I believe that freedom and democracy are a direct result of Christianity. This is because Christianity was the first religion that encouraged people to be virtuous to themselves and to others in life, and in this way make the world a better place.
This system of beliefs slowly drew man away the rule of man, where one man knew what was best and forced others to follow his ideas, to the rule of man, where individual men rule themselves. This ultimately lead to republican and democratic ideas that lead to the Magna Carta, and ultimately to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
The founding fathers, therefore, and all the great thinkers that lead to the ideas they enveloped, believed in personal salvation. While many were not Christians, they believed the best way to protect democracy (which they also believed was fragile), was to encourage Christianity and personal salvation.
Yet as time went by, many people did not learn in school what it was like to live in a world of kings and queens, and even while there are dictators in the world who force their views on others, many of us here in the U.S. don't understand how hard life is in those countries.
And, thus, many of us have reverted back to the old thinking that the rule of man is better than the rule of laws. Thus, they believe they know what's best, and want to force the rest of us to do things their way. They, hence, believe in collective salvation.
So what is personal salvation? What is collective salvation? I will define both for you:
Personal Salvation: That if a man believes in God, and he follows the virtues set forth by the Lord, then he shall get to Heaven. Likewise, on the part of the man himself there is set forth no condition or requirement for his salvation. Your personal salvation is neither a gift nor a process, but the result of a relationship between each individual person and God. So long as you are faithful, and follow the good works of the Lord, then you shall get to Heaven. They tend to be conservative, and believe that the Government should create an environment for people to prosper, and should allow people to do what they think is best for themselves. That by doing good, people will automatically, as if by default, be doing something to the benefit of society. They may try to convince you as to what is right, yet they will not force you. They believe no one knows what's right, so it's best to encourage personal responsibility rather than to force everyone to believe in your views.
Collective Salvation: This is the belief that you have to believe in God to get to Heaven, and if you don't believe in God then it's my job to make force you. If you don't take care of your body, it's my job to force you. An example of this is Michelle Obama saying that kids should be forced to give up dessert. Another example are the people suing McDonald's because toys in Happy Meals encourage kids to eat bad. They tend to be liberal and tend to believe in the Progressive idea that experts, or czars, should decide what's best for man and force man to do what they think is right, or New York Congressmen creating a law telling restaurants they can no longer put salt in foods to force people to no longer eat salt, or lawmakers talking about raising taxes on sodas to discourage its use. They will try to convince you as to what is right, and if you don't follow them they will try to force you. They believe they know what's right for everyone.
For more political definitions, check out my political lexicon.