Our “liberal” system of government (from the Latin word for “free,” not in the sense of the political left) has given us freedom, individual rights, democracy, and free market capitalism. It has also, arguably, promoted individual autonomy, broken up social institutions such as communities and families, and created a climate of moral relativism and religious indifference.
As we’ve blogged about, both the left and the right are having second thoughts about liberal democracy. Prominent conservative thinkers such as Patrick Deneen, author of Why Liberalism Failed, are questioning the whole enterprise. The controversy looms behind the debates, such as that between Sohrab Amari and David French, of whether conservatives should prioritize freedom or the common good.
Roman Catholics are delving into the religious side of these issues. Some conservative Catholics are strongly pro-American (the USA being the quintessential liberal nation) and are defending liberty and capitalism. Others, though, are arguing that liberalism, including religious liberty, is incompatible with Catholicism and with Christianity as a whole, looking instead to apply the ideology of “integralism,” in which all of life, including the government, is integrated under the temporal rule of the Pope.
So where does Lutheranism come down in all of this? Is liberalism compatible with Lutheranism? Many scholars on both sides of the issue say that Luther with the Reformation he initiated was one of the causes of the rise of liberalism, with some praising that contribution and others blaming him for it.
Discover more about a new Supreme Court case involving The Little Sisters of the Poor and the Health and Human Services mandate by listening to this podcast with Diana Verm of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
“Every human life, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of Almighty God.” – President Donald Trump, March for Life, 2020