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The 2008 campaign for the presidency should remind Americans that mixing religion and politics can be dangerous Polls show that more than half of American voters would hesitate to support a Mormon candidate In terms of Establishment Clause doctrine the entanglements prong of the Lemon test provides a mechanism for protecting political equality by ensuring against religiouslyinspired political divisiveness Yet in recent years numerous scholars and Supreme Court Justices have attacked the entanglements prong Indeed the Court has poked so many holes in the entanglements inquiry that it may no longer exist This Article defends the politicaldivisiveness component of the entanglements prong The political theory of pluralist democracy the social science research documenting the power of religious identity and the history of religious discrimination in the United States demonstrate that the importation of religious divisions into the political realm can thwart the pluralist democratic process Pluralist democracy demands that each and every citizen be afforded a full and fair opportunity to participate to assert his or her interests and values in the democratic arena Citizens then must be willing to negotiate and compromise with other citizens who are equally entitled to assert their interests and values But religiouslyinspired political positions sometimes cannot be compromised they are absolutes Moreover when political stances form around religious orientations religious outsiders inevitably lose merely because they are minorities Throughout American history dominant religious groups have translated their values into political goals and imposed them on minorities Given this the Court should promote political equality and protect religious minorities from the ravages wrought by religiouslyinspired political divisiveness To do so the Court should interpret the Establishment Clause to proscribe governmental programs funding religious activities and institutions and governmental displays of religious symbols

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