Professor Rick Garnett has an op-ed piece in USA Today about religious freedom and the separation of church and state, which he says “is widely misunderstood by critics and defenders alike.” He concludes:
The struggle for the church’s freedom in China reminds us that what the separation of church and state calls for is not a public conversation or social landscape from which God is absent or banished. The point of separation is not to prevent religious believers from addressing political questions or to block laws that reflect moral commitments. Instead, “separation” refers to an institutional arrangement, and a constitutional order, in which religious institutions are free and self-governing Ã¢â‚¬â€ neither above and controlling, or beneath and subordinate to, the state. This freedom limits the state and so safeguards the freedom of all Ã¢â‚¬â€ believers and non-believers alike.