Friday, April 3, 2015

Defending Pluralism

A couple points to add to my NRO article yesterday looking at the contrast between a support for civic pluralism and a devotion to an imperialist secularism (that demands the removal of all religion from the public square):

On Twitter, Andrew Walker notes a tweet by Zack Ford at ThinkProgress:

This tweet demonstrates the impulses of some (especially on the far left) to argue that religious beliefs have no place in the public square.  The fact that folks like Martin Luther King did not divorce their beliefs from there actions reveals some of the limits of Ford's declaration.  It is unclear why religious people in Ford's worldview should be particularly burdened and not be allowed to work to express their beliefs.

At the Corner, Yuval Levin draws attention to the way that extremist progressives are attempting to turn back the clock on religious tolerance:
Madison’s case against an established church, perhaps most notably in his 1785 “Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments,” was rooted in a core principle of religious liberty that is particularly important to remember in the kinds of debates we have seen in the last few years: That religious freedom is not a freedom to do what you want, but a freedom to do what you must. It’s not a freedom from constraint, but a recognition of a constraint higher than even the law and therefore prior to it and deserving of some leeway from legal obligations when reasonably possible.
Levin finds that, unlike Madison, many radical leftists want to say to believers that they can have their own private beliefs but that they cannot form institutions in accord with these beliefs because such institutions could challenge the established church of progressive secularism.

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