Monday, June 23, 2008

Comrades: religion and liberty

I've already talked about the importance of liberty for the preservation of individual morality, so now I'm working on an essay that discusses how individual morality keeps liberty from disappearing. Alexis de Tocqueville has a lot to say on the subject in Democracy in America, and one of his quotes that I expect to use is:

Religion looks upon civil liberty as a noble exercise of man's faculties, and on the world of politics as a realm intended by the Creator for the application of man's intelligence. Free and powerful in its own sphere and satisfied with the place ascribed to it, religion knows that its empire is more secure when it reigns through its own intrinsic strength and dominates the hearts of men without assistance.

Liberty looks upon religion as its comrade in battle and victory, as the cradle of its infancy and divine source of its rights. It regards religion as the safeguard of mores, and mores as the guarantee of law and surety for its own duration.

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