Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sehat on The Myth of American Religious Freedom

Over at the Intellectual History Blog, David Sehat (Georgia State) is posting a series of essays on “The Myth of American Religious Freedom: Religion, Morality, and Law.” They are based on material from his forthcoming book.

Here are the opening paragraphs of Sehat's first essay:

Social conservatives have been in the news in recent days, calling upon the Republican Party not to forget social issues as they put together their new election platform for November. The reemergence of social conservatism strikes a discordant note in the widespread media claim that the 2008 election signaled the end of the Religious Right. After that election, pundits and journalists rolled out numerous stories with the assertion that George W. Bush, a man brought into power through the activities of social conservatives, had so discredited the connection of faith and politics that social conservatism was, for all intensive purposes, at a political end.

Yet the continued presence of the Religious Right in the news suggests that the predicted demise of the Christian Right as a political force was premature. I, for one, am not surprised that they have not gone away, and don’t believe that they will do so any time soon. The Religious Right taps into an old tension within the United States political community over the degree to which the laws of the U.S. government and the various states rely upon a religious foundation.

You can find the next essay in the series here.

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