Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Religious Tolerance

I very much liked this observation from Ramesh Ponnuru:
Other worries concern Muslims' integration into our free society. Many Muslims don't believe in religious liberty, for example. In the 19th century, nativists directed such fears at Catholic immigrants. Although these worries were mixed with bigotry, they weren't baseless: The Catholic Church really was hostile to freedom of religion. Yet Catholic immigration to the U.S. didn't end up subverting American liberalism so much as it liberalized Catholicism. It had this effect because Americans lived out their commitment to toleration. A ban on Catholic immigrants would've been an enormous mistake, denying us the talents of tens of millions of people and retarding the spread of our principles.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

And yet a ban on Catholics would have been extremely popular among American conservatives of the time. In fact, from what I know of the rampant bigotry and hatred against groups like the Irish, the notion -was- extremely popular among them.