Just added to our religious-freedom symposium: Cathleen Kaveny's response to the bishops' latest statement on religious liberty:
"Our First, Most Cherished Liberty reflects the bishops deep ambivalence about whether they prefer the protection afforded a religious minority in the United States or whether they want to be an influential force in the moral mainstream. The first option will likely require them to accept some marginalization, while the second exposes them to uncomfortable pushback from opposing forces. Their statement suggests they want to have it both ways, but that outcome seems highly unlikely, at least within the American legal and political framework.
And today, Michael Moreland:
I read parts of Our First, Most Cherished Liberty as a call for a renewed appreciation of the importance of institutional pluralism in a liberal society. The disagreement over such subjects as the HHS contraception mandate is many thingsa debate within American constitutional law, a debate within American Catholicism about the legacy of Humanae vitaebut it is, in my view, foremost a debate over whether and how the coercive power of the state should be employed against the institutions of civil society. Catholicism (and especially American Catholicism) is a peculiarly institutional form of religious faith, with social-service agencies, hospitals, and schools at every level. Catholic institutions are, not surprisingly, on the front lines of battles between state regulation and church autonomy.
Read the rest right here. And come back tomorrow to read the final part of the symposium, by William Galston.