With religion on the rise in America, maintaining the separation of church and state is now a pressing issue. This talk begins with an examination of the current views for and against the idea of separating religion from government. Ghate argues that both sides of the contemporary debate are mistaken and explains why today even most well-meaning Americans are unable to mount a tenable defense of the principle. To understand the nature and meaning of the principle, Ghate explores some of the history behind it, focusing on John Locke’s crucial contributions. He completes the lecture by sketching a full philosophical argument for the separation of church and state.

This talk was recorded at the 2009 Objectivist Summer Conference in Boston, MA.