Saturday, November 10, 2007

Religious Liberty and Christianity

I was reading this post on religious liberty over at Opinio Juris (h/t Roger Alford). Paul Marshall, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute has done a ton of work on religious persecution and liberty. The long and the short of the post was Marshall's presentation at an international conference on religious asylum at Pepperdine. Traditionally Christian countries have the most free, richest, and most tolerant societies in the world.

That's not groundbreaking news to me, but it highlights some things I tell my students. Scripture is the source of much of what makes our system of justice and government the best: due process, liberty, right to life and property, pursue happiness, etc. all find their beginnings in the Bible. Even if Christianity did not provide such great societies it would still be true of course. But the fact that a society influenced by the ideas and institutions Christianity inspires is likely to be one of the best places to live on earth gives it credence.

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