The Paralyzing Paradox of Religious Neutrality
Steven Douglas Smith
University of San Diego School of Law
August 17, 2011
San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 11-060
This short essay discusses why the ideal of governmental religious neutrality is regarded as essential and axiomatic in a pluralistic liberal democracy, and also why the ideal is unattainable and incoherent. Revisiting earlier arguments and addressing new defenses, the essay was written to order as a contribution to a project-in-progress (a Blackwell series volume on religious liberty).
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: religion, First Amendment, constitutional law
JEL Classification: K10, K39
Date posted: August 18, 2011
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