Monday, February 13, 2012

Liberty through a lens

I don't mind people seeing liberty through the lens of their own religion, until they start insisting that liberty is inextricably tied to that particular religious view.

I am an atheist. That's just me. I don't make any pretense that libertarians must be atheists. I know many who are not. I certainly don't call for any State control, regulation, prohibition, or oversight of anyone's religious views. Or non-views. Nor do I support any State endorsement or favor for any particular religious views, or non-views.

I stand up for people's religious views, and their right to hold those views, on a regular basis. Even though I think it is silly to believe in things that are beyond any sort of detection, experimentation, or objective observation.

But, I see a fairly common trend that disturbs me. It is when someone who views liberty through the lens of their particular religion demands that everyone view it the same way. Or when some aspect of the State only disturbs them when it ruffles their religious feathers. Such a narrow focus is dangerous.

Sure, a lens can bring things into focus and make you see more clearly. If the lens is the exactly correct one. There are infinite "wrong" lenses and only one right lens, and only a few that are better than nothing. Results count, and by the results I see evidence, strong evidence, that looking through liberty only through the lens of religious faith gives a distorted view.

Long ago I looked through that lens. I see more clearly now that it dropped away. But, what you see is your business until you start demanding everyone see it your way, or you'll have nothing to do with them. Too few of us care about liberty to be that divisive.