An Argument from Liberty?

Have you ever heard the observation that free societies have only ever arisen in cultures with a Judeo-Christian worldview? I’m not going to argue for that view here, because quite frankly I have never studied the issue in depth.

A recent episode of the Tom Woods Show is the catalyst for this post. On the September 11th episode, Tom’s guest was Linda Raeder, Associate Professor of Political Science at Palm Beach Atlantic University. She and Tom discussed her book John Stuart Mill and the Religion of Humanity. According to Professor Raeder, Mill was not the proponent of liberty many think him to be, but instead held secularism in a sort of cultic religious awe, and wanted a totalitarian secular society. She also said that free societies have only come to fruition in Judeo-Christian cultures.

As I said, I haven’t studied the subject in depth, so I can’t say for certain whether Professor Raeder is correct or not. I confess that I am sympathetic to her views. However, I would like to study this line of thinking more thoroughly before attempting to make a case for it. After all, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17, ESV).

What do my readers think? Is there such a thing as an “argument from liberty” for God? Are there any resources you would recommend?

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2 thoughts on “An Argument from Liberty?

  1. It really depends on how you want to define a free society or liberty. Today’s society in the U.S. allows plenty of opportunity for sin, but you need to look back to Kings and Chronicles for leaders who really looked out for the liberty and welfare of the country’s citizens. After King David there were from time to time Kings who followed God and removed from the land sodomites, those that deal with familiar spirits, magicians, witches, and all false religions from the land.
    Even if a President wanted to do these things he would have trouble getting Congress to agree and it is obvious the U.S. Supreme Court has been leaning towards a liberal agenda with abortion and gay rights.
    http://saltwaterheart.com

    1. I would agree, at least in part. In many ways David was a more benevolent king. Nevertheless, he still did all the things that Samuel warned the Israelites a king would do.

      I definitely see your point about defining what is meant by liberty. I think Linda Raeder was speaking primarily with classical liberalism in mind, although the era of the judges was an era of liberty in the sense that there was no central government. It also would have been Judeo-Christian, but not classical liberalism.

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