Liberty and the Good Life
Religion & Liberty
social conservatives, libertarians, liberalism, republican party
The “American dream” has always been material as well as moral, but the framers of the country unmistakably placed the material in subordination to the moral. Their praise of religion, their notion of natural law, their suspicion of the appetitive elements of the human personality combined to create a regime that was dedicated to liberty as the essential means to a virtuous society. Rights only made sense to the Framers when directed to the good. Liberty was not autonomous licentiousness but the capacity to govern oneself for the betterment of one’s moral life and the moral life of the community. Without a vision of objective good, liberty has nothing to measure itself against. That vision can only come to pass when libertarians and social conservatives see each other, not as competitors on the right, but as natural and essential allies.
Forte, David F., "Liberty and the Good Life" (1997). Law Faculty Articles and Essays. 71.
Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty http://www.acton.org/