Friday, October 3, 2014

Carson, 2012. Chapter 7, “Tolerance, Democracy, and Majoritarianism”

Chapter 7, “Tolerance, Democracy, and Majoritarianism” (Loc. 1556)

Carson investigates the idea of individual rights. Where do they derive from? How are they limited? Carson cites Robert George, who has observed organizations’ removal of religious statements from reports of historical documents. Carson then discusses the decision to remove Prison Fellowship from prisons in Iowa because of their theological stance combined with state funding. The list of situations in which individuals and groups are coerced to accept or endorse behaviors which are approved by the New Tolerance is impressive. Meanwhile, the New Tolerance looks more like “state-sponsored coercion” (Loc. 1611).

Carson then begins (Loc. 1623) a discussion of the demands to keep religious faith private, something which is impossible in the case of Christianity, as well as some other faiths. While secularism has claimed to protect religious freedom it is actually used more often to prohibit religious freedom. A very important societal protection is found in religion’s ability to speak from outside the confines of state power as, for instance, the civil rights movement.

Carson concludes with a smattering of observations adding up to a strong impression that the New Tolerance leads to tyranny, while the Old Tolerance allowed freedom and mutual responsibility.

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