domingo, 19 de setembro de 2010

Liberdade religiosa para Michael Perry

At the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the celebrated American Jesuit John Courtney Murray played a leading role, as is well known, in persuading the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church - the bishops and, ultimately, the pope - to embrace the right to religious freedom. Murray was concerned with more than just religious freedom, however; he was also concerned with what we may call moral freedom. In 1960, the year in which the first and, so far, only Catholic was elected to the presidency of the United States, Murray's published *We Hold These Truths: Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition*. Murray wrote, in that now-famous book, that "the moral aspirations of the law are minimal. Laws seek to establish and maintain only that minimum of actualized morality that is necessary for the healthy functioning of the social order." According to Murray, the law should "not look to what is morally desirable, or attempt to remove every moral taint from the atmosphere of society. It [should] enforce[] only what is minimally acceptable, and in this sense socially necessary."

"But why should 'the moral aspirations of the law' be only 'minimal'," we may fairly ask. "Why should 'laws seek to establish and maintain only that minimum of actualized morality that is necessary for the healthy functioning of the social order'? Why should the law 'enforce only what is minimally acceptable, and in this sense socially necessary'?" In this essay I provide an answer, in the course of defending this claim: The case for liberal democracy's affirming the right to moral freedom is analogous to and no less compelling than the case for its affirming, as it does, the right to religious freedom. Liberal democracy should affirm the former right, therefore, as well as the latter; it should affirm moral freedom as well as religious freedom.

Leia na íntegra: Religious Freedom and Beyond: The Right to Moral Freedom (Michael Perry)

he Roman Catholic Church was famously late to embrace the right to religious freedom. Some have plausibly argued that when the Second Vatican Council, in 1965, overwhelmingly adopted the Declaration on Religious Freedom - known by the first two words of its official, Latin version: Dignitatis Humanae - the Church betrayed one of its most traditional and established theological teachings. Did the Church, at Vatican II, capitulate to, or at least compromise with, "liberalism?"

The right to religious freedom, according to international law, rests in part on respect for the "inherent dignity" of every human being. Thus there is a prima facie link between the liberal-democratic justification and the Church's 1965 justification. But as I argue in this essay, the appeal to human dignity is not an exclusive preserve of modern liberal democracy. Indeed, we can imagine a government that refuses to affirm the right to religious freedom because it wishes to save souls, and this precisely out of respect for human dignity of every human being. Such a view was proclaimed by the the pre-Vatican II Church. Thus the appeal to human dignity is not evidence of a fundamental shift by the Church. What then does account for the Church's undeniable U-turn - its undeniable change of direction?

Respect for human dignity by itself cannot provide the fundamental justification for the right to religious freedom. Another ingredient is needed: distrust, born of long historical experience, of government competence to adjudicate contested questions of religious truth. The Church in Dignitatis Humanae finally came to accept this lesson of history - a lesson available to believers of various faiths, including Catholics, as well as to nonbelievers.

Leia na íntegra:Liberal Democracy and the Right to Religious Freedom (Michael Perry).

This Essay is the basis of a presentation I made to a symposium on religious freedom at the Roger Williams University School of Law in October 2004. I inquire, in the Essay, whether we who affirm (what I call) the morality of human rights should want the international law of human rights to protect a right to religious freedom. Along the way, I offer some reflections on the relevance of cultural relativity to the project of universalizing human-rights-claims.

Leia na íntegra: A Right to Religious Freedom? The Universality of Human Rights, the Relativity of Culture (Michael Perry)

Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário