pro-Free Market, ultra-libertarian concept like that one into a Slate.com interview deserves my support.
And check out the interview in the link above when you get a chance. Good stuff.