Professor Paulsen’s Priority of God is an interesting and provocative contribution. Let me offer, though, a few critical thoughts.

First, an observation, which perhaps Professor Paulsen might not disagree with, but which other friends of religious freedom might find troubling: Under the Priority of God theory of religious freedom, a mostly irreligious country—like some European countries today, and like America might perhaps one day be—shouldn’t provide such freedom.

Second, Priority of God argues for a legal system that would require the government to judge quintessentially theological questions. The article proposes a strikingly broad vision of religious exemptions, but naturally it can’t endorse exemptions from all laws, including murder laws and the like.

Finally, how could a nonreligious judge make decisions under such a system? How can someone who doesn’t believe in God figure out what the “clear, universal moral command of God” would be, if there were a God?

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