Why Tolerate Religion?
A Center for Inquiry Symposium
Saturday, April 27, 2013 • 10am-5pm
Woolly Mammoth Theatre
641 D St. NW
Washington, DC 20004
(Archives or Judiciary Sq. Metro)
*Registration button at bottom!*
Should a corporation operated by religious believers be exempt from a federal rule mandating contraceptive coverage for employees, while an organization run by nonreligious persons is not? Should an employee who objects to performing certain tasks on the basis of their religion be accommodated, while objections by a nonreligious employee are ignored? Should a religious organization receiving government funding be allowed to hire only adherents of their particular worldview, while a secularist organization cannot do the same?
In cases like these, religious conscience has traditionally been considered to provide a legitimate exemption from standing laws, whereas nonreligious commitments generally have not. But in his thought-provoking new book Why Tolerate Religion? philosopher and legal scholar Brian Leiter argues that governments are wrong to single out religion and religious demands as deserving any special legal protection. Leiter contends that the reasons for tolerating religion are not specific to religion, and instead apply to all claims of conscience—and that governments are not required to grant exemptions of any kind, religious or otherwise, from laws that promote the general welfare.
To examine this contentious issue, the Center for Inquiry is proud to host a day-long symposium on April 27, 2013, at Washington, D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth Theatre.
Jacques Berlinerblau, Associate Professor and Director of the Program for Jewish Civilization, Georgetown Univerity; and author of How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom
Caroline Mala Corbin, Associate Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law; and author of numerous papers on the relationship between church and state
Wendy Kaminer, lawyer and social critic; Advisory Board member, Secular Coalition for America; and author of Free for All: Defending Liberty in America Today
Brian Leiter, Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values, University of Chicago; and author of Why Tolerate Religion?
Ronald A. Lindsay, President and CEO, Center for Inquiry; and author of Future Bioethics: Overcoming Taboos, Myths, and Dogmas
Barry Lynn, Executive Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State; and co-author of First Freedom First: A Citizen's Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State
John R. Shook, Director of Education and Senior Research Fellow, Center for Inquiry; Education Coordinator, American Humanist Association; and author of The God Debates: A 21st Century Guide for Atheists and Believers
9:30-10:00am | Registration & Breakfast
10:00-10:10am | Ronald A. Lindsay: Welcoming remarks
10:10-10:20am | Michael De Dora: Opening remarks
10:20-11:20am | Brian Leiter: Why Tolerate Religion?
11:20-11:30am | Break
11:30am-1:15pm | Morning Panel - The Crossroads: Secular Government and Religious Society
with Jacques Berlinerblau, Wendy Kaminer, John Shook
Followed by audience Q&A
1:15-2:30pm | Lunch (local restaurants)
1:45-4:15pm | Afternoon Panel - The Conflict: Legal and Political Challenges to Secular Government
with Caroline Mala Corbin, Ronald A. Lindsay, Barry Lynn
Followed by audience Q&A
4:15-4:20pm | Break
4:20-5:00pm | Brian Leiter: Closing remarks
Registration is $60 for the general public, $50 for CFI Friends of the Center (Join here!), and just $25 for students (valid student ID required at door).
In conjunction with the Secular Coalition for America, CFI is pleased to offer $50 symposium registration to those also attending SCA's Lobby Day & Secular Summit, held April 24-26, 2013 also in Washington, DC.
• Continental breakfast at the venue
• Snacks and refreshments throughout the day
(attendees will receive a lunch break to visit local restaurants)
For more information about the Center for Inquiry Institute, please visit our website.
For more information about CFI's Washington, DC branch, please visit their website.
Specific questions? Please email a CFI Institute representative.