Let us consider the topic of separation in the standardised statement of the French Constitution: the republic (the state) is “laïque, democratique et sociale. Elle assure l'égalité devant la loi de tous les citoyens, sans distinction d'origine, de race ou de religion. Elle respecte toutes les croyances ”. This thesis has merits which cannot be challenged by rational reasons: any religious conception has the right to exist and its being shared by someone cannot be prevented, just as no one, no force in this world, can control people’s opinions; as Charles S. Peirce would say, no state can affect people’s religious convictions. Paul Kurtz’ project of “secularised humanism” is just one of the errors made in the age of information, opinion and subjectivism, so that it has no objective support. Religion remains an indispensable part of the individual projects of life.
Not only individual life projects need religion, but also societies. Not even today do we have stronger and long-standing binding ties of society than religion. Young Hegel, or the sociologist Durkheim, like many others (later even Heidegger), observed the connection made by religion for a society worthy of man. In fact, the values of reciprocity and self respect and respect for the other, which are presupposed by democracy, are not possible without values originating in the Judeo-Christian religion, within which today’s society was born. Because of this general reason, one cannot say that the state is separated from religion, but only that the state does not privilege a religion or another, rather, it allows for people’s religious expression.
We cannot say that the state is separated from religion from any other point of view, either: the very changes within the state towards democracy are the effect of certain movements under the auspices of religious inspiration (like in 1980-1989 Poland and other countries). The established separation between state and religion has not yet been confirmed. This separation was not confirmed under any other aspect either: in the name of certain religions (see Islam), several states were attacked before and after 2001. I will not ignore the need for a detailed discussion on the implications of religions in supporting terrorism: Islam is not the only religion which supported terrorism and any religion has resources to distance itself from terrorism. Earlier on, Judaism and Christianity had passed through a process of enlightenment which made these two religions great forces of the democracy movement. Such processes are to be expected of any religion in the world if that religion wants to have a role in the act of democratisation. But the state can no longer remain indifferent to practised religion if this religion supports terrorism and it cannot separate itself from religion in the manner alleged by the separation thesis. In fact, the thesis of the separation of religion from politics can only function as an indicator of action if the secularised citizen and the religious citizen accept to ask from each other justifiable reasons for their actions and to produce them.
I now wish to draw the conclusion, in the simplest manner possible. Josè Casanova was right to say, in 1996, that “das Problem des Verhältnisses von Religion und Politik lässt sich nicht einfach auf die Frage der verfassungsmäßig klar abgegrenzten Trennung von Kirche und Staat
reduzieren. Gewiss ist diese Trennung unerlässlich, um sicherzustellen dass die Religion frei von staatlicher Einmischung, der Staat frei von religiöser Bevormundung und die persönliche Gewissenfreiheit gegenüber beiden, Staat wie organisierter Religion, frei ist. Doch folgt daraus nicht, daß die Religion notwendig zur Privatangelegenheit werden muß, um diese Freiheiten zu garantieren“[^58] . But the renowned analyst is wrong in thinking that the liberal democratic state will not be able to function without forcing religion into privatization. That is why his conclusion - “Religion hat eine Privatsache zu bleiben”[^59] - cannot be supported any longer in light of the arguments brought so far. In fact, Marc Lambert’s conclusion - that “l’adoption d’une silence pudique en la matière n’a pas semblé non plus satisfaisant à nombre des partenaires de la réflexion”. In a Europe that is in search of cultural foundations on the basis of appealing to its defining Judeo-Christian heritage - all of this should put into motion its current active spirits.