LIberal Religion vs. LIberal Politics?
I appreciate the tone of this post on immigration issues, though I think it raises a key question for me.
There is a line between liberal religion and liberal politics. The post from the UU Congregation of Central Nassau makes a lot of references to the meaning of citizenship and the rights of states. To what extent are states and citizenship the domain of religion or theology? I'll admit that for me the rights of individuals and even their groups may seem grounded in theology but I am not really ready to make the leap to states. I think there is a real reason that the Christian tradition teaches us to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and render unto God that which is God's.
I understand how in theory a state may just be an extension of a community of individuals, but in practice I never see states truly functioning this way. When is the religious legitimation of the state or the rights of state actors not idolatry?
I mean this more as a question than as heated rhetoric. My initial answer would be that states are only legitimate from the point of view of theology when they (and to the extent that they are) furthering the blossoming of life in its fullness and helping beings develop (in Channing's terms) their faculties of the soul.
My view is perhaps overly influenced by Foucault's notion that power only really exists in its exercise and therefore the practice of the state is more important than the theory of the state.
Is the belief that liberal states represent agencies of human progress a conflation of liberal politics and liberal religion? I'd very much like to hear someone's argument on grounds that for liberal religion to be embodied it must function in the realm of the possible, with a full understanding of the eschatological reservation, though this is a compromise I am not sure I am ready to make.