MOJ’s Rick Garnett calls our attention to a relatively short piece by Jean Bethke Elshtain. Here’s a taste:
[Tocqueville] had in mind not only the subjective freedoms of believing citizens but also the mutual interaction of religious institutions and associations. That is what appears to have withered. And it is through religious institutions and communal bodies that the "politics" of religion comes through. It isn’t a politics that dictates a particular policy outcome in any simple sense but that instead presents to a highly subjectivist culture an alternative understanding of persons and the common good. That may be the most important "political" contribution of all.