Is liberalism a religion?

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  1. AdsenseStrategies profile image65
    AdsenseStrategiesposted 13 years ago

    I mean liberalism and not Liberalism (the second of these two is the belief that there should be no tariff or border restrictions on trade between nation states roll).

    Now, first off, liberalism is obviously not a religion in one sense because a religion has to include a set of beliefs about the metaphysical or "spiritual" realm, and (normally) some prescriptions as to how to "commune" (or what have you) with that spirit world (God, Nirvana....)

    However, in another sense liberalism is a sub-culture with norms... and many liberals get feelings of guilt quite similar to religious guilt feelings when they "transgress" those norms, and are often afraid to say things that go against group-decided standards (for example a pro-life stance, or believing marriage is by definition between a man and woman).

    I am asking, is liberalism a kind of group-think that is pretty similar to religious group-think.

    (For the record, if I was forced to pick between conservative and liberal, I'd have to say I was liberal -- but that does not mean I agree with everything in the latter camp or that I disagree with everything in the former camp. And, I guess it should also be obvious that I could ask exactly the same questions about conservatism).

    1. profile image0
      cosetteposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      no i think it is more like a mindset.

  2. Shadesbreath profile image80
    Shadesbreathposted 13 years ago

    I would say not.  Too many variants of "it"; there aren't really any set rituals unique to "it;" it has no priests or shaman; it does not in and of itself address anything supernatural (or deny them)or attempt to explain or describe anything by the means of such - which gives it no moral justification for the social norms it champions (in so many variants as to negate it being "a" religion); nor does it have a unifying and fixed rule-set at all, no canon or dogmatic source of singularity.

  3. profile image0
    Brenda Durhamposted 13 years ago

    Liberalism isn't a religion.  To label it with that would be to somewhat validate its principles (actually non-principles!) and put it in a category that would allow legislative, atheism isn't a religion, it's anti-religion, yet there probably are atheist or Satanic "churches" that are allowed to fall under the category of tax-deductible, etc., like The Church of Scientology, etc...(dunno if those are tax-exempt or not, but if they aren't I'm sure that issue will be pushed eventually.)

    Since you say you're liberal, I'm not trying to offend you, yet that is how I see it------anything that isn't for worship of God isn't a "church" to me, and is actually anti-"Church"....

    I believe liberalism is a mindset of values (non-values really) because it goes against all the traditional values, specifically Biblical values.

    Conservatism isn't a religion either,  although it does hold to the basic Christian principles.

    Some people say they're part liberal and part conservative.  I say that's hogwash.
    A conservative is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-transparency and honesty in government as well as life in general;  by the same token, they're anti-abortion (with perhaps specific unusual exceptions), anti-gay-"rights", anti-corruption....there's not much room for "in-between" thinking.

    Same with liberals.  A liberal will support anyone's personal decisions via a liberal interpretation of our Constitution, even, while overlooking the moral laws.

    In other words, I for one do not believe there is such a thing as a "liberal Christian", nor a "conservative atheist" because the two words are directly opposed to each other.

    1. getitrite profile image74
      getitriteposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Not true!

    2. AdsenseStrategies profile image65
      AdsenseStrategiesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Not offended. I wouldn't actually say I was a liberal, just that if I was forced to pick between liberalism and conservatism that I would pick the first of the two. But I think it is a phoney choice, because I believe some "conservative" things and some "liberal" things

      (so actually maybe I am offended that you say it is "hogwash" that someone could be a mix of the two).

      I for example think it is abhorrent that there are no laws whatsoever governing abortion (in those regions where this is true), really do not feel very strongly one way or the other about the rights of homosexuals to marry, think that the state has no business legislating on adult sexual activity (in general), believe in strong public services and institutions but also think that government is frequently a big waste of space.

  4. Cagsil profile image73
    Cagsilposted 13 years ago

    Is liberalism a religion? NO!

  5. profile image0
    A Texanposted 13 years ago

    Its more of a disorder.

    1. profile image0
      Madame Xposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      All group-think is smile

  6. Tadeusz598 profile image72
    Tadeusz598posted 13 years ago

    It isn't a religion because it isn't based on metaphsical constructs. It's terms are entirely human.

  7. Misha profile image62
    Mishaposted 13 years ago

    Liberalism probably not... But global warming certainly is! smile

    1. profile image0
      Madame Xposted 13 years agoin reply to this


    2. profile image0
      A Texanposted 13 years agoin reply to this


    3. profile image53
      helmet1posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Liberalism is hard to define as a religion but environmentalism most certainly is and all of my liberal family and friends are avowed environmentalist, baptized and certified. Basically they are all preying at the same echo alter so I guess liberalism if staunchly practiced has become a religion..

      1. AdsenseStrategies profile image65
        AdsenseStrategiesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Would you accept environmentalism if global warming were ditched. In other words, what about things like pollution of ground water, decimation of the great Colorado River, or deforestation

      2. MrCartier profile image58
        MrCartierposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Nowhere in the theories of Liberalism does it dictate that its subscribers have to believe in any particular environmental theories. It is more than possible to be liberal and not believe in global warming, as an example. The two thing, liberalism and environmentalism, are completely seperate entities. My political ideals are very liberal, whilst I am increasingly become a global warming skeptic, your logic is off the boil I am afraid. My conclusions about global warming have come from hard scientific data, which I believe were produced without political prejudice. My liberal belief system has arisen from personal experience and reading political theories of people who not once mentioned the environment. Corporate social responsibility is a universally growing realisation by people from all political backgrounds that certain things need to change.

        1. profile image53
          helmet1posted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Mr Cartier that is why I qualified my statement. All the liberals I know are environmentalist. My Dad was a labor democrat and by default defined himself as a liberal but could not support abortion or the tree hugger agenda. He's gone now and he was the last liberal (if he really was)  I knew who did not toe the line on environmentalism. Now I know another exception

          1. MrCartier profile image58
            MrCartierposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            I think that America has lost something, I really do. There seems to be 2 clear choices, to which you must choose one to subscribe. In the UK, perhaps we are losing it too, it has always been 'Conservative', 'Liberal', 'Socialist'. The splinter groups are 'Nationalist' and 'Environmentalist'. Believe it or not we actually have a party for Environmentalists called the 'Green Party' and they get nearly 1 million votes too.

            In America you can divide these beliefs into two:

            REPUBLICAN: Conservative, Nationalist
            DEMOCRAT: Liberal, Socialist, Environmentalist

            And I think thats a great shame, because it says that Republicans have to be nationalists (which is what Hitler was by the way). It also says that Democrats are tarnished with the brush of Socialism or Liberalism.

            If I had to vote in America, I would vote Democrat. But I am not a socialist, I am Liberal. I believe that Capitalism is the way to go forward, without forgetting about the needs of all in our communities. There is not much socialism in that, healthcare is the only real one. I do and CAN believe in a largely free market whilst ALSO believing in the right to nationalised healthcare. And I do. In the UK, that doesnt make me a socialist. Amongst things that I despise are Red Tape, too many laws, CCTV, speed cameras, and most government intervention. The 'Nanny State' as we call it, has been a very socialist thing, and the Liberals do not necessarily believe in it.

            1. Misha profile image62
              Mishaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              (which Stalin was by the way) smile

              1. MrCartier profile image58
                MrCartierposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                Indeed. But I am not a socialist wink. Misha, can you see a clear line between Liberalism (in its true form) and socialism? And do you consider Obama to be a true Liberal, or a Socialist? Or a Liberal tarred with the brush of socialism?

                The greatest leader in this countries history was Winston Churchill, a staunch conservative. Yet it was he who implemented the initial moves towards a National Health Service. The opposition party, the Socialists, have taken the credit ever since. But Churchill was liberal, at least he was liberal for a conservative.

                1. Misha profile image62
                  Mishaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  LOL Ryan, just wanted to make sure you understand this smile

                  And no, I am not going to try to define political labels across the pond - it's a losing proposition. American liberal and UK liberal are two altogether different animals smile

                  Obama is pro stronger government, as many presidents before him were. Well, they all naturally are, cause once you have power, you want more of it. And I am against it. smile

            2. AdsenseStrategies profile image65
              AdsenseStrategiesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              Man, my very first sentence was an attempt to put the term Liberal (capital L -- the economic definition) to one side...

              1. MrCartier profile image58
                MrCartierposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                I know you did, but neither the political or economic theories around liberalism share any characteristics with religion. They are the only two types of liberalism that I know.

                1. AdsenseStrategies profile image65
                  AdsenseStrategiesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  What I was driving at was that both (small "l") liberalism and conservatism seem to be shrouded in a sort of group-think, whereby it is easy to be looked down on by your peers if you say something "over-the-fringe". For example, say a man should be dominant in a relationship with a woman, and see what cock-eyed looks you'll get from (some) liberals.

                  Specifically, the kind of things these two groups seem to have such stringent beliefs about tend to be the things religion also harp on: ie., sex, gender relations, bio-ethical questions like abortion rights. Plus, there is often a shaming that goes on when you say something in the presence of the group -- much like in a religion.

                  This was all I meant, frankly. I didn't use conservatism as an example because (some) conservatives claim to be backed up by God... I thought it was a more ironic case to use liberals as my example, as one of the censures in this "group" (I would say) is that you must not be so "naive" as to believe in, well, religion

  8. MrCartier profile image58
    MrCartierposted 13 years ago

    Your definition of liberalism could not be further away from mine, it has nothing to do with borders. I understand that you have used the economic definition, but that relates to free trade, and a self-regulating market. Political liberalism is in a few respects the polar opposite to economic liberalism, in fact most of the right wing republicans on here believe in economic liberalism but not political liberalism. Although they have a hard job convincing themselves of it, these definitions of political liberalism perhaps closely define my perception of the word:

    "Liberalism is a broad class of political philosophies that considers individual liberty and equality to be the most important political goals."

    "The quality of being liberal; Any political movement founded on the autonomy and personal freedom of the individual, progress and reform, and government by law with the consent of the governed."

    "liberal - a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties."

    I consider myself to be very liberal. By those very definitions, so do most Americans, they just let certain prejudices skew their belief systems. The simple fact is that most of the conservatives on here believe in Liberty for themselves, but not for certain others. Take away the prejudices, such as racism, and most of you lot would be very liberal too.

    That said, I do not consider the Liberal Democrats in the UK to be liberal, I consider them to be insane. Their proposal to cut prison populations by 30000, at a time when there is not enough room to house all dangerous criminals, is one particularly piece of evidence that they are all insane.

    The answer to your question is NO. It is a set of political beliefs, of which people of any religion may subscribe, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindhu, Jedi, or Hogwart.

    The self-regulating market is one of the staple beliefs of Republican America. Hence the reason they all seem to dispair of Obama.

  9. profile image0
    A Texanposted 13 years ago

    "liberal - a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties."

    Protection of Civil Liberties, thats a good one Ryan, you crack me up!

    1. MrCartier profile image58
      MrCartierposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      You dont understand A Texan, Obama - your nemisis - is not a liberal. He is a socialist. That is my point, a true liberal believes in a self-regulating market, whilst Obama doesn't. A liberal differs from a socialist in many ways, in America the middle ground has become extinct. In the UK, liberalism is seen in many respects as an all-encompassing belief system, which encourages social enterprise by encouraging free markets but retaining the important socialist aspects. I am pro-national healthcare for example, but the liberals in this country very much have a "do it for yourself" attitude to things like welfare and education. Its a shame that they have become fruitcakes. Traditional liberalism is the politics that America wishes still existed, it is also the politics of much of the Roman Empire.

      Marcus Aurelius: "the idea of a polity administered with regard to equal rights and equal freedom of speech, and the idea of a kingly government which respects most of all the freedom of the governed".

      Please tell me which part of that statement you disagree with. Is it equal rights? Do you really disagree with equal rights? And freedom? Are you against freedom? The only thing standing in between The Republicans and Liberalism is those two words 'Equal Rights', perhaps one day they can become used to accepting "negros" as "Americans" and "American Indians" as "Indigenous Americans". Maybe one day Sarah Palin can become best friends with a black man. Until then, that is the thing stopping your country from working again. And you all fucking know it. Those that voted for Obama know it, they regret voting him in, but they thought it would work. They wanted liberalism, they got socialism, maybe one day a white man can make it work. I dont think that I will live to see it.

  10. profile image0
    sneakorocksolidposted 13 years ago

    No it's a tragedy, that a group of intelligent human beings would be willing to sacrifice our churches, schools, families, communities, government and our security to clear their conscious of their immoral behaviors. Shame on those who let it happen and encourage it to continue.

  11. profile image53
    helmet1posted 13 years ago

    I know what a liberal is I know what a conservative is. I know what and environmentalist is and I know what a Socialist is. I have no idea a nationalist is so you will have to indulge me here.. Your definition please. As a Conservative I need to know what your calling me? smile smile

    1. MrCartier profile image58
      MrCartierposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      "Nationalism generally involves the identification of an ethnic identity with a state.[1] The subject can include the belief that one's nation is of primary importance.[2] It is also used to describe a movement to establish or protect a homeland (usually an autonomous state) for an ethnic group. In some cases the identification of a homogeneous national culture is combined with a negative view of other races of cultures."

      Im not calling Republicans nationalists in an extreme sense, at least not like the British Nationalist Party who are very racist, but the undertones are still there.

      1. profile image53
        helmet1posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Sorry i see no connection between that definition and any conservative republican I know. I do know what you are talking about now though. Nationalism is such a foreign concept for a guy like me from the great melting pot tha it went right over my head. I'm mostly Irish, my wife is Polish and I have nieces and nephews that i love dearly that are half Alaskan Native, half Japanese and half Ethiopian so as you can see it would be awful hard to choose a nationality to be for ... I am partial to my Irish roots.. I cant help myself.

  12. profile image0
    sneakorocksolidposted 13 years ago

    Hey Man! You're messing us up! We like to fight alittle anyway don't grey up everything!

    I personally lean right of center and always vote the issues and not the party line.

  13. profile image53
    helmet1posted 13 years ago

    Mr Carter I am afraid you would not fit in well with my  liberal friends and certainly would not be comfortable in their church smile  I am also open to something different in our healthcare system as is just about everybody I know. I just havent heard of anything yet that sounds like a good fix. TORT REFORM

  14. AdsenseStrategies profile image65
    AdsenseStrategiesposted 13 years ago

    I also want to add, I guess, that, although I believe that a lot of political beliefs are "objective truths" (the right to self-determination, for example), these "truths" often fall out of the sky.

    I mean, how would you "prove" that gays should have the same rights as everyone else.

    How would you "prove" that a woman needs to be liberated from the kitchen.

    Liberals (small "l") appeal to "basic human rights" to justify their beliefs. Conservatives (often) appeal to God or Christianity. But you can't show me empirical data that human rights are important, any more than you can show me empirical data that "fighting for God and country" is valuable... isn't that a faith, therefore

    1. MrCartier profile image58
      MrCartierposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I can not think of one thing which homosexuals, or 'gays' as you put it, should not have equal human rights for. The only thing fighting equal rights for homosexuals is religion. There can never be any reason why a man who happens to live with a man should have less rights than a man who lives on his own, or with a woman. Anybody that says otherwise should grow up and get with it. In the UK the last census showed that 12% of the population is homosexual or bisexual, it is time for the other 88% to 'get with it'. That 12% is probably higher, since the census wasnt strictly anonymous.


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