When & Where: Location: Museum of the Bible Date: December 6, 2022 Pre-Reception: 5:30-6:30PM EST Panel Discussion and Q&A: 6:30-8:00PM EST Event Summary: Over the past decade a range of elected officials, activists, and scholars have expressed alarm about the threat of “Christian nationalism.” Indeed, some sociologists argue, “Christian nationalism is an existential threat to American democracy” and the “single biggest threat to America’s religious liberty.” Is this …
How would religious freedom decrease transnational terrorism, thereby decreasing the need for counterterrorism coordination? The answer, I believe, lies in a nation’s level of authoritarianism. Put another way, with more democracy will come more open theological debates on sensitive public policy issues and less resort to violence to address grievances. In turn, terrorist groups will find it more difficult to manipulate religious doctrine to persuade recruits their cause is just and sanctioned by God.
A free marketplace of religious ideology will provide the political space needed for religious scholars to openly challenge on the merits Al Qaeda, ISIS, or their progeny’s twisted interpretations of Islam.
By: Daniel Philpott
Is religious freedom essential to the success of free government?
It is possible to have liberal democracy in most respects without religious freedom, but such regimes are less liberal for this lack. I have in mind Germany under Bismarck, which expanded the suffrage and other dimensions of democracy even while it managed or repressed religion. Today, Indonesia has made impressive strides towards democracy since the fall of the Suharto regime but has laws that restrict religious freedom significantly. In such cases the quality of democracy suffers not only intrinsically, but also because these arrangements tend to suppress the positive contribution to freedom that religion might make.