MOUNT VERNON — A look at organized and fundamental religion and its effects on America will be the focus of the Adult Book Discussion on Tuesday, at 7 p.m., at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, 201 N. Mulberry St., Mount Vernon.

For this discussion, moderator Sharon Holdren chose three books. Participants can choose to read one or all three of these selections:
1. “Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics,” by Ross Douthat.

As the youngest ever op-ed columnist for The New York Times, Douthat has emerged as one of the most provocative and influential voices of his generation. In “Bad Religion” he offers a masterful and forceful account of how American Christianity has lost its way — and why it threatens to take American society with it.

2. “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture,” by John Shelby Spong.

In “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism,” Spong sets his sights on reclaiming the Bible from the literal interpretation of fundamentalists. Spong was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, for more than twenty years and is one of the leading spokespersons in the western world for an enlightened Christianity. He is currently a visiting lecturer at Harvard University.

3. “Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion,” by Edward J. Larson.

“Summer of the Gods” focuses on the 1925 Scopes trial which marked a watershed in our national relationship between science and religion and has had tremendous impact on our culture ever since. Yet despite its influence on the 20th century, there are no modern histories of the trial and its aftermath. With new material from both the prosecution and the defense, along with the author’s astute historical and legal analysis, “Summer for the Gods” is considered a classic about a pivotal milestone in American history.

The program is free and open to the public. Participants will be eligible to win a door prize gift certificate donated by Friends of the Library for the next month’s selected book. Refreshments will be served.

Copies of the books are available through the library or can be purchased at any local bookstore. For more information, call the main library at 740-392-BOOK (2665), visit or email



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