Source:The New Democrat
“But Waldman is too sanguine about the benefits “Americanizing” will have on the DNA of “ancient” religions. Some real tension should exist between an individualistic, often hedonistic society and traditional religious communities. Liberal democracy must cultivate in its citizens the virtues of loyalty, devotion, and sacrifice. Illiberal institutions such as organized religions, the family, and the military can do that in ways that economic and cosmopolitan liberalism cannot. The competitive marketplace, where ambition and immediate gratification are principally rewarded, is simply not up to the task of protecting the poor, the sick, the vulnerable, and the dying—or possibly even the nation. In this regard then, religious liberty is a necessary but not sufficient means for unifying a country as diverse, heedless, and contentious as ours. If both religion and democracy are to flourish, more than a cacophony of choices is needed; a common language that is not merely a celebration of our differences is required. Religion, like democracy, is threatened when the marketplace becomes the predominant measure of value. ”
Read the rest of Paul Baumann’s piece at source:Washington Monthly: Paul Baumann- ‘When Religion is Too Free’
When I first saw the title of Paul Baumann’s piece in The Washington Monthly, I thought this was about making an argument for outlawing Freedom of Religion in America, or at least getting the state involved and regulating it, but it was really a critique about Steven Waldman’s book Sacred Liberty, which argues for Freedom of Religion in America. So I’m glad to see that there is still some support for pluralism and liberal democracy in general with the Far-Left in America ( New-Left, if you prefer ) and that there not all total collectivists and statists looking to outlaw individualism in this country.
As far as Freedom of Religion in religion in general in America: if you’re familiar with this blog you know that a lot about what we write about and advocate for is liberal democracy. The photo of John F. Kennedy and what it means to be a Liberal on the front page of the blog, is a pretty good clue there. So of course we believe in pluralism and liberal democracy in general. We’re not Communists who again are looking to eliminate all forms of individualism and make everyone dependent on the state.
But we’re not Theocrats either who want everyone to follow and believe in the same religion and therefor require everyone to live by some set of religious values either. We’re Liberals, because we believe in liberal democracy which includes and the broader belief in Freedom of Speech, which protects Atheists and even Communists, as well as Theocrats who do want a state religion in this country. And we also believe in the Separation of Church and State which not only protects Freedom of Religion in America, as well as state interference into all religions in this country. And protects everyone’s right not have to follow or live by a particular religion, Or have to follow and live by any religion at all.
In a country like America that’s so vast and so diverse and not just racially and ethnically, but culturally and religiously as well, you to have a liberal democratic federal republic in it for the country to have any shot at not just thriving, but surviving and staying together as part of one union. Which is why all racial, ethnic, and religious groups have to have the same guaranteed rights and responsibilities under law. Otherwise this country would break up with different factions believing that America is not for them and that it’s time to breakup.
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