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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 23, 2018

Robert P. Hunt
Pages 21-32

Liberal Individualist Monism and the Future of Religious Freedom

The liberal individualist tradition proclaims itself to be committed to the protection of individual rights under a regime of neutral laws and limited constitutional government. However, the model of man and society upon which it often depends for sustenance is neither neutral nor anti-statist. Rather, its alternative orthodoxy would effect a comprehensive reordering of what John Courtney Murray called “the natural forms of social life.” The recent trajectory of church-state relations in the United States, and of federal and state efforts to effect comprehensive changes in our health care system(s), testify to the dangerous consequences both for religious freedom in general and the Catholic Church in particular. The Catholic Church must continue to advance its personalist understanding of constitutional democracy as the better foundation for limited, constitutional government and religious freedom.

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