August 1, 2012

Religious Freedom Under the Gun (in the U.S.)

Religious Freedom Under the Gun

"In short, religion in much of the West is no longer seen as intrinsic to human dignity and social flourishing. It is generally understood as merely an opinion and, as a species, a dangerous opinion at that. While it is fine to practice your religion in churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples, democracy requires that you leave it there. To bring it into politics endangers democracy.

This malevolent idea, which was famously championed by the American political philosopher John Rawls, is gaining considerable purchase in our own country. It gives reason for profound concern, not only for religious individuals but for the whole concept of democracy grounded in ordered liberty.

And yet, at the very moment when religious liberty is under sustained pressure around the world, contemporary scholarship is demonstrating that societies desperately need it. The empirical work of sociologists Brian J. Grim and Roger Finke, for instance, shows that religious freedom is highly correlated with the consolidation and longevity of democracy, and with other goods, such as economic development, the equality of women, and the absence of violent religious extremism."

Comment: I think there are a very few number of core items that serve as the foundation for a peoples' strength, identity, and resiliency. This issue is one of them.

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