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Leader Joe Chuman in Logos: The Rise and Fall of Church State Separation and the Need to Reclaim It

By February 20, 2023No Comments

In his first contribution to the journal Logos, Leader Joe Chuman explored the current state of church-state separation and the necessary fight ahead:

The separation of church and state is on its deathbed. The encroachment of religion into the public square over the past several decades is a threat to democratic norms and sensibilities. It is commensurate with the merger of religion and the state, and we should be very concerned. Among the darkest forces in human history has been the authoritarian juggernaut of religious nationalism. We see this emerging globally in nations such as Turkey, Hungary, India, Israel, Russia, and elsewhere in varying shades of intensity.

The rise of religious power on American soil undoes centuries of church-state separation as a bulwark of both religious freedom and democratic governance.

We live in an era of contentious reflection on America’s origins, and a weakening of national self-confidence. Most significantly, there is probing examination of the legacy of slavery and how its lasting impact has been baked into the American fabric. Likewise, there is an examination into the much vaunted self-regard of the United States as a land welcoming to immigrants. Current paroxysms of xenophobia have occasioned questioning whether, and to what extent, the positive gloss placed on that history is warranted.

A momentous existential question presents itself one that augurs the direction American society will take as we inexorably move forward. Does the promise of prevailing American ideals as expressed in our founding documents possess enough vitality to sustain credibility in a benign future and inspire recommitment to the creation of a more perfect union? Or, will cynicism work to hasten the progressive decline of America?

Read the full essay at Logos here.

Joseph Chuman

Dr. Joseph Chuman is a Leader at Ethical NYC.

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