Gaus on Eberle: Gerald Gaus reviews Christopher Eberle's important book Religious Convictions in Liberal Politics. There is a big, on-going debate between political theorists who think that citizens should not appeal to their religious views when they make political decisions and political theorists who think there's nothing wrong with invoking one's faith. Philosophers like John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, Charles Larmore, Robert Audi, Gutmann & Thompson, Lawrence Solum (see his terrific Legal Theory Blog), and Gaus think political justifications should proceed independently of sectarian theological views. On the other side, thinkers like Michael McConnell (now a judge on the 10th Circuit), Nicholas Wolterstorff, Paul Weithman, Michael Perry, Robert George, and Kent Greenawalt are, to varying degrees, skeptical of this claim. They think that religious beliefs have a rightful place in ordinary--and sometimes even constitutional--politics. Eberle's book is the latest volley from the religious side of this debate. And Gaus's answer, while charitable, is just the response that political liberals should hope for and expect.

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