Because freedom is the combination of liberty and virtue, religion provides a natural and voluntary source of moral guidelines to assist us in living virtuous lives.
Human beings need and want to belong in communities. In a free society those communities are natural and voluntary: family, friends, religion, neighborhoods, community groups, etc.
Tyrants understand that to take control of any people the tyrant must become the “community” for the people. Hence, dictators such as Hitler and Stalin first sought to erase the intermediate layer of society that stood between the individual and the state. Only then – only after family, religion and natural communities are destroyed – can a tyrant assert moral authority. Healthy religion is the enemy of an overreaching state.
Of all natural moral influences within a free society, the positive and constructive influence of religion is second only to family.
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