What place may religion have in our public space? In our definition of the State? In our educational systems? In defining our public identity? It is, in part, a question of and for democracy: Imagine a State with a majority of practicing Christians among its citizens. May they use the legislative and administrative institutions of the State to make theirs a Christian State? Would that not run up institutions of the State to make theirs a Christian State? Would that not run up against our most cherished constitutional principles of freedom, notable freedom of religion and freedom from religion? The impact of the French and American revolutions on our political and constitutional cultures is so enduring and powerful that we need to take the American ‘separationist’ and French ‘laique’ (secular state) as normative, as setting the yardstick for any thinking on this issue. And thus, the most “natural” answer to the question: A Christian State? Nooooo!
Freedom of Religion and Freedom From Religion: The European Model,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol65/iss2/20