129

You are looking at this through the eyes of a modern. Time for some history: One of the oldest European settlements on North America was made by Puritans, who were fleeing... government religious persecution*. One of the most influential groups in the formation of America were the Quakers, who came to America fleeing... government religious persecution. ...


126

You say these things don't happen when they do. Case in point, the notorious Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (9/11 mastermind and behind Daniel Pearl's execution) who WAS jailed in Egypt early in his life, had to flee Bosnia when intelligence had pinpointed him, and was finally captured and turned over to the US by Pakistan. In other words, he was targeted by Muslim ...


78

A bit of background is necessary. Recently India passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). It allows only non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to get citizenship on the grounds of religious persecution. The CAA itself is controversial because they exclude Muslims. Also, to understand the full power of CAA, you need to ...


73

No, it isn't a contradiction under US law. This has been tested in the Federal Courts, see for example O'Hair v. Blumenthal, and Aronow v. United States. The basic reasoning is summarized in this paragraph from the Anonow case: It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency "In God We Trust" has nothing whatsoever to ...


51

While the United States doesn't have a national religion, the US has fairly deep religious liberty roots, and it has lead to a few twists and turns in the religious sentiment Religious Refugees Every year, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving (a major US holiday), and most children could tell you some version of the story of the Pilgrims and Native Americans. ...


50

Answering this question properly would require a broad discussion of the religious tensions and transformations in England during the 16th and 17th centuries, starting with the English Reformation where the Church of England broke off from the authority of the Pope. Suffice it to say (for our purposes) that this move created a religious power vacuum in which ...


48

Is this customary? Yes, there is a whole wiki on it. Obama had pastor Rick Warren at his inauguration. How does this align with a secular government? Isn't it one? The government is still secular. What makes the government secular is that a religious component is not a mandated component. You can become president without prayers. More importantly no ...


41

History Since 1933, prayer has been a consistent part of presidential inaugurations in America [Source: Newdow v Bush, Civil Action. Pg.7] . Since 1933 the President-Elect has visited a church for prayer prior to taking the oath of office, but since 1937 actual prayers have been offered during the inauguration itself. Secularism As noted in the question, ...


41

The main reason is game-theoretical asymmetry. If you "identify" (officially, as per self-label) as a Christian - or any other religion - non-religious people would most likely not decide to avoid voting for you based on that. There may be a small sliver of atheist zealots who would, but I seriously doubt it is enough to matter, especially in US First ...


38

Disclaimer: I'm not that versed in history, so the following might have factual mistakes. To understand the source of the American separation of church and state, you'll have to take a dive into history. Between the 16th and 18th century, Europe was in a state of religious turmoil. The ruler decided which religion his subjects would have to follow (Cuius ...


37

Many Germans who have friends and family really enjoy the fact that there is one "common day off" in the week which is the same for all family members. Going to church together has become rather uncommon, but the benefit for the family remains. Of course one cannot go shopping together on this "common day off," but that's where the golden rule comes in -- ...


34

Without any stats to back my speculations, here are a few reasons why I would expect it to be that way: Stating the obvious but recent immigration to Europe included many people from countries where Islam is an important component of the culture (North Africa, West Africa, Turkey…) Christianity is on the retreat and losing ground to irreligion. To some ...


31

Let's assume that the United States is one of the countries where church and state are separated. Politicians can still care about papal opinion because some of their voters do. According to Wikipedia, roughly 20-25% of Americans are Catholic. That's more than are black or Hispanic, and those groups have political influence. In the US, five or six of ...


29

"Separation of church and state" is not actually required by the US Constitution. Wikipedia says that the phrase "separation of church and state" was first used by Thomas Jefferson in this letter in 1802, when he was President: Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other ...


28

It depends on your definition of communism - AND religion. Marx, as another answerer noted, officially denounced religion. This was for three distinct reasons: Organized religion (church) for hundreds of years was either a political power, or co-opted by another power (monarchs) to help pacify the oppressed lower classes. The official version of what was ...


26

There is no provision for delaying the outgoing president's departure. It would be possible for the outgoing vice president to resign and allow the incoming president to become vice president prior to the Sabbath. Then the outgoing president could resign and allow the incoming president to take office early. The outgoing president could choose to do ...


26

This is a Canada-specific answer, but one that is likely applicable to the US as well. Anti-discrimination laws (or more generally in Canada, human rights laws, although are some other examples of laws prohibiting discrimination in areas such as health and safety) prohibit discrimination on a range of specific protected characteristics. In Manitoba, for ...


26

This is a rather principialist question, and politics is a much more pragmatic field. Philosophically, yes, a State should not acknowledge a god, there are religions without gods, agnosticism and atheism. As the State should not endorse any particular group, the god question should be absent from the State sphere. Pragmatically, four out of five Americans ...


26

The Citizenship Act of 2019 gives refugees who have fled persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan a path to Indian citizenship, but it only applies to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian refugees. Muslims are not eligible. This is a charged issue because many people living in India have no documentary proof of their citizenship. It ...


24

Well, Wikipedia has a pretty detailed explanation on this: Alsace-Moselle maintains its own local legislation, applying specific customs and laws on certain issues in spite of its being an integral part of France. These laws are principally in areas that France addressed by changing its own law in the period 1871–1919, when Alsace-Moselle was a part of ...


23

The state is separate, but the people aren't. And by and large, people can believe in anything and be swayed by anything they want. Say you're a practicing Catholic living in the US, and you're watching the Pope give an address to the Vatican Congregation. In this address, he says something like: "It is sinful to take from the needy to give to the rich". ...


23

I'm not familiar with Germany but there's a similar law in France, and I guess in a few other countries. The law is amended from time to time and there are quite a lot of exemptions, but the general case is still that most businesses must close every Sunday, and in particular that employees cannot be asked to work on a Sunday. In France at least the debate ...


22

Evidently, they do. There are a lot of Muslim countries who combat terrorism. I think Muslim governments are even more concerned with terrorism than anybody else and take very hard-line measures. Islamist terrorists routinely get imprisoned and executed. Moreover, the most of the "grassroots" popular revolutions in the majority-Muslim countries (Iraq, ...


22

The laws on "extremism" (first brought in in 2002, then amended in 2006 and 2007) are defined in the "The Federal Law on Combating Extremist Activity". However, it is up to the courts to interpret the law (except that swastikas are considered extremist without further interpretation). The law distinguishes between extremist activity (eg drawing a swastika on ...


22

Regarding your example of discriminating against a Jew, I think that is a uniquely bad example because there is an ambiguity in that Jews are both a religion and an ethnic group, moreover they have been victims of discrimination in the past so European societies (and their new-world descendants) tend to grant special protections to Jews on top of the general ...


18

As stated by the US Supreme Court in MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP, LTD., ET AL. v. COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION ET AL. (emphasis added): When it comes to weddings, it can be assumed that a member of the clergy who objects to gay marriage on moral and religious grounds could not be compelled to perform the ceremony without denial of his or her right to the ...


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