The place of religion in the American public square: Christianity, civil religion, and the enduring contribution of Richard John Neuhaus
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Oficyna Wydawnicza AFM
Krakowskie Studia Międzynarodowe 2011, nr 2, s. 216-228.
"It is a rather daunting task to address the place of religion in American public life. The question is so rich, so complex, and often so divisive, even contentious. It brings together the two things that American folk wisdom teaches us, from a very early age, that we should not discuss in polite company: religion and politics. And indeed, one widely held, and widely respected, view of the matter is that one should say as little as possible in public about either religion or politics. While there are times when this is good advice, and represents the acme of prudence, it will hardly do for us as a general principle. A form of “civility” that is achieved only by our remaining studiously silent about the things that matter to us most, and are most fundamental to the health of our civil society, is not really civility, but merely an uneasy and impoverished social peace. Nor is this the kind of society that the American Constitutional order envisioned. The first item in our Bill of Rights makes it clear that the Framers placed religion in a very high place—not only as the first and most fundamental of our freedoms, but as a mental and moral and social right whose “free exercise” we also are promised."(...)
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