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“I have been asked, What constitutes a liberal Christian? The word “liberal” comes from the Latin word “liber,” meaning free. A liberal is thus one who believes in and stands for freedom for oneself and for everyone. For liberty is essential to one’s true life. Unless one is free to think, speak, and act one’s life straight one, one cannot be true and sincere. Freedom is thus essential to true religion, education and life. How?
The great fight of people through history has been for liberty–political, religious, economic, individual. All significant struggles that history records are but chapters in the story of the fight for freedom. For this reason the liberal has always been against all external authority that would restrain or forbid the inward life of the person in its outward expression.”
–John Murray Atwood, in The Tao of Universalism: The Thoughts, Teachings, and Writings of Dr. John Murray Atwood, ed. by Rev. John Stewart MacPhee. New York: Vantage Press, 1989: 165