The quandary over how to structure the relationship between religion and the civil state is an ancient one. From the perspective of political philosophy this is the religion question, and events over many centuries have proven that the answer is easy to get wrong. Religion, by its very definition, is the fixed point from which all else is surveyed. It is about ultimate matters, both micro and macro. Hence, religion addresses the irreducible core of personhood and its meaning, while at the same time religion embraces a worldview that transcends and encompasses everything else. Religion generates intense emotions that when acted upon can oreacn the peace, and religion forms deep loyalties that can rival the patriotic ties that bind citizens to their nation-state. Religion is simultaneously individualistic, about highly personal beliefs and acts of humble piety growing out of those beliefs, while at the same time religion is nearly always manifested in the form of a sacred group or institution that knits together those of like-minded faith in local, national, and even transnational churches, temples, and mosques.
Carl H. Esbeck, Governance and the Religion Question: Voluntaryism, Disestablishment, and America's Church-State Proposition, 48 J. Church & St. 303 (2006)