How is America 'Divided by God'?
Mississippi College Law Review, Vol. 27
29 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2007
Americans are fundamentally divided over the proper relation between government and religion, and that this division manifests itself in increasingly acrimonious disputes over things such as public religious symbols and the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. These differences are unlikely to be resolved by straightforward appeals to constitutional history or precedent, so as scholars we would do well to go deeper and try to understand the underlying differences in presuppositions about religion, law, and pluralism. But what are the fundamental underlying differences in presuppositions that surface in more concrete controversies over crosses and curriculum and the like? Where exactly does the fault line lie, so to speak? This essay suggests that perhaps the most illuminating answer is suggested very early on in an important recent book by Noah Feldman: Americans are "divided by God." The essay goes on to explore, while indulging in some amateur theology and armchair sociology, how basic differences about God might animate the political and legal controversies that we have been observing.
Keywords: Religion, Belief, Culture Wars, Frist Amendment
JEL Classification: K00, K1, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation