The Rise of the Secular Theocracy

The push to establish and enforce a national secularist creed is undermining traditional faiths’ right of free exercise.

Protesters at a religious freedom rally on June 8, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Protesters at a religious freedom rally on June 8, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Response
Aug. 15 2016
About the author

Wilfred McClay is the G.T. and Libby Blankenship chair in the history of liberty at the University of Oklahoma and the author most recently of Land of Hope: An Invitation to the American Story.


Religious liberty, the subject of Richard Samuelson’s powerful essay in Mosaic, seems fated to be a central point of contention in the 21st century. This is self-evidently the case in the international arena, where many of the world’s most intractable conflicts involve believers of various stripes and the nations and communities within which their respective faiths are rooted. Those conflicts take a particularly heavy toll upon the liberties, not to speak of the very existence, of vulnerable religious and ethnic minorities.

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More about: Liberalism, Politics & Current Affairs, Religious liberty