Against religous freedom: a debate
Michael De Dora
Posted on July 8, 2011
Austin Dacey and Colin Koproske have an intriguing essay in the latest issue of Dissent Magazine in which they argue for a rethinking of the concept of religious freedom. The article is long, but in my opinion certainly worth the read.
Here is a taste:
There are two quite distinct ideas that fly under the banner of “religious freedom.” The first is that people have the right to practice a faith, consistent with the rights of everyone else. We think this is vital and unassailable. However, as we will contend, it is misleading to label this idea “religious freedom.” The second idea is that religions deserve some special accommodations under the law that are not available to comparable secular institutions or commitments. … Traditionally cherished and unquestioned though it may be, this latter notion of religious freedom is philosophically unsound, legally incoherent, and morally indefensible. To make real progress in the conversation about church and state, we must give it up.
You can also read William Galston’s reply here, and Dacey’s and Coproske’s reply to Galston here.