And this is why the Republic must separate Church from State by declaring freedom for and from religion. The unity and cohesion of the Republic is not religion, not a set of beliefs and customs, not a culture and ethnicity. The unity of the Republic is in faith which is made possible in the public space--a safe place set aside for all persons as equals to speak and act in concert, to grow their souls and expand their consciousness in intercommunion. It is a place of power, freedom, and transcendence. Religious life and institutions can help, but cannot substitute for that public place. And they hinder when they attempt to do so.
The virtuous faithful act in the Republic is the political act of organizing safe places for the love of neighbor to emerge and flower.