The attack on Western religions by Western law

Re-framing pluralism, liberalism and diversity


  • Iain T. Benson


Law and religion, definitions of liberalism, pluralism, diversity, transformative constitutionalism, political theology, constitutional theocracy, law as religion, freedom of association, values versus virtues, homophobia, heterosexism, civic totalism, egalitarian absolutism, holistic pluralism


This paper discusses how law is increasingly being used to attack religious associations under the guise of “equality” advancement and “non-discrimination” restrictions. I explore two important insights: first that the concept of “transformation” has been distorted, to shelter approaches to law that fail to respect properly associational diversity. When misused, “transformation” seeks to change the moral viewpoints or religious beliefs of religious associations by force of law. Second, the paper discusses the expansion of law so that it becomes a threat to associations. The “goods of religion” and the “limits of law” need to be more widely recognized and understood both by religious communities and by those involved in law, politics and the media. These insights demonstrate how “equality activists” employ a rhetoric of “equality” to produce inequality, “diversity” to produce homogeneity and “nondiscrimination” to discriminate against religious communities and religious beliefs. Several solutions for identifying these errors and resisting them are outlined in brief.