The Paralyzing Paradox of Religious Neutrality

26 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2011  

Steven Douglas Smith

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: August 17, 2011

Abstract

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).

Keywords: religion, First Amendment, constitutional law

JEL Classification: K10, K39

Suggested Citation

Smith, Steven Douglas, The Paralyzing Paradox of Religious Neutrality (August 17, 2011). San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 11-060. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1911399

Steven Douglas Smith (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-7969 (Phone)
619-260-2492 (Fax)

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