Source:The New Democrat
“Featuring Joseph Loconte, Associate Professor of History, The King’s College; Daniel Philpott, Professor of Religion and Global Politics, University of Notre Dame; Mustafa Akyol, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute; moderated by Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.
Liberalism, a political philosophy that grew out of the Enlightenment and champions reason, freedom, and equality, has lately been criticized by some religious thinkers in the West. Liberalism, in their view, only “atomizes” individuals, weakens society, and ultimately corrodes all faiths.
Yet other religious intellectuals think that there are many reasons to appreciate liberalism, including the very freedom that the believers have found in liberal societies to practice and manifest their faith and to be free from the persecutions that have defined much of human history. Moreover, they think that under liberalism, religions flourish in healthier ways — through persuasion rather than coercion, and through civil society rather than state power.
This discussion is particularly relevant for Islam, since Muslim opinion leaders are often ambivalent, at best, on whether they should accept liberal standards of human rights or rather reject them as alien and detrimental. If liberalism is rejected even by Western Christians, whose religious traditions have been much more at peace with liberalism, Eastern Muslims will not even consider it.”
“Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support limited government, individual rights (including civil rights and human rights), capitalism (free markets), democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.”
This is another post from this blog about what liberalism actually is and what it isn’t and religion, individual choice, and free speech are great topics to look at when you’re talking about liberalism, because they all get to free choice and thought, which is what liberalism and liberal democracy is all about.
If you look at liberalism from a stereotypical big government and even communist sense that liberalism is essentially based on big government and the test being that the more liberal someone is, the more government they believe in and the less individual choice that you believe in, under this test liberalism would be horrible for religions and believers, because Communists would be the most liberal people around.
And under this bogus test ( let’s call it ) progressivism and Progressives would be horrible for religions and believers, because under this test Communists would be the most liberal and progressive people around. Even though communism, is the most illiberal and regressive political ideology anywhere in the world. ( At least on the left ) But that’s not the actual test about what it means to be a Liberal and whether someone believes in liberalism or not.
The test for what it means to be a Liberal ( meaning someone who believes in and practices the philosophy of liberalism ) is whether someone believes in liberty and equal rights. ( As the Wikipedia link says ) People who believe in limited government, individual rights, including civil rights and human rights.
Those include things like property rights, the right to privacy which includes freedom of choice, like whether someone should be able to or not practice any religion of their choice, or no religion at all, or in my case I’m Agnostic. That Liberals believe in not only freedom of or from any religion and they also believe in Separation of Church and State. That religion should not be illegal in a free society, but that there shouldn’t be any official religion and any state sponsor of religion in a free society.
And under this test the liberal test or the Wikipedia test, ( if you prefer ) liberalism is great for all religions and even Agnostics and Atheists, Communists even and people who believe that liberalism should actually be outlawed in society, because individuals have a constitutional right of whether or not to practice any religion at all or no religion at all, because they have that constitutional right in a liberal democratic free society.
Again, if you look at liberalism is actually about and that being based off of liberal democracy and not some stereotypical, big government sense where Liberals are supposed to essentially be Socialists and even Communists who view individual choice and freedom in general as dangerous and bad for society. And you need a government big enough to make sure that individual choice is limited as mush as possible.