Merton the libertarian?

Thomas Merton on meeting modernism and the secular culture with the Gospel, not something else:

The important thing, therefore, is not for Christians to be found ready, once again, with a glib religious answer for another modern question, but for us to reaffirm, in terms at once contemporary and deeply serious, the Christian message to man’s liberty. We must reemphasize the call of the Gospel to healing and to hope, not merely reaffirm that everything is going to be all right because man is smart and will meet the challenge of evil with the best possible solutions.

And on Christians in politics. That is, not off-loading the work of the church to the feds:

…any claim that this or that policy or strategy deserves a “Christian” sanction and the blessing of the Church must be examined in the light of the principles we have seen. If in actual fact it amounts to the support of the abstract organization, granting or blessing a destructive power to coerce the individual conscience, it is to be rejected as fraudulent, as incompatible with Christian truth, and as disobedience to the Gospel commandment of love. In one word, the Church must not implicitly betray man into the power of their responsible and anonymous “public.” If it does so, it will destroy itself in destroying true freedom and authentic human community. We must certainly recognize the danger of individualism, but we must also be fully aware of where this danger really lies. (Emphasis mine)

(Thomas Merton, Mystics and Zen Master’s, p. 273, 274)