Liberty: An Idol?

I just started a very interesting book by Christopher Ferrara.  Along with my regular posts, I plan to post every now and again quotes from the book that strike me.  I may not reply to any comments regarding these, but don’t take that to mean anything other than I generally like to put most of my efforts into my regular posts.  However, I may reply, so who knows.  The following is from the forward of the book written by Patrick McKinleyBrennan:
“The paradox Ferrara exposes in stunning detail is that the champions of this new sort of liberty are willing, generation after generation, to do the most astonishing things to the people they say are born their equals, including killing them.  The “master myth of the liberal meta-narrative” (as Ferrara styles it) is that religion was the cause of endless wars and suffering until the Enlightenment dispelled ignorance and produced peaceful democratic bourgeois living.  The truth, though, is that the period in which the Catholic religion has been severed from the state, either completely or in large part, has been the bloodiest in human history.  Some 27,000 died effecting liberty from the English Crown, and, as Ferrara demonstrates, we must also face 2 million dead in the French revolutionary wars, the genocide of 300,000 Catholics in the Vendee by the Jacobin regime, 3 million dead following the Jacobin and Thermidorian regimes, 600,000 dead in the Civil War in America, 16 million dead in World War I (fought to make Europe “safe for democracy”), 7 million dead in the Bolshevik democides, 70 million dead in World War II, 20 million dead in genocides, including 6 million Jews, and so it goes on and on (32-34).  Just who imposed all this suffering?  “No, it was not the Vatican,” Ferrara observes:”
Nor was it any sort of Christian commonwealth.  The wars, persecutions, democides, politicides and genocides that have convulsed Western Civilization since the late 18th Century have all represented state action by governments that have either persecuted Christianity outrightly and bloodily, or, perhaps even more effectively, quietly and bloodlessly by declaring religion incompetent to “meddle” in politics and consigning it to the realm of socially meaningless private opinion, where “pacifists,” “do-gooders,” “bleeding hearts,” “isolationists,” and other unpatriotic sorts have long languished in America…”
“The so-called wars of religion were in fact, as William Cavanaugh has shown, conflicts waged “by state-building elites for the purpose of consolidating their power over the church and other rivals” (quoted by Ferrara 35).  Once free of the Church, those unrivaled states show little reluctance to kill…”
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