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Sunday, November 24, 2019

American religion and politics: Overreaching Realms

Even though they are formally separated in the U.S. under the constitutional rubric that the federal government cannot lawfully establish a religion and infringe on the free exercise of religion, religion has ventured into politics and vice versa. Valued ideals pertain to both even though the highest in religion are transcendent, meaning that they extend beyond the limits of human cognition, perception, and sensibility, according to St. Denis (aka Pseudo-Dionysius) in the sixth century. So far is the political variety from such ideals as being in heaven! Yet the political sort has enjoyed a near monopoly in the world, including its public discourse. At least as 2019 was giving way to a new decade, captivation on President Trump’s tweets (i.e., brief statements made on the internet’s social media) and the process of impeaching him in the U.S. House of Representatives was strangely devoid of any religious discussion in the public square. This is all the more extraordinary because of the significant role that religion had played historically in presidential politics.

The full essay is at "American Religion and Politics."