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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Freedom from Religion

Freedom from Religion

(p.420) Freedom from Religion
The Essential Ellen Willis

Nona Willis Aronowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter comments on the separation of church and state, with particular emphasis on the involvement of religion in politics. George W. Bush’s creation of a federal office to coordinate public financing of euphemistically labeled “faith-based” social services is a bold assault on the separation of church and state; it is also, ironically, a triumph of bipartisanship. During the 2000 presidential campaign, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman declared that religion is the basis of morality and that the Constitution provides “freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.” For the most part, religious liberals and leftists have allied with their secular counterparts on matters of common concern, rather than working to promote the power of religion itself or taking issue with the secular left on specifically religious grounds. Now, some liberals and leftists, both religious and secular, are defending or actively supporting efforts to dilute the separation of church and state and increase the power and influence of religion in American life. This chapter argues that religious freedom is not only compatible with democracy but also essential to it.

Keywords:   separation of church and state, religion, politics, Joe Lieberman, morality, freedom of religion, liberals, leftists, religious freedom, democracy

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