Laicite

Secularism, or Laicite, in France, presents the same challenges we face in America where Religion is supposed to be separated from Government by a firm wall.  Forces in both countries (and many other nations) see no need for that barrier.

I highly recommend this podcast from The Daily on the current tensions over religious accommodation and assimilation in France.  There’s nothing easy about this tug of war.  Is there a way to balance the power of a Secular government and Religious demands?  What is the most reasonable response to religious violence?

“So laïcité is a principle. And if we wanted to simplify things, I would say that it’s about the separation between the state and the church. So this is something that is familiar for Americans — something that we could actually translate by secularism. But in France, it has some sort of a bigger meaning. In France, this idea behind laïcité is that it’s about freedom from religion, whereas in the U.S., it’s really about freedom of religion.”

How do you see the difference between freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion?

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