Wed Sep 5th, 2012 at 02:23:28 AM EST
In the context of the second saga-length thread about religion, I pointed out that
secularism, separation of church and state, and freedom of conscience are three separate concepts.
I was of the opinion that, by and large, the US had freedom of conscience and separation of church and state, but it wasn't a secular society; on the other hand, Europe tends to have freedom of conscience and a secular society but no separation of church and state.
Is this one of those cases where you can pick two out of three?
A third mode is where you have a secular society and no state church, but also no freedom of conscience (the "compulsory atheism" of "real existing socialism" in the erstwhile Soviet bloc).
Eurogreen commented that maybe France is an example where the three features coexist.
And I am just now wondering whether the classification extends outside of Western (i.e. Mesopotamian) civilization. How about the Chinese and Hindu cultural matrices?