This month's topic: Issues of freedom of conscience and church-state separation have been with us since colonial times. The seventeenth-century Massachusetts Bay theocracy banished religious dissenters, whipped and imprisoned Baptists, and hanged Quakers. One of the exiles, Roger Williams, established a new settlement in Providence (later in Rhode Island) based on complete freedom of conscience and total church-state separation.
Such disputes have continued into the twenty-first century. Some topical questions: Is the United States a "Christian nation"? Should those who have religious objections to governmental programs be accommodated? Should businesses be excused from nondiscrimination policies on the ground of religious belief?
Jeffrey Toobin, "The Supreme Court is Quietly Changing the Status of Religion in American Life," New Yorker, March 6, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-supreme-court-is-quietly-changing-the-status-of-religion-in-american-life?utm_campaign=aud%E2%80%A6.
Alan E. Johnson, "Freedom of Conscience and Church-State Separation: Sources and Questions," March 7, 2019, https://www.academia.edu/38509816/Freedom_of_Conscience_and_Church-State_Separation_Sources_and_Questions.
General discussion group info:
PFC Monthly discussion groups are open to all - if the topic interests you, you'll be welcome! Casual dress. Discussion is moderated but informal - speak up as much or little as you wish. If you have any suggestions/ideas for a topic or category to discuss, please feel free to submit them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Discussion Group 2 meets in a conference room at the Sunnyhill Unitarian Universalist Church in Mt. Lebanon. Please use the side door entrance on the right side of the building, NOT the main entrance. See you there!