Contemporary philosophical defenses of outright establishment of a church or faith are few, but a famous defense of establishment was given by T. As a result, he argued, such a society would degenerate into tyranny and/or social and cultural fragmentation.
Even today, there are strains of conservatism that argue for establishment by emphasizing the benefits that will accrue to the political system or society at large (Scruton, 1980).
According to this line of thought, the healthy requires a substantial amount of pre- or extra-political social cohesion.
More specifically, a certain amount of social cohesion is necessary both to ensure that citizens see themselves as sufficiently connected to each other (so that they will want to cooperate politically), and to ensure that they have a common framework within which they can make coherent collective political decisions.
But religious beliefs and practices also potentially support politics in many ways.
The extent and form of this support is as important to political philosophers as is the possibility for conflict.Of course, a different version of this argument could simply appeal to the truth of a particular religion and to the good of obtaining salvation, but given the persistent intractability of settling such questions, this would be a much more difficult argument to make.Against these positions, the liberal tradition has generally opposed establishment in all of the aforementioned forms.If all people have such a right, then it is morally wrong for the state to force them to participate in religious practices and institutions that they would otherwise oppose, such as forcing them to take part in public prayer.It is also wrong, for the same reason, to force people to support financially (via taxation) religious institutions and communities that they would not otherwise wish to support.This cohesion in turn is dependent on a substantial amount of cultural homogeneity, especially with respect to adherence to certain values.One way of ensuring this kind of homogeneity is to enact one of the forms of establishment mentioned above, such as displaying religious symbols in political buildings and monuments, or by including references to a particular religion in political ceremonies.The second pair of sections is devoted to problems that, for the most part, have come to the fore of discussion only in recent times: (3) liberal citizenship and its demands on private self-understanding; and (4) the role of religion in public deliberation.While the topic of establishment has receded in importance at present, it has been central to political thought in the West since at least the days of Constantine.Similarly, liberals often argue that fairness precludes devoting tax revenues to religious groups because doing so amounts to forcing non-believers to subsidize religions that they reject.A different approach for liberals is to appeal directly to the right to practice one’s religion, which is derivable from a more general right to freedom of conscience.