This Article responds to the notion that government should identify and enforce a set of common beliefs and values, which McConnell calls "establishmentarianism." McConnell argues that establishmentarianism is inferior to the view that the values of society must emerge from the free institutions of civil society (liberalism). In doing so, McConnell explores the irony that modern insistence on diversity can go beyond mere tolerance of dissenting viewpoints and undermine the diversity and pluralism of society as a whole. Pluralism consists of a variety of different groups; an insistence on pluralism within groups has a homogenizing effect. Specifically, the Article addresses this notion in the context of religious schools where McConnell responds directly to those who wish to use noncoercive forms of state power to secularize these schools and make them resemble common schools. In sum, McConnell concludes that government must promote public virtue indirectly by protecting private associations that develop and transmit divergent world views, and that establishing a public orthodoxy through government power cannot succeed.

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