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*Image: Auguste Comte by Jean-Antonin Injalbert, c. 1902 [Place de la Sorbonne, Paris]

By David Carlin, The Catholic Thing, April 28, 2023

David Carlin is a retired professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America and, most recently, Three Sexual Revolutions: Catholic, Protestant, Atheist.

When the First Amendment was drafted, then passed by both Houses of Congress, and then added to the new U.S. Constitution after enough states had ratified it, probably no American involved in that complex process understood the word “religion” mentioned in the amendment to include any God-less religion.  When they said “religion” they had in mind the various branches of Christianity along with Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Deism, etc.

It was the great French philosopher-sociologist Auguste Comte (1798-1857) who, to the best of my knowledge, first suggested that the world, or at least the modern world, needed a religion without God.  He called this the Religion of Humanity. …

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