Liberty and Religion are Drifting Apart

When Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in the 1830s, he was struck by how radically it differed from France. In his home country, the partisans of religion and the partisans of liberty were starkly opposed. Philosophes openly scoffed at the faith; Catholics rejected liberty altogether. In America, by contrast, he discovered the union of "two perfectly distinct elements that elsewhere are often at war", namely "the spirit of religion and the spirit of liberty".

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