By Gary Potter
Theme: Right and Freedom: Catholic Considerations on MisusedConcepts
Title: — “Democracy and the Illusion of Freedom”
Historian Mr. Gary Potter began his talk with a kind of tossing of the gauntlet, stating that there is not now nor has there ever been a genuine political conservatism in America. How could there be, he surmised, when every conservative must sing the praises of the founding fathers who made war against their monarch and established a liberal government of “We the people”? Gary made use of Alexis de Tocqueville’s 1835 two-volume opus, Democracy in America, which, he says, many reference but few read. In his tour of America, de Tocqueville saw the American experience as an obsession with individual liberty that would inevitably lead to a powerful centralized state and a new species of benevolent oppression, keeping its populace in a perpetual childhood. The first victory of the secular state was over the family, argued Potter, when it introduced civil marriage, a prelude to state judiciaries giving marriage licenses to homosexuals. Potter pointed ahead to the bigger challenges that are surely coming. We must ever be in spiritual training if we wish to persevere and be an example to others.
From 2011 SBC Conference
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