Creation and Preservation in the Constitution of Civil Religion
Brett G. Scharffs, 𝘊𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘗𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘭 𝘙𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘯, 41 Gᴇᴏ. Wᴀsʜ. Iɴᴛ’ʟ L. Rᴇᴠ. 985 (2010).
civil religion, laïcité, courts, jurispathic tendencies, alternative conceptions, official conceptions, civil society, religious symbols
The primary challenge facing civil religion in the United States is how to accommodate varying conceptions of the content and meaning of civil religion. Courts should be wary of jurispathic tendencies -- their proclivity to kill alternative conceptions of civil religion and to adopt a single "official" conception. Courts should endeavor to treat civil religion as a dimension of civil society rather than as a tool of the state. They should adopt a modest posture in declaring definitions and setting boundaries in regard to religious symbols and texts.
41 Geo. Wash. Int'l L. Rev.
George Washington International Law Review