toleration

Bart Simpson final

Why Liberalism is so Illiberal

Have liberals been getting less liberal? Or are they merely letting their true colors show, now that the culture wars seem to be going their way? That’s the question Damon Linker recently broached at The Week, as part of his ongoing effort to persuade liberals to be more tolerant. Linker doesn’t understand why progressive secularists [...]

Why Liberalism is so Illiberal

Have liberals been getting less liberal? Or are they merely letting their true colors show, now that the culture wars seem to be going their way? That’s the question Damon Linker recently broached at The Week, as part of his ongoing effort to persuade liberals to be more tolerant. Linker doesn’t understand why progressive secularists [...]

John Locke and the Dark Side of Toleration

“A Church then I take to be a voluntary Society of men, joining themselves together of their own accord, in order to the publick worshipping of God, in such a manner as they judge acceptable to him, and effectual to the Salvation of their Souls.”  ∼ John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration It seems likely [...]

The Illusion of Neutrality

We have all heard what has come to be a liberal dictum, that the State must remain neutral as regards religion or irreligion. One can show fairly easily that the men who wrote our constitution had no such neutrality in mind, given the laws that they and their fellows subsequently passed, their habits of public prayer at [...]

Is Pluralism a Threat to Catholic Survival?

With few exceptions, American Catholics have given up on the dream of a Catholic society. Instead, they have come to aspire to a seat at the table: a respected position in public life that lets them bring their insights and values into public discussion within a pluralistic system. At first glance the aspiration seems sensible. [...]

Why Silencing Christians will Continue

The number of subjects we cannot talk about in public discourse are rapidly multiplying. The older notion of “free speech” as a search for the truth through reasonable argument is being replaced. We no longer want to hear speech if it “offends” someone’s feelings or self-defined identity. We would rather “just get along” than to [...]

Those Intolerable Catholics – In Locke’s Time and Ours

Often touted as a landmark text in the history of religious freedom, John Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) is remarkable in wisely limiting the power of “the magistrate … to do or meddle with nothing but barely in order to securing the civil peace and properties of his subjects,” and thus of granting “an absolute [...]

Conscience Freedoms Denied by Liberal Courts

Two recent court cases illustrate the incoherence and remarkable intolerance of “liberal” views regarding conscience. One involves the bottomless pockets of the atheist Michael Newdow, who most recently joined several plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department demanding the words “In God We Trust” be scrubbed from U.S. currency.  Newdow advocates what Richard [...]

The Intolerance of Liberal Toleration

D. A. Carson, a well-known Reformed theologian and exegete, has written a clear and well-reasoned analysis of today’s imperialistic tolerance from an Evangelical and classically liberal standpoint. He tells us that the new understanding of tolerance has meant a shift from accepting the right of others to hold dissenting views to demanding acceptance of such [...]

When a Crowd Becomes a Mob

It was Victoria Day in Canada and the Toronto Blue Jays were hosting the Rays of Tampa Bay. The word “hosting,” however, hardly applied to the treatment that one Yunel Escobar, the Rays shortstop, received, who was lustfully booed each time he came to the plate.  When he homered in the 9th inning, he was [...]

Feminists Attack But the Meek Will Conquer

Belgian Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard was participating in a debate on blasphemy at the Free University of Brussels on April 23rd when he became the target of a blasphemy. Four topless women emerged from the attendees and mobbed the prelate, dousing him with water from bottles shaped like the Virgin Mary and screaming accusations of homophobia [...]

How Same-Sex Marriage Suffocates Freedom (Part II)

But the fact that silenced and marginalized church-goers actually constitute a majority only makes the process by which they are denied their full democratic liberties all the more insidious. For those in doubt as to how this process works, California has provided a prime illustration: through a costly and bruising electoral fight, defenders of natural [...]

How Same-Sex Marriage Suffocates Freedom (Part I)

Those advocating the radical social innovation, which they label “same-sex" or "gay" marriage, typically claim that they are fighting for freedom, championing a basic liberty. “Freedom to Marry” is indeed the name of a national organization devoted to the advocacy of same-sex marriage. Established in 2003 by civil-rights advocate Evan Wolfson and headquartered in New [...]

The 2012 Christmas Eve Homily of Pope Benedict XVI

Again and again the beauty of this Gospel touches our hearts: a beauty that is the splendor of truth. Again and again it astonishes us that God makes himself a child so that we may love him, so that we may dare to love him, and as a child trustingly lets himself be taken into [...]

Liberalism Favors Rights of Individuals Over Churches

The secular media have an unending interest in things Catholic. A recent sampling includes a theology teacher allegedly dismissed for favoring the ordination of women to the priesthood, an announced lesbian (and, as it turned out, a Buddhist) refused Communion at her mother’s funeral, a music teacher dismissed from the Catholic schools because he planned [...]

For Liberals, Religious Freedom Means Freedom from Religion

As the presidential campaign came to a close, religious questions sneaked surreptitiously into the national debate.  The Democrats had an easy target: Governor Romney's unusual religious affiliation, though since few Democrats know anything about any religion, particularly Christianity, they found it difficult to distinguish Mormonism from other not quite so strange semi-Christian sects.  Watching national [...]

“Gay Cure” Bans: Free to Choose, but Only One Choice Allowed?

Remember the pill scene from the movie Matrix? Neo is offered a choice between a red and a blue pill. The red pill promises only the truth. The blue pill offers the blissful ignorance to the fact that he is a human battery, one of millions that power futuristic machines. What’s really incredible about the [...]

Toleration and Reciprocity

Thomas Aquinas, practical fellow that he was, understood that not all bad things can feasibly be proscribed by human law. It isn’t because people disagree about what is bad, but rather that a well-governed polity should require few laws, easily promulgated and understood, broadly promoting the common good, wherein the lawgiver can attend to things [...]

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