Giving Our Better Angels a Chance: A Dialogue on Religious Liberty and Equality

Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, volume 21, issue 2 (forthcoming)

U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 21-03

32 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2021

See all articles by Alan E. Brownstein

Alan E. Brownstein

University of California, Davis - School of Law

Thomas C. Berg

University of St. Thomas, St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN - School of Law

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

This essay is a collaborative effort to engage in a dialogue on church-state issues that are often hotly debated in our society. Each of us has strongly held positions on the disputes we plan to discuss. Our purpose here, however, is not to present our own views as forcefully as we can. Instead, our goal is to move away from the bitter polarization and demonization that characterizes so much of the arguments about law and religion today. We are searching for ways to discuss and resolve difficult church-state issues that may reduce acrimony and divisions within our society, foster bridge building among divergent communities, identify common ground and provide opportunities for compromise.

We address four aspects of church-state disputes:

- Foundational Principles and Values

- Substantive Doctrine: (1) Free Exercise and (2) Government Prayers and Symbols

- The Understanding of Social Reality

- The Tone and Content of Reasoning in Opinions

We intend to employ a dialogue format for this piece. Other than the introduction, which is co-authored, each section of this essay will offer a primary discussion of the issues by one of us to be followed by a brief response by the other.

Keywords: Religious liberty, Religious freedom, Free exercise of religion, Religious equality, Church-state relations, Establishment Clause, Polarization, Religious minorities, Discrimination against religion, Targeting of religion, LGBTQ equality, Religious exemptions, Religious conservatives, Religious nonp

Suggested Citation

Brownstein, Alan Edward and Berg, Thomas Charles, Giving Our Better Angels a Chance: A Dialogue on Religious Liberty and Equality (2021). Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, volume 21, issue 2 (forthcoming), U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 21-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3770995

Alan Edward Brownstein

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
Davis, CA CA 95616-5201
United States
530-752-2586 (Phone)
530-752-4704 (Fax)

Thomas Charles Berg (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas, St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN - School of Law ( email )

1000 La Salle Avenue
Mail # MSL400
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2015
United States

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