To grasp what is happening, we must set aside a number of deep-rooted prejudices. The first of these is the assumption that democracy presupposes secularisation. The second is the idea that a democrat is, by definition, also a liberal. Historically, this has not been the case. The American Founding Fathers were not secularists; for them, the separation of church and state was a way of protecting religion from government, not the reverse. The French Third Republic was established in 1871 by a predominantly conservative, Catholic, monarchist parliament that had just crushed the Paris Commune.