Erik Peterson on Liberalism, Politics, and Theology

The liberalism that asserts that theology and politics have nothing to do with one another, was the same liberalism that separated Church and State in politics and for which in theology the membership in the Body of Christ was only a matter of personal opinion and Christian dogma was only a mere subjective expression of opinion. It is clear that a privatization of faith, such as that carried out by liberalism, had to have a detrimental effect on every aspect of dogmatics. There God was stripped as far as was possible of his transcendent character so that he could be absorbed into a private religious relation. There the God become Man became a liberal bourgeois who in fact worked no miracles but made up for it by preaching humanity, whose blood was not in fact a mystery but died for his convictions, who in fact did not rise from the dead but lived on in the memory of those close to him, who in fact did not proclaim the end of the world and his Second Coming but taught us to see the beauty of the lilies in the countryside. There the Holy Spirit also was no longer honored as the third person of the Trinity but only related psychologically to the so-called religious experience of one’s own soul. The assertion that politics and religion have nothing to do with one another could therefore be implemented by liberalism only in such a way that the Christian faith was heretically distorted.

– Erik Peterson, Unpublished Manuscript (quoted in Heinrich Meier, The Lesson of Carl Schmitt: Expanded EditionĀ pg. 10, fn. 25)