Secularism and Freedom of Religion

Monday, September 24, 2012

Jacques Berlinerblau argues for a return to America’s secular tradition. His book How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom makes the case that the best way to protect religious diversity and freedom is to prevent the encroachment of each into the other.


Jacques Berlinerblau

Comments [15]

Ed from Larchmont,

You speak of not wanting to pay for things that are against your conscience. If I am not mistaken, churches do not even pay taxes in America. Although, I am sure that your retort would simply be that you are speaking of your individual taxes and not your clans exclusion from taxes. Am I right? If so, I must say that I am certain Jesus would not have approved of many of the wars we have started, but you I am sure that your qualms regarding that matter have simply never been.

Sep. 30 2012 02:24 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I don't think we're trying to force our beliefs on others. We just don't want to pay for things that are against our conscience.

Sep. 25 2012 08:10 AM
Ed from Larchmont

And Saint Robert Bellarmine who, following St. Thomas, wrote about the relation between Church and State.

Sep. 24 2012 01:01 PM

everyone is free to be as crazy as one wants to be

Sep. 24 2012 01:01 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Mr. Berlinerblau:

Did you hear the story this morning on Morning Edition about the funding of state religion in Germany? What do you think of that?

Sep. 24 2012 12:58 PM
John A

Gains of the "Moral Majority" like movements are outnumbered by their losses. EG won elections with lesser candidates, declining church attendance, declining scientific literacy, and just about an entire (young) generation lost to religion. No support from me for this.

Sep. 24 2012 12:54 PM
Ed from Larchmont

It wasn't 'Catholics slaughtering Protestants on the whole' - except maybe in Catholic France.

Sep. 24 2012 12:54 PM
Katherine Hoover

And what about the religions (spiritualism) of the Native Americans?? The Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed only in 1978.

Sep. 24 2012 12:51 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Also see:

'The unintended Reformation : how a religious revolution secularized society'
by Brad Gregory, 2012, Harvard,

on how the Protestant reformation led to secularism. The media are on the side of the secularists.

No one knows what ever happened to Madeline Murray O'Hare. Hmm.

Sep. 24 2012 12:51 PM

> But as a Catholic, how can you require me to pay for something that's against my conscience?

We all do in one way or another, but we all agree that positives outweigh the negatives.

The alternative is to riot at the smallest provocation, like when someone produces a stupid movie and puts it on youtube...

Sep. 24 2012 12:40 PM

Wondering what today's rioting Islamists would think of this set of ideals --

Civilized? Or just laughably weak?

Sep. 24 2012 12:37 PM
Ed from Larchmont

But as a Catholic, how can you require me to pay for something that's against my conscience?

Sep. 24 2012 12:14 PM


Yours is a typical straw-man argument.

Secularism is not a religion. It is defined as a principle of separation of religion from state. It became the law in this country with the very first amendment to its Constitution.

Like it or leave it...

Sep. 24 2012 11:03 AM

Ed, part of the US freedom of religion is the right NOT to have others' religious beliefs imposed on them by their employers.

No one questions the rights of Catholics and others for their own practices, but forcing those beliefs on employees or ER patients of other faiths & beliefs is part of each individual's right to his/her own beliefs. Employees & patients have the right to make their own medical decisions, regardless of the faith of them or the medical staff attending them or the faith of their employer.

Sep. 24 2012 08:10 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The administration's requirement in the health care mandate that insurance cover contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization, and that everyone supply insurance, would force the Catholic Church and Catholics to act against their conscience and participate in sin.

This seems a clear violation of the free exercise clause. Even Judge Ginsburg warned the administation about this in general terms.

Secularism is not a default position, it is a worldview, a religion, and it should not be established as favored by the government.

Sep. 24 2012 05:51 AM

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