American separation of church and state is much more exigent than French laïcité, in that it prohibits the state from helping one or all religions in any manner; either in making religious representatives accredited and recognized political interlocutors in political and social dialogue, in putting edifices at their disposition for religious practice, or in financing religious schools-all things that French public authority does to benefit certain religions present in the territory of the Republic. As a result, religions, churches, or sects in the United States are all on equal footing with the others; none is privileged. The downside of the situation is that freedom of religion is in no way helped or assisted as is often the case in France and in Europe more generally.


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pp. 561-594
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