Thursday, May 20, 2010

True Religious Freedom

The Pope recently praised the ambassadors from Mongolia and the UAE for their countries' policies of religious freedom.

While trads often think of "religious liberty" in terms of the experience of America and Western Europe, in terms of a classically Liberal separation of Church and state where heretics and infidels are given free reign in majority Catholic countries...they often forget the other side of the coin.

As, of course, these are two examples (and there are many more) of countries where, if there was not religious certainly is not Catholicism that would be the officially allowed religion. Quite the contrary. So...what exactly do they imagine in such situations?

Do they think that such nations would take kindly to our holding a double-standard whereby we expect religious freedom in countries where we are the minority, but then don't allow it for their people when we are in the majority?

Catholics are free to disagree on the question of this prudential diplomatic/political matter, of course, but I find it hard to believe that this would be a prudent policy for the success of the Church in any sense of the word if we are truly to evangelize effectively.

Of course, if your vision of traditional Christianity is simply the goal of maintaining some sort of Eurocentric-stronghold in a "clash of civilizations" narrative in which "Europe is the faith," maybe that makes sense to them. I think it's twisted, however.

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