I’m honored to have the lead essay on Cato Unbound this month. In the essay, I lay out what I take to be a genuinely liberal approach to religion in politics, one that is neither fully libertarian, conservative or secular progress. Some excerpts:
The role of religion in politics is to preserve religious liberty against an overreaching state and encourage religious contributions to the ratification of laws that promote justice and the common good. Religion belongs in politics primarily as defense, rather than offense, restricting state power rather than extending it.
The classical liberal approach to religion and politics, then, avoids both overt and covert establishmentarianism. It bars efforts to give a particular religion, or even religion generally, a hallowed place in the law, while simultaneously resisting efforts to remove religion from the public square. Given its focus on restricting unjustified coercion, my approach does not make an idol of politics and does not insist that shared public deliberation is the sine qua non of a free, democratic society.
I have great commentators: Michael Shermer, Patrick Deneen and Maggie Garrett.