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tv   Biblical Influences on American Religious Freedom  CSPAN  August 5, 2021 9:32pm-10:40pm EDT

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next, on american history tv, religious historians -- on american political and social justice figures like thomas jefferson, james madison, and martin luther king jr.. the museum of the bible, and the baylor institute for studies of religion coast of the discussion. this is an hour. >> i am tony's iced, the director of the museum, what a wonderful privilege to be in a terrific bolden, we hope that you come to think of this very soon as your museum, because it is the new community museum. in fact, it is their world museum. we are going to be live on c-span tonight, thank you so
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much, fellas. we appreciate that. we are very excited to welcome you to the museum. you have to come back and take several days to go through it. quite an exciting place. we are delighted to have you back into our second series, some of you came to the first one. this is the second one, the first one in january. the topic tonight is biblical influence on religious freedom. before we get started, take out your cell phone, if you are in social media, take a selfie of yourself, and posted to hashtag museum of the bible. should be right there. hashtag museum of the bible, a selfie is fine. take a picture of your neighbor. we place a few items on your seat, you will see their, one of them is a membership pro sure. my personal favorite we are a non profit, we exist totally on donations, we hope you will
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consider coming a member on any category, there are 27 different categories. the february speaker series coming up next month. and then there is a future programs present provided by the museum. we are co-hosting tonight's program with the baylor institute of studies for religion, launched in august of 2004. the baylor institute of steady and religion, it was designed to initiate support, conductor research on religion to a variety of scholars and projects. our mission here to the museum is to engage all people with the bible, it is history as a narrative and the impact. we are not secretariat, we focus on that book. the bible made a powerful impact on the world, the history, and the culture, the influence, the history of the nations. and political structures. it is headed in plain sight anyways, in fact, we have an
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attraction here called washington revelations or you can virtually flat out at the museum, up and down the national mall, into the capital, into the library congress, and we will point that wherever there with biblical tax. it is quite exciting, i highly recommend it. it gives you an idea of how it biblical text is in our culture. 232 years ago today, the virginia statue of religious freedom was adopted, and later served as a model for the first amendment. tonight, we have a group of talented scholars who will discuss the biblical influences on religious freedom. i now like to introduce you to our moderator for tonight's program. his name is a doctor byron johnson. he will introduce the speakers and moderate. he is a distinguish professor of the social sciences at baylor university, the founding direction -- as well as the director of the
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program on pro social behavior. he is the leading authority on the scientific study evolution, the efficacy of based organization and criminal justice. johnson's recent publications have examine the impact of faith-based programs on recidivism production, and reentry. please join me in welcoming dr. byron and johnson. >> good evening. the museum of the bible have been a wonderful exhibits that i hope you all get a chance to see, many of the exhibits are historical, some are contemporary, and i have to say, they are truly amazing. lectures in symposium, like the one we are going to see tonight are going to be quite common at the museum. where we are going to find out as many consequential ways in which the bible is important to american society. tonight, we will be looking at the connection between the
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bible, and religious freedom. the founders of our nation, and the forbearance came to this land to begin an unusual experiment. it has to do with a lot of things, including religious freedom. one of the most iconic symbols of that religious freedom is the liberty bell. some of you may have had a chance to see a replica of it on the second floor. the liberty bell was ordered november the 1st, 1751 as a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of william penn's charter. when you tour, you see the replica, it was made in 2001, at the same foundry in england. engraved in the liberty bell, one example of the connection between the bible and religious rita. proclaim liberty throughout the land after all the inhabitants there of. we were very fortunate tonight
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to have three wonderful scholars that are going to be talking about this topic from different perspectives i've had the great fortune of knowing all of them, there is going to be speaking for at least 15 minutes. we will have time at the end for q&a. i am not very technologically sophisticated, i have an ipad up here, where i will be fielding questions from facebook. let's hope i don't watch that up. first, let me start by introducing the first speaker, tim shaw. he is a dear friend, and a research professor at baylor. he is a senior adviser and director of the south, at southeast asia action team with religious freedom institute based in washington, he is also the director of international research, -- at the berkeley center. he has written so many different publications, here are some of the more recent books that remain to the topic
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tonight. god century, resurgent religion in global politics. and the two volumes, that christianity and freedom, christianity and freedom contemporary perspectives. brand-new volumes, and religious freedom and gay rights, emerging conflicts in u.s. and europe. the name of the title tonight was addressed no genesis, no jefferson, i love. it join me in welcoming tim shaw. >> good evening, happy religious freedom day. i don't know how many of you knew that it was religious freedom day, it is not get much attention, does not get the attention it deserves. religious freedom is a crucial, important principle. it certainly deserves its own a day. it deserves its own conversation here this evening. congratulations to the museum of the bible, congratulations
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to the studies of religion for hosting this important conversation about religious freedom. religious freedom is of enormous importance. we know that it was of -- enormous importance of thomas jefferson. the reason it's religious freedom day is because it was on this day in 1786 that the virginia assembly finally and acted what became known as the virginia statue for religious freedom. that statute was offered by thomas jefferson. that he first wrote the text of the bill around 1777. which means he wrote it around the same time as of course he famously drafted the declaration of independence. and then he had he kept, trying to get through the virginia assembly over many years, it was introduced formally in
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1779. it was not passed until 1786. a number of years later. thomas jefferson was enormously proud of the statute of religious freedom if you visit his epitaph in monticello, virginia. you will notice that is free items on the epitaph. one, he was author of the declaration of independence. another, he was the founder of the university of virginia. the third, he was the author of the act concerning religious freedom. he does not include the president of the united states, or the of france, or any of the other enormously important things he was, he was most proud of two or three other -- he was the author of the act for religious freedom. we know to, he was so proud of
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his author ship of the act for religious freedom, that when he was ambassador are france, a position in which she was serving when the statue was finally passed in 1786, he immediately arranged for the text of the statute to be printed, published, and attributed in france and elsewhere in europe. he was enormously gratified that the high culture, the salons of paris were impressed and inspired by the example that the state of virginia had set for the world. it truly is something for which thomas jefferson should have been proud. let's think about how different our country could be if we did not have freedom of religion. for all people, regardless of their convictions of congress,
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regardless of their religious belief, i know one from my own life would be different. my father left india in 1965, more than 50 years ago. he was of gene background again-ism, a religious sect in india. when he made the journey from bob, a india to madison, wisconsin. he was worried about many things. he was worried about the weather. he was worried about who would meet him off of the great own -- greyhound bus. in the middle of madison, wisconsin in the summer of 1965. there is one thing he did not have to worry about. he does not have to worry about whether he was coming to our country who would not welcome him or able to welcome him because of his religion? he was able to make a home here, able to make a family here because of what thomas jefferson did in the late 17
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seventies, and 17 eighties. let's remember with the consequences are of with thomas jefferson accomplished, that's why we are here to talk about today. so, we have this extraordinary statute of thomas jefferson, and to put the statute in context, particularly to understand the background, and ultimately as they want to argue today, the biblical seabed in which the statute emerged, i want to talk about seven words of jefferson's statute. to help us understand those seven words of jefferson's statute, and the meaning of the statute, i am going to talk about the number of lawton words, since you all know locked in, i assume. if you don't, you better leave now.
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-- for religious freedom, we will talk about 18 latin words. and then to help you understand those latin words, i am going to talk about some hebrew words, and i will talk about 13 hebrew words. in fact, they were providing the bedrock of jefferson's ideas that became the foundational for the country's. and the seven words of the statute for religious freedom again passed on january 16th, 1786. the very first words of the statute for religious freedom, they are almighty god has created the mind three. all 90 god created the mind three. when one read those words, the very first word of the virginia thatch shoot for religious freedom was reminded of course the important words for that declaration of independence, which jefferson had written in
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70 76. of course, one year before he can drafting the virginia statute for religious freedom. remind of the great words for the declaration of independence, they were self evident. all men were created equal. they were endowed by their creator, with certain unalienable rights. among those life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. immediately, we are confronted when you look at the virginia statute about the queen about are human nature. human beings, all human beings are a redo simply inevitably made and structured in a certain kind of way. above all, but thomas jefferson mentions of the statute is that the mind of human beings were made to be a free. jefferson was not the only one
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arguing for religious freedom in the 17th and 18th century, there are many arguments for religious freedom. you could say there was a growing number of arguments for religious freedom. we know of course that thomas jefferson was a man of the enlightenment. we know he was deeply influenced by european thinkers, such as rousseau, lock, and how vegas, edward gibbon. it influenced by the scottish enlightenment as well as the european enlightenment, the french indictment, the english enlightenment. the strands of thought introduced and advocated, for, many kinds of arguments for religious freedom. and there were three arguments that were increasingly common in this period of european history. one was an anti clerical argument, frankly. jefferson, and his time in france, would've been very familiar with this anti clerical strand. the real many people arguing
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for freedom of religion as a way to break the power of the church and of religion. which they distrusted on secularist grounds. another very free current argument was a christian theological argument that rooted religious freedom in christian doctrine. that made the case that only religious freedom was consistent with the spirit of charity and peaceable-ness of the christian religion. john locke begins his letter concerning toleration as -- by arguing he submitted that toleration, he believes, is the chief characteristic mark of the true church. that is the kind of christian doctrine no argument and there was another week. common argument especially in europe that struggled with the wars of religion for a long period of time. and that argument was that the only way to solve europe's consistent, chronic division
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and warfare over religion, was to introduce religious freedom. to simply allow people to believe whatever they wanted. now, thomas jefferson, in the statute for religious freedom, does not make any of those arguments central. but he does instead is argue that religious freedom isn't a reduced sable, nonnegotiable demand of our human nature, period. he does not argue for religious freedom on grounds of expediency. he does not argue for religious freedom on the ground that it is going to lead to outcomes that he likes. he does not introduce a result oriented argument for religious freedom. he uses, to use a fancy philosophical term, a d until logical argument. an argument that says, this is simply rooted in the principles of human nature. human nature is such that it
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demands that always and everywhere that the conscience and reason and freedom of human beings should be respected in matters of religion. and it's quite striking that he does not, to support these kinds of arguments, referred to secular philosophers or thinkers like hobbes, or grow shifts, or thinkers who were very influential and important in this period. in fact, what is striking, and i'm gonna talk about my 18 latin words, is that the one thinker that thomas jefferson sites when he is making an elaborate argument for religious freedom, and this isn't another work called, notes in the state of virginia, the one thinker he refers to when he is elaborating this argument that human nature itself requires religious freedom is an early church father by the name of tear to lean. i discovered this when i was teaching a class at georgetown
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and i think one of my students in the audience who was inflicted with my class on this subject. as i was teaching this class i discovered jefferson had cited this early church father. what and the phrase that he cites, he quotes it in latin, but i'll give you the english translation, is the fundamental human right, a privilege of nature, that every man should worship according to his own convictions. one man's religion either help snore harms another man. it is surely no part of religion to compel religion to which freewill and not force should lead us. those words, the church father had written not in the 17th century, or 16th century, but in the early third century. we and he wrote those 18 latin words because he was inspired by 13 hebrew words. he -- it was because of his reflection on those words that he came to believe that it was
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an essential and inherent part of the way that we were created by god, that we would be free. of course the 13 hebrew words i am referring to are the words of genesis, chapter one, first 27. and god created man in his own image. in the image of god he created the male and female, he created them. god created us, in a sense, to have the very kind of freedom he himself has, so that's what it means to be created in the image of god. to partaken in some of the liberty. he says in the dignity of god, we have a god like freedom and dignity. and we know that, ultimately, from what we learn from inspecting and observing the magnificent dignity of human beings, but it's also something we see taught in those 13 hebrew words and genesis. which i believe are the real soil from which ideas of religious freedom grew up from
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over the centuries. thank you. [applause] >> thank you tim, great job. next is robert lewis wilkie and who was the william are kenyan junior professor of the history of christianity emeritus at the university of virginia. he is an elected fellow of the american academy of arts and sciences. he is the past president of the american academy of religion, as well as the academy of catholic theology. he is the chairman of the board of the institute of religion and public life, which is the publisher of an outstanding of a lot of his works, among ways many books are these three intellectual books. the first thousand years, a global history of christianity. the spirit of christian thought, and then remembering the christian passed.
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he is taught at one notre dame, the gregorian university in rome, and at providence college. it is a real pleasure to have him speaking on the christian region of religious freedom. thank you very much. customary to say how pleased one is to be here. some people have said to me, how far did you come? i said, it happens that i live just down the street, at 13 17 fourth street. and my wife drove me over here this afternoon. but she came and she's gonna drive me home. and she said it's 0.8 miles. so i'm very pleased with to have the beginning of a relationship to this fine, new
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museum. those of you who have been through the museum know that there is an exhibit on the great awakening. and the great awakening was a powerful period of religious renewal in the united states. the great preacher george whitfield was the spearhead for this awakening. and the great awakening spread all through the country, kind of but to bring an inner conversion of people. when it finally -- it started further north, it got to central virginia, virginia, and the 17 seventies, was an act lincoln colony. the official established church was the anglican church and all of a sudden these baptist ministers started seeping into virginia and drawing people
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away from the anglican parishes. and they were not happy about that. and they had english law, at the time, to enforce. and you could not just go out and preach. you had to be licensed by anglican state authorities. it happened that one of the largest revivals and meetings happened near the town of orange, virginia. the which is where james madison lived. so james madison knew about what was happening and some of the people he knew at the time where in jail in cult pepper, which is right up the road. so he had a firsthand knowledge of the harassment of these baptist clergy and their followers. he was only in his early twenties at the time. he had begun to get interested
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in politics, as his father was. he was elected to a committee to prepare a declaration of rights. this was my friend here tim shaw has been talking about. the original draft was written by george mason, but a contemporary of madison and jefferson. and the language is very significant. he said that all men should enjoy the fullest toleration -- toleration in the exercise of religion according to the dictate of conscience. the fullest toleration in the exercise of religion according to the dictates of consciousness. madison, he was only 24 years old, thought that was not adequate because toleration is a form of indulgence. but the ruling authorities grant people who they don't
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like. so he suggested a revision to read, all men are equally entitled to the fruit and the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience. and the key phrase there, entitled to the full and free exercise of religion. in other words, he's implying that it is a right, not something that a benevolent ruler grants. but some the, and the leader of the opposition was patrick henry. patrick henry pushed for a modified establishment of religion where others, beside the anglicans, would receive funds for their schools and other institutions. and madison wanted this to be voted down.
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he wrote a document which is called the, memorial and re-monstrous against religious assessment. this is what he wrote, was because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth that religion is the duty which we owe to our creator and the manner of discharging it was, it can only be directed by reason and by conviction. not by force or violence. the he is reflecting what tim shaw just said. religion, because it is an inner conviction of the hard in mind, you can't compel a person to believe something by using some external means like a sword or a wig, or something more violent. then he says, the religion of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of
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every man and it is the right of every man to exercise it as his conviction and his conscious may dictate this right is an elite level right, but he means by that is, because the opinion of men depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of others. you should be able to choose what you believe. it is inalienable also because, the right towards men's a duty towards god. it is a duty and every man to render to the creators, such only that he believed to be acceptable to god. then he says, this duty is precedent, we don't use the phrase in that way, it precedes both an honor and time, and in
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degree of obligation to the claims of civil society, what you believe takes precedent in time, and in logic to what's civil society requires. before any man can be considered a member of civil society, he must be considered at a subject to the governor of the universe. if the member of the civil society does it with a staving to his own allegiance to the sovereign, we maintain that no man's right is a bridge to a since institution of civil society. the right to confess what you believe is one that precedes and cannot be anyway-limited, and that religion -- this is a lovely phrase -- is wholly exempt from its cognizance. i wish we spoke that way today. religion is wholly exempt from
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the cognizance of the state. that term goes back, john locke uses it, and a great english man by the name of john owen. that the a lot -- and madison does not cite biblical text. those a you that have some familiarity with the bible and certainly at here did legal overtones in what he is saying. even a cursory look at the way i them madison puts things, it is apparent that the central ideas derived from christiana at the time can't be traced to the bible as it has been understood by christianity thinkers in earlier centuries. for example, madison says, religion is a duty we owe to our creator. the great commandment of jesus,
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you shall love the lord with all of your soul, and all of your might. thou show worshiped alert as you're god, and him alone shall you serve. religion is a duty we owe to our creator. second, he says that the business of government, and that of religion must be kept separate, we maintain that in manners of religion, no man's right is bridge by the is the two shun of civil society. again, this nice phrase -- religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. government has no knowledge of what religious people do. ultimately, this distinction between the realm of religion and that of the state goes back to the words of jesus.
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render unto god, the things that are of god, and to cesar, the things that are of cesar. and over the course, 16 and 1700 years before it gets to the time of madison and jefferson, that text had been interpreted, and interpreted, and interpreted to mean that the world basically is governed by two -- there are two rounds in which people even. one, stay civil, -- they get a good example here, the great performer, john calvin. one realm he said with spiritual, the war by the conscious's -- the second is political where a man is educated by the duties of humanities and citizenship. to do with our worldly goods safety, security, and what the
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government is expected to provide. when the one is considered, we should call off our minds and not allow the other to be part of the discussion. the civil society should have no cognizance over religion. ultimately, that language in gene madison's declaration goes back to the words of jesus in the new testament. third, he gives conscience a prominent place. he says that religion must be left up to the conscience and conviction of every man, and it is the right of every man to exercise it as his conscience may dictate. conscience is understood as a natural capacity it everyone to
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design truth on how one is to live. now the term conscience was used by philosophers in the roman world and the greek world. it enters the vocabulary of western society through christiana. particularly through the apostle paul in the book of romans and first -- a possible poll rates, in your actions, let your conscience be your guide as to what you should do. for a person's liberty should not be determined by another man's conscience. that is another man's judgment as to one -- what one is to believe, and what is right or wrong. conscience as an all of these
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issues, has a long history of being used and applied in different situations in the course of many -- in fact, some of the reading that i have been doing. the first time that we're term conscious occurs during the reparation is on the lips of a franciscan none. who says, her manus theory was being shut down by the lutheran magistrates. she says you talk about the freedom of the gospel, and you won't allow us to follow our conferences. madison stands in that tradition, although he is not citing that tax. finally, madison says the right to practice their religion of ones choices unalienable. it precedes the queen of society. ultimately, this goes back to the biblical idea that human
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beings are created in the image of god. shah has already said it. that means they are free, they are free by nature, freedom is not something that simple society grants. they are able to make their own judgment about what to believe, and whatnot to believe. they cannot be subject to the dictates of others. to summarize, madison was a beneficiary of ways of thinking develops but really creature thinkers. it is that tradition, the christian tradition it is the foundation of our american understanding of religious freedom. this tradition extended over centuries, in some cases, it can be traced back to christian writers of the second and third century. the ultimate sars is the bible.
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james madison's views on religious freedoms were not the result of his reading of the bible. it is not the way things work. he was not a feel lagoon. he was not really just for your -- philosopher. nonetheless, it was at the, he is adapting ideas that was -- and that sense, the bible had an influence on madison's conception of religious freedom. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, robert. our last speaker, doctor jacqueline rivers is a lecturer at harvard university. she is the executive director and senior fellow for social sciences in policy at the seymour institute for black church. and policy studies. she is also a nonresident fellow at the institute for
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studies of religion at baylor. recent projects have focused on launching the black work commission on bioethical -- marriage and the palace hosted by the vatican. she has a ph.d. from harvard university where she was a doctorate fellow in any quality and social polity at the candy school, and graduate research in national science foundation. she has presented at many universities across the country, for latest publication appears in the volume, not just good but beautiful. in the book the cultural matrix by harvard press. you are in for a real treat, as a jackie comes to share this paper, the black church, enacting the biblical mandate of religious freedom. doctor jacqueline rivers. >> good evening. i am truly honored to be here with you, i am absolutely wowed by the museum. my congratulation goes to those
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who put it together. it is wonderful to have someone like this right here in the heart of washington d.c., the nation's capital. and professor wilkie is talked about having walked up the street, 0.8 miles, i flew from jamaica. i am very glad to be with you guys tonight. i do want to take a little bit every different tack, talking about religious freedom. and the connection, it's biblical roots. in the two excellent presentations we have heard, there has been a focus on something that is fundamental, and i agree with wholeheartedly, it is an inalienable right, it is intrinsic to being human, we have the right to follow our conscience and out of that close really -- closely related to that, fundamental to that right for religious freedom. but from the perspective of the
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black church, it is really about what has happened over the course of history. in fact, if you think about it, god it is not just declare that we have religious freedom, he demonstrates it. it starts with a story of exodus. think about it. moses goes to meet with pharaoh. what does he do? he says god has commanded us to leave, and to go to a place to worship him. when farrow refuses to allow them to go, he is not merely disobeying god, he is aggregating the right for religious freedom. he is denying the right for religious freedom. because religious freedom is about the right to follow god. it is not just about the rights to freedom of worship, that we can't in our churches, and
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bedroom, and homes worship, it is above the right to act in response to our understanding of gods calling on our lives. it's about the rights to do it not just in private, but also to do it in public. god starts with an action that demonstrates the importance, the power of religious freedom. for the black church, that is a central motif that runs throughout our country. the idea of the exodus. because for us, the civil war is an exodus. it is a crossing over from slavery to freedom. it was an act of judgment by god. and it is rooted in the understanding of biblical faith. those black and white abolitionists who worked to bring about that exodus, they
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were largely people of faith. people who believed the bible, and who lived it out. during the truth, a -- a woman who was an abolitionist herself, a former slave, who argued against slavery power fully. she argued for the rights of women long before our current focus of equality. all of this came out of her powerful faith, out of her understanding of the biblical meaning but to follow god. the saying is true of john brown. john brown's actions are about his understandings of gods absolute judgment on the horror of slavery. again, rooted in his exercise
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of the religious freedom, and growing out of biblical faith. the same is true for harriet tubman. harriet tubman saw herself as on a mission guided and protected by god himself. rooted in her biblical faith, she has the courage to go back into the south after escaping from slavery, she goes back into the south to free 300 other enslaved people on 19 trips. the power of religious freedom being exercised and it action. but that is not the only exodus event in the history of the black church. think about the civil rights movement an exodus from disenfranchisement and terror in the southern united states, into full citizenship. and in the words of reverent
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dr. martin luther king, there is nothing greater in the world that freedom. i would rather die in abject poverty with my convictions and live in and north it really shows with lack of self for respect. him, religious freedom was expressed in all of the work of the civil rights movement. but we were talking about this earlier today, the fact that the importance of kings faith but, in his role in the civil rights movement, the importance of the church, a black church, in the civil rights movement, is fading from view. perhaps being blocked out. and the focus is on dr. king rather than on reverend king. but this was a man driven by his faith, strengthened by his fate. he endured death threats, bombings of his home, endangering his wife and
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children, based on the strength of his faith. early in the campaign, the bus boycott in montgomery, king was terrified by the rise in violence. and in the middle of the night, he sitting in his kitchen trying to figure out what to do. and he has a revelation. he hears jesus speaking to him and telling him that he must have faith. that he must stand up for righteousness and he must do what is right. but and as he hears this, it becomes a mantra that he goes back to, time and time again, when you face this crisis. and pursuing the civil rights movement, he is strengthened by the memory of that experience. in fact, david guerrero, who was not a man of faith at, all writes a powerful biography of dr. king, which does not come from a religious perspective,
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it is completely sick secular, but it keeps coming. back through the eyes will of a secular rider, how important that revelation was. but king was not the only one that was reverend fred shuttle worth, ralph aber nazi, joseph laurie. all of them it was men of faith. acting on their religious freedom, exercising religious freedom, who let the civil rights movement. but let us not forget, that without the tens of thousands of black church going people, people of faith who took to the streets, those leaders could not have done anything. one and the power of the church, in this movement, is indicated when king is involved in naming the southern christian leadership conference which was going to be called the southern leadership conference.
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but king says, no, this has to be the southern christian leadership conference. because he knows that black people are rooted in the biblical faith. he knows that it is going to take those all night prayer and praise and singing, and preaching sessions and blacks churches the night before they hit the streets for them to have the strength to withstand police truncheons, police dogs, fire hoses, without retaliating with violence. the story of the civil rights movement, the victories of the civil rights movement, are the victories of the black church, of religious freedom being exercised. and it is very appropriate that we talk about this tonight because, just yesterday, we celebrated reverend dr. martin luther king's day. what even today, the exercise of religious freedom is so
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critical in the black community. why -- would i do want to say one other thing. i want you to have a sense of how important this biblical interpretation is ticking. he basis passionate advocacy for the struggle of civil rights in a biblical understanding. and you see it in and i have a dream speech. he quotes isaiah 40 and describing his vision for african americans, his vision of the future. i have a dream that one day, every value will be exalted, every hill and mountain laid low, the rough places will be may made plain and the crooked laces will be made straight, and the glory of the lord shall be revealed. and all flesh chelsea it together. this is our. hope soaking is explicitly championing the responsibility of every christian to follow his his or her conscience and to obey gods calling, when any
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conflict arises between the two. between god's calling and the duty to civil society. which professor will cans was talking about earlier, that religious freedom takes precedence. so in his sermon, titled war paul's left to american christians, he says be not conform to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. this is an imaginary letter. he imagines paul writing to american christians and paul goes on to say in this imaginary letter, whereas i said to the philip e. and christians, you are a colony of heaven. this means that although you live in a colony of time, your ultimate allegiance is to the entire of eternity, you have a dual citizenry. you lift both in time and eternity, both in heaven and earth. therefore, your ultimate allegiance is not to the government, not to the state, not to the nation, not to any
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man-made institution, the christian owes his ultimate allegiance to god. and if any earthly institution conflicts with god's, well it is your christian duty to take a stand against it. this is a perfect expression of religious freedom and it is grounded in his understanding of the biblical mandate. he also -- this is reflected also in the final speech of king hill gives, his mountaintop oration. which was made the night before he was murdered. and he's talking about having been to the mountaintop and seeing the promised land, but like moses, you may not cross over with us. it was as though he knew what was going to happen the next day. he likens journey to that of moses and the entire movement is in his eyes, a minor exodus of the southern black person from terror and disenfranchisement to full citizenship.
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we but more than that, king saw the whole strategy, the nonviolent strategy of the civil rights movement, this winning strategy, as consistent with biblical teaching. he said, violence creates many more social problems than it solves, and as i've said in so many instances, the negro, in particular, and color peoples all over the world, and their struggle for freedom, if they succumb to the use of violence for their struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desperate night of bitterness. and the biblical source he is using is matthew's words, jesus's words and matthew. in the fifth chapter of the gospel, recorded by saint matthew, we read these very arresting words flowing from the lips of our lord and master. you have heard that it has been said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. but i say on to you, love your enemies, less than that person,
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you do good to them at that hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. that you be the children of your father which is in heaven. his entire strategy is seen as coming from the lips of jesus as recorded in matthew. so for the black church, religious freedom, yes, it is an unknown lane you'll right. but even more, it is exercised. it is freedom, it is our exodus. what so, religious freedom and it's biblical roots are essential to the fate of the black church. [applause] >> wow, that was a good session, in one of the best that i have been a problem apart of. and we have 15 minutes for questions and answers and we will start -- these are facebook questions
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that are coming in and with technology, i am seeing this. rhonda has a question for doctor rivers. we, has the interpretation of what freedom of religion means changed over the last 300 years? what others may answer that if you would like, to, but this one is specifically addressed to dr. rivers. >> so i don't feel that i have the historical chops to really take that on, but i think that what has been demonstrated by the three talks is that there's a thread that runs right through and that is consistent. does that mean it's never been interpreted differently? i think that is clearly not the case. but starting from the biblical times, this notion that the right to respond to god's calling is a kin one to every single person. whatever they choose -- whether they choose, and this is something that i didn't get to because of time, whether they choose to acknowledge that
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calling by expression of faith, christian faith, muslim faith, buddhist faith, hindu faith, whether or not someone chooses faith, the right to respond is we inalienable. so if you are atheist, you still have that right. no one has the right to force you into an expression of faith if in your heart, you respond to that calling that was by saying that god does not exist. >> what karen has a question for doctor shaw. did jefferson apply his philosophy towards religion when writing the first amendment? >> well jefferson of course did not write the first amendment. the first amendment was with drafted by what james madison, but working with the committee was. so jefferson was in france at the time of the drafting of the
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bill of rights, so did not play a direct role in that. but i think it is understood that the virginia statute for religious freedom played a major role in shaping the first amendment was. particularly the two first clauses of the first amendment, clauses -- with congress shall make no law restricting the establishment of religion nor abridging the free exercise thereof. >> i thought you did that very gracefully without pushing back hard at all. so this is a question for doctor will can's. how does the idea of separation of church and state relate to freedom of religion? >> what can i first just speak to that question -- was to her? >> the most profound change that has come about, you can hear from reading -- we read from jefferson and medicine, they assumed a world in which people believed in
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god. we now are living in a world in which many people do not believe in god and our public life was has excluded god. we saw with each passing decade, it is going to be harder to make a case for religious freedom, because it looks like special pleading. in fact, a man wrote a book a few years ago, why tolerate religion? what is so special about religion? and that's the profound challenge of our own time. now back to the question. >> so the question is, how the eighth jia of the separation of church and state really to the freedom of religion? >> well, a separation means that the religious communities we have the right to determine how they are going to worship god and how they are going to
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live, practice. we and that is something we that the government has no say in. so unless you have the distinction -- the whole struggle of the history of religious freedom was to get beyond the assumption that the king, the prince, the magistrates, determined what people were as a community to believe. and there was a latin saying in the 16th century, whoever is the king, the ruler, he is the one who determines about the religion should be. so the whole development of what religious freedom was to break free from that assumption that is to say there are two realms and they inevitably interact. we but one cannot determine the other, going both ways. >> great.
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this is a question for doctor rivers from kristen. how would you encourage people to think through where they stand when religious and civil liberties seem to clash? >> we i think that that is a very important question and i think that what i like about the question we is the acknowledgment that we have to balance those two. and so, i think the difficulty is with how profound an infringement on the sense of conscience is what being enforced? and our people prepared to pay the price? king exercises religious freedom, but he believes in doing so, you have to pay the price. we so we need to look to the courts of the land to help us with that question of balancing, because everyone should have the right to live the religious
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freedom. some external arbitrary means to balance those rights, and we, as each of us exercise our conscience, as we prepared to pay the price, as candid facing prison wedding not while being willing to pay bail in cases where you thought it wasn't just. >> i think doctor shock and threw it to. whatever the earliest examples of freedom of religion around the world? >> well, let's take england because that is the case where so much of the influence of this country. in the 17th century, england went through a great struggle
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because of the puritans did not want to conform to what was the publicly acknowledged religion. over the course of several generations, they were able to make a case, and basically the english rulers this -- sided with the active toleration that there had to be space with those who were not church of england people. that would be one very clear example. it has repercussions. there were others in the netherlands, in france. the english example for us is most important. >> yes, tim. >> one early example that is often forgotten in these discussions, that is we have a very early example in the roman
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empire at the beginning of the fourth century. robert has written expertly about this. namely the edict of milan. that was coauthored from the co-emperors of the time, constant teen and listening us in 3:13. it is sometimes misunderstood that the eaves of milan, the granted toleration to christians. in fact, that have been done to u.s. earlier in 3:11. through an edict of malaria. the edict of milan, it is so called because it was not published as an edict, but more of a detail in a document. i'm a policy was one of a genuine freedom of religion. the text of that edict makes it clear. that granted freedom of -- for all citizens in the roman empire to follow that form of religion, or that understanding of god that they felt was the
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true one. a case can be made, robert and i both tried to make the case, that early paul -- policy was a reflection of the early arguments of the church fathers. and light handiest who was a part of the court of constitution as early as the first decade of the fourth century. that story can be told in a book that will be located in the back. it is only 340 days until christmas. you don't have much time, get over there. >> i think we are about out of time, if i'm not mistaken, is that correct? should i take a few more questions? two more? okay. some silly person out there in the facebook world asked me a question. the question is, what are some of the greatest challenges facing prisoners in a religious
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liberty? i do a lot of research in that area. there are challenges but the reality is, we have made a lot of progress with allowing religious freedom for inmates to attend religious services in institutions if you want to visit a person, you will find religion there. you will find worship services there. unfortunately, we live in a time when a lot of prisons have cut programs. some prisons, the only programs they have our religious. so, we can at least be thankful for that. i will say there was a court case before the supreme court a few years ago where a muslim inmate wanted to have a beard, but was not allowed to have a beard in arkansas. he sued the department of corrections for the opportunity to have religious freedom, and have a half inch beard. the department of corrections
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contended it was a security risk. nothing you can hide in that beard, if it's a half inch in length. interestingly enough, the supreme court decided the court ninth and nothing with in favor of the muslim inmate. -- to make the case that religion actually helped reduce recidivism, and was a good that comes to society. with that in mind, maybe we will take one last question. this one is from the members of the audience, it is tagged for doctor shah. many -- many clergy's from all walks of eight came to the eighth and the black church everyone from rabbis to catholic priest, because the school preachers to baptist clergy. what does that do to the biblical mandate alone? your thoughts on my motivation? although, i think they should have gone to jackie. >> jackie, do you want to take? that >> was that due to the pit
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-- biblical mandate alone? your thoughts on the motivation. >> i think the biblical mandate was very powerful for a lot of the clergy that came, whether they were jewish or roman catholic or anglican. but i think we have to recognize that a lot of people also came just out of that sense, this idea that we have an innate sense of gods calling. a lot of people came in the sense of what was right and wrong. not necessarily explicitly religious at all. there are two things that were at work, i see as both being very much a part of the rate that is defended by the first amendment, the right to religious freedom. because there was a college student who came from the north in particular, in response to
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the civil rights movement, they were not necessarily motivated by religion at all. yes, i think the biblical mandate was a powerful force, but it was not the only thing at work. the innate sense of guys calling, i think that was a work as well. >> listen, join me in thanking a doctor shah, doctor will can, i'm doctor rivers. that includes our evening. >> book signings, there are books in the back. we will migrate back there for anybody who wants to stick around and get early christmas gifts. [laughs]
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>> and the building occupies almost an entire city block. up next on american artifacts, we turn to museums bible in america exhibit. this is the first of a two part program. >> i'm kara summers, president t


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