The Founders and Faith

We're back to Locke. Jonathan Rowe explains:

Whenever I criticize the more extreme elements of Islam, I always stress that most Muslims say this doesn’t represent the authentic version of their faith. Now, in truth, I have no idea whether I'm right and may well be engaging in a Straussian lie. But, if Islam, as a faith, isn't going away and I don't think it is Muslims must be convinced that a more liberal, sober and rational understanding of their faith is the authentic one. This is exactly what Madison tried to do with Christians in his Memorial and Remonstrance.

... The paradox is, the rights of conscience are so profound government has no business saying what is true or false religion. Yet, government indeed does have an interest in promoting the 'right' kind of religion, that is religion compatible with liberal democratic, secular, pluralistic norms. Our Founders did to Christianity what the modern liberal governments and institutions, are, or ought to be doing to Islam (like telling folks extreme Islam doesn't represent authentic Islam).

More comment from a "tolerant atheist" here. Pharyngula prefers the term "do-nothing atheist."