Giving Our Better Angels a Chance: A Dialogue on Religious Liberty and Equality
Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, volume 21, issue 2 (forthcoming)
32 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2021
Date Written: 2021
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
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