Commonplace Book #117

The idea of secularism has been in play for centuries–some might say millennia.  At the assorted genius bars of Western Civilization, it has long been one of the regulars, and as such it has been defined in a lot of plausible ways….Yet the following definition seems powerful, precise, and the most conducive to its survival: Secularism is a political philosophy, which, at its core, is preoccupied with, and often deeply suspicious of, any and all relations between government and religion.  It translates that preoccupation into various strategies of governance, all of which seek to balance two necessities: (1) the individual citizen’s need for freedom of, or freedom from, religion, and (2) a state’s need to maintain order.

Jacques Berlinerblau, How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom, xv-xvi.

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