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Religion and Politics

From a Newsweek article by Jon Meacham:

By the time of the American founding, men like Jefferson and Madison saw the virtue in guaranteeing liberty of conscience, and one of the young republic's signal achievements was to create a context in which religion and politics mixed but church and state did not. The Founders' insight was that one might as well try to build a wall between economics and politics as between religion and politics, since both are about what people feel and how they see the world. Let the religious take their stand in the arena of politics and ideas on their own, and fight for their views on equal footing with all other interests. American public life is neither wholly secular nor wholly religious but an ever-fluid mix of the two. History suggests that trouble tends to come when one of these forces grows too powerful in proportion to the other.

P.S. Lately I find myself frequently annoyed by article headlines that exaggerate the content of the article.  This one by Meacham is titled "The End of Christian America" but quickly admits:

According to the American Religious Identification Survey...the percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 percentage points since 1990, from 86 to 76 percent.

Let's be clear: while the percentage of Christians may be shrinking, rumors of the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated. Being less Christian does not necessarily mean that America is post-Christian.

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