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(35,524 posts)
19. A society with a primarily secular system
Sat Mar 7, 2015, 06:37 PM
Mar 2015

is fundamental to a democracy in a diverse society.

If the society is fairly homogeneous, then you'd really expect the "secular system" to primarily reflect that homogeneity. But it should be open enough to accommodate minority views.

However, saying that the institutions must be secular is an error. For much of the US' history, the primary institutions have not been secular. To say otherwise is to truncate much of the range of public opinion, and say that in a true democracy only some views and some participation counts, while other views and other forms of participation and other portions of civil society are to be ignored. Democratically, of course.

That kind of stricture denies the essence of democracy. It can be "representative" (in the sense that the demos votes for representatives), it can be proportional, it can be liberal, it can have limits put on it to limit majoritarian tendencies, it can be majoritarian without representatives mediating between law and the public. But it cannot simply say, "Some views are too dangerous to allow its adherents to be considered people." "We the people" is inclusive, however much some want it to exclude those they disapprove of as somehow being "non-people" because of their views or their assets. What's really needed is some sort of buy-in.

Just ask the Chinese. Android3.14 Mar 2015 #1
It could also be fundamental to other forms of government. Warren Stupidity Mar 2015 #3
Of course a secular society is unnecessary Android3.14 Mar 2015 #8
Not unless you qualify "democracy" a lot more tightly than you have GliderGuider Mar 2015 #2
Good point. (nt) pinto Mar 2015 #5
The English seem to be doing just fine. hrmjustin Mar 2015 #4
Sure if you like monarchies and state religions. Warren Stupidity Mar 2015 #6
And democracy. hrmjustin Mar 2015 #7
So that whole separation of church and state thing is irrelevant? Warren Stupidity Mar 2015 #10
To Democracy there, yes. hrmjustin Mar 2015 #12
The Spanish seem to be doing just fine, too. okasha Mar 2015 #11
But, but, but... hrmjustin Mar 2015 #13
Sure does. okasha Mar 2015 #14
It sucked to have Church of England bishops voting in Parliament against marriage equality muriel_volestrangler Mar 2015 #15
You still have democracy. And yes I am not a fan of some of those bishops. hrmjustin Mar 2015 #16
I would say democracy is better with secular institutions muriel_volestrangler Mar 2015 #17
I don't agree the UK limps along and is much better than Iran's system. hrmjustin Mar 2015 #18
Yes, and de facto we're pretty much a secular society with secular institutions. Donald Ian Rankin Mar 2015 #20
What is fundamental to a democracy is a people willing to fight for the right to order their Leontius Mar 2015 #9
A society with a primarily secular system Igel Mar 2015 #19
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