I had an debate a few hours ago about the nature of the separation of church and state and the role of religion in politics. This First Things article sheds an interesting light on that dialogue.
“The civic catechisms of our day still celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s experiment in religious liberty. To end a millennium of repressive religious establishments, we are taught, Jefferson sought liberty in the twin formulas of privatizing religion and secularizing politics. Religion must be ‘a concern purely between our God and our consciences,’ he wrote. Politics must be conducted with ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’ ‘Publick Religion’ is a threat to private religion, and must thus be discouraged. ‘Political ministry’ is a menace to political integrity and must thus be outlawed.”