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Religion and liberalism have reached a complicated entente in the law of American and European democracies. At times the relationship has been diffi- dently cordial; at others something that appeared warmer. This period marked a change from previous eras of far more open mutual hostility. Liberalism and the traditional, historically rich and influential religions—particularly Christianity— never have been allies. To the contrary, liberalism was designed in part expressly to neuter the communal and political power of religion—again, especially Christianity—and to separate law from religion for the purpose of weakening the latter. The current rapprochement has endured for more than a century, long enough to feel almost timeless, but it is a comparatively recent and contingent development. It could end as suddenly as it began.



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