The Economist has organized a near-miracle: A debate about religion that doesn't involve Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. There's more happy news: The Economist is offering 10 free tickets to readers of GetReligion. The debate -- scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway, New York City -- will be on this proposition: "Religion and politics should always be kept separate."
These are the four participants, whose discussion will be moderated by John Micklethwait, The Economist's editor in chief:
For the proposition:
The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Irshad Manji, author of The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith.
Against the proposition:
The Rev. Richard Neuhaus, president of The Institute on Religion and Public Life (which publishes First Things).
Walter Russell Mead, author of God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World.
The free tickets will go to the first 10 people whose requests (one request per person, please) reach Rebecca Carman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Seats also are available for $30 ($20 for Economist subscribers) by calling 1.800.965.4827 or through this website. The Economist will not sell tickets at the door, so plan ahead.
The religion debate will be preceded at 3 p.m. by a debate on this proposition: "America is failing at the pursuit of happiness" (participants: Jeffrey Sachs and Becky Stevenson for the proposition; Will Wilkinson and Tyler Cowen against). If you want to attend both debates, the cost is $40 ($30 for Economist subscribers).