The New England Way

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Anyone who wants to understand what makes religion in public life different in New England should take a look at this article in today’s Hartford Courant. The Connecticut Valley Atheists erect a sign (with official permission) in Rockville’s Central Park with a picture of the Twin Towers and a quote from Lennon’s “Imagine”–to wit, “Imagine No Religion.” A few angry phone calls, but otherwise, no biggie. The local Congregational minister and Catholic priest find it interesting, useful. The headline tells it all: “Atheists’ Sign Spurs Talk, Thought.” Ah, the Land of Steady Habits…and free exercise.