Home » The Roots of Tolerance and Liberty:: A Brief Look at the Values that Make Our Democracy Possible by Stephen H. Farra
The Roots of Tolerance and Liberty:: A Brief Look at the Values that Make Our Democracy Possible Stephen H. Farra

The Roots of Tolerance and Liberty:: A Brief Look at the Values that Make Our Democracy Possible

Stephen H. Farra

Published December 28th 2015
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
30 pages
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 About the Book 

We the People of the United States cherish and defend our civil liberties. But these liberties do not and cannot stand alone. They developed within the context of our Judeo-Christian tradition of faith. Without the shared hope and moral base ourMoreWe the People of the United States cherish and defend our civil liberties. But these liberties do not and cannot stand alone. They developed within the context of our Judeo-Christian tradition of faith. Without the shared hope and moral base our national religious tradition provides for the diverse groups in our culture, we will not witness the self-restraint, simple courtesy, and hard work which permit our liberties, and sustain our culture.Civil libertarians are trying to separate our values of tolerance and liberty from their root structure. We observe this every time the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), or some similar group, tries to obtain a court injunction banning Christmas carols from the corner elementary school, or graduation prayers from the local high school, or a plaque of the Ten Commandments from the front lawn of the nearby government center. Long-term, this severance will not work. Our values of tolerance and liberty will shrivel and die if not supported and nourished by the Judeo-Christian heritage which gave them rise.Civil libertarians are like those who want to keep abusing the fruit tree and yet simultaneously want to keep harvesting and enjoying the sweet fruit. One of these days they will start screaming about the fruit no longer being there on the tree for them to enjoy, perhaps not realizing that it has been their own abuse of the tree which has brought this about.Whether we recognize it or not, interpersonal tolerance and individual liberty are not important values in many other cultural and conceptual systems – the totalitarian Marxist State, the Hindu Caste System, or Islamic Fundamentalism -- to name a few examples. Human beings are not said to be endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights in these other systems. It is the distinctly Christian emphasis on the redemption of the individual human being (and therefore importance and value of the individual human being), which has given rise to, and nourished, our concepts and practice of tolerance and liberty.Recently, many of us heard the network evening news stories about the leaders of the Peoples Republic of China formally protesting our tendency to impose our concept of natural rights on them, their people, and their culture. For many generations we Americans have said that we believe in natural rights, precisely because we believe that God has granted these rights to every human being in the act of creation.Therefore, we believe it morally wrong for any person, community, corporation, or government to deny that which God has granted. What civil libertarians seem to miss, intentionally or unintentionally, is that our Bill of Rights is a codification of distinctly Christian beliefs about the worth of the individual human being. Eventually, without the beliefs, we will not get the rights.