The recent controversy in Quebec over banning religious symbols among public employees raises serious questions about religious freedom – both its foundations and expression – in Canada. Does an atheistic starting point provide an adequate basis for religious freedom? Tolerance? Indeed, for genuine secularity? A case can be made for the counterintuitive claim that a genuinely secular society needs religion. From a Christian perspective, this approach leads not to an exclusive and narrow religious rule or theocracy, but a theologically grounded secularity, a making room for the voice of the other as we seek to live together in peace and mutual respect.
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