Letter To Port Of Call
Machiavelli in "The Prince" said the aspiring politician (or "statesman") should give the appearance of believing in a practicing religion to gain popular support. Sometimes this is unconscious hypocrisy, as with Generalissimo Francesco Franco in 1920's Spain. Oftentimes, sadly, it is deliberate hypocrisy.
Now the difference between conscious and unconscious hypocrisy is the difference between good faith and bad faith, which latter terms have been well defined by the recent existentialists like the pathetic Jean Paul Sartre in his "Being and Nothingness".
Jesus says, "Do not make a show of your religion like the Pharisees and the hypocrites who wear long tassels on the fringes of their cloaks to show how pious they are."
Religion that is put on display is almost or altogether worthless. What we are in private is the true measure of our religion. As for me I'm a convinced believer, in fact, but which of us is not a hypocrite? The light that must shine is not us, but Jesus.
Is that too pious for a secular publication? Is this argument for not putting religion on display a tacit assent to separation of church and state? I'm only asking questions here.