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I was very pleased to discover last year that I had not previously known that Michael Howard (Tory leader 2003-5) was jewish, as it had been something of such little consideration to his position that it had never been mentioned.
is what I call secularity. In the US you always know what religion a politician is.

On the other hand, the UK has a state church, as do all the Lutheran countries in Northern Europe (Church of England, Church of Denmark...) all the Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe with their autocephalous churches, and all Catholic countries with their single (i.e., "catholic") supranational church tied to the states through Concordates. Germany, of course, resolved the 30 years' war by having two state churches. But nobody gives a fig what religion you are, unlike in the US, and even the bishops of the state church get in trouble with public opinion if they get too political, whereas in the US every politician is supposed to get religious.

There has to be a name for that difference. I choose to call it "secular" vs. "separation fo church and state". The naming convention is debatable, of course.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 5th, 2012 at 09:05:29 AM EST
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