John Locke

Religious Freedom vs. Religious Feelings

After nine years in prison, a Christian woman was acquitted of blasphemy by the Pakistan Supreme Court in mid-October. Almost immediately, however, massive street rallies and protests organized by Tehreek-e-Labaik—the anti-blasphemy party—forced the government to reconsider. The government agreed to ban Asia Bibi from leaving the country, and it agreed to allow her blasphemy acquittal [...]

Legal Rationalizations for the Slaughter of Holy Innocents

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5) “Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother's womb.” (Psalm 22:5) Last week fourteen Catholic senators joined those who voted against the proposed law that would have prohibited [...]

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 [...]

Catholicism and Republicanism: More Than Compatible

Each electoral cycle, nearly six out of every ten American Catholics cast the ghastly vote of the libertine.  As such, one can only assume that the ideas and "lifestyles" emblazoned by these six out of ten votes follow faithfully (tongue firmly lodged in cheek!) upon such libertinism.  Regarding the shameful demographic ordeal, the orthodox American [...]

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 [...]

A Declaration of Catholic Independence

G. K. Chesterton once described America as a “nation with the soul of a church.”  Many have wrongly interpreted this statement as Chesterton’s way of saying that America was a Christian nation, or that Americans were especially pious and devout people. Chesterton meant something rather different, and not especially complementary.  America is like a church [...]

Classical Versus Contemporary Liberalism

In previous elections, including the last presidential election, many of us will recall hearing allegations that this or that candidate "is a liberal," "has a 100 percent liberal record," "has always sided with the liberals in his party," and so forth. And, without any further elaboration or explanation, certain ideological positions came automatically to our [...]

How John Locke Influenced Catholic Social Teaching

It isn't often that John Locke is mentioned in discussions of Catholic social teaching, unless it is to set him up as an example of all that the Church supposedly rejects. After all, Locke is considered one of the founders of a liberal and individualist political tradition that was rejected by the papacy in the [...]

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