Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Religion at OCON

Two sessions at this year's Objectivist Summer Conference will explore the influence of religion in America.

Onkar Ghate will present The Separation of Church and State:
With religion on the rise in America, maintaining the separation of church and state is now a pressing issue. This talk will examine some of the history behind, as well as the arguments for and against, the principle of separating religion from government. It will consider contemporary ways in which the principle is being attacked and why even well-meaning Americans are increasingly unable to mount a defense. Finally, it will define what a proper, philosophical argument for the need to separate church from state looks like.
Eric Daniels will present Religion in American History:
Despite the secular basis of our government and the constitutional separation of church and state, religion has exerted enormous influence on American life from the importation of Puritan theocracy in the seventeenth century to the growing influence of evangelical religion in the twenty-first century.

This course investigates the historical development of religion in America. It examines the influence of religion as an institution, and religious ideas in the culture. By assessing the impact of religion on American politics and law, it highlights throughout how religion has acted to erode both capitalism and political freedom. The course evaluates the claims that America’s Founders were religious and that religious ideas helped ameliorate various social ills.

Without an understanding of how religion has featured in American life historically, one cannot fully defend America today from those who would revive a religious government or, worse, a modern theocracy.
The conference takes place July 3rd - 11th in Boston.

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