… is from page 474 of George Will’s great 2019 book, The Conservative Sensibility:
Religion’s independence of politics has been part of its strength. There is a fascinating paradox at work in our nation’s history: America, the first and most relentlessly modern nation, is, to the consternation of social scientists, also the most religious modern nation. One reason for this is that we have disentangled religion from public institutions.
DBx: Count on it: To the extent that industry is not independent of politics, industry will become less innovative, less dynamic, less efficient, less productive, less nimble, and ever-more fragile. The only thing about industry under these circumstances that will grow is its dependence on government-granted special protections and privileges.
On the consequences of religious freedom on churches and religious belief – and on the economics of religion generally – see the work of my former GMU Econ colleague, now at Chapman University, Larry Iannaccone.