Here I Stand: Conscience, Reformation, and Religious Freedom Across the Centuries Panel 1


Although I am something of a student of the
Reformation I had never heard of this woman Caritas Pirckheimer, but I
didn’t hear it from Robert — I heard it because we fund dissertation research
at our Religious Freedom Research Project and one of the ones that we
funded a couple of years ago was a student at Catholic University
who was writing her dissertation on this nun, the sixteenth-century nun. Hopefully we’ll get some more interest in her among those
who are interested in the Reformation, including this fascinating question of
who said “Here I stand” first. You’ll have
an opportunity to speak to Professor Wilken in just a few minutes when we
involve you in our conversation. I might say that was a fantastic lecture, thank
you so much. I learned a lot from it and it really sets up nicely our panel which
is about the Catholic and Protestant roots of religious freedom and I’m eager
to get into this conversation. One of the joys of being a moderator — sometimes
it’s not always this joyful — is to have people to speak about a topic that you
have you really admire and respect and for whom you have great affection and I
have that honor with all three of these people. In the middle is
Melissa Rogers, who has been part of our conversations here at the RFRP before. It’s a joy to have you again, Melissa. She is a
non-resident senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. As
many of you know, from 2013 to 2017 Melissa served as a special assistant to
the president and executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based
and Neighborhood Partnerships under President Obama and she chaired the
inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood
Partnerships. She also served as director of Wake Forest
Divinity School’s Center on Religion and Public Affairs, as executive director of
the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, and as general counsel of the Baptist
Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Quite a resume, I’m sure you would agree.
My dear friend Matthew J. Franck is director of the William E. and
Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon
Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. He’s also a visiting lecturer in
politics at Princeton. He is professor emeritus of political science at Radford
University where he taught from 1989 to 2010. You can read about Matt’s
publications. I’d like to point out one he collaborated with Tim Shah, editing
a volume that the two of them did on “Religious freedom: Why Now?
Defending an Embattled Human Right.” I’m particularly proud of this as one
of our projects of the RFRP and Matt did a superb editing job on this — so superb that we got it translated into
Spanish and we presented it to the aforementioned Pope Francis. And if
you’re interested in seeing a photo of that presentation I think Matt can
provide one. Robert Louis Wilken has been introduced
well by Tim; let me simply say that Tim called him the patron saint of our work and
I think that’s that’s exactly right, especially if you’re Catholic, but even
if you aren’t you know what we mean. Let me just say two things about Robert. His
chairmanship of the board that publishes the magazine First Things has been superb,
and if you’re not aware of that magazine I highly recommended it. It’s
basically a magazine monthly on religion and public life, very much in the same
way that the Berkley Center focuses on these issues, and it is just coming out
in a purely digital form. I must tell you that I have copies of this magazine
going back to the early 1990s and my wife keeps bugging me about getting rid
of them but there’s something about having that thing in your hand.
I can see blank stares among the young people here — why would you want to do
that? The second thing I want to tell you that was my favorite of his many, many
wonderful works is the “Spirit of Early Christian Thought,” which I highly
recommend to you. It is an excellent introduction among other things to our
topic today, so let’s get to it. You just heard a characteristic tour-de-force
from Robert Wilken and he laid out two remarkable arguments. I asked Matt and Melissa to comment on this
and then it will turn to Robert. The first argument is that the deepest roots of
the idea of religious freedom are not modern or Protestant but rather biblical
and patristic, or if you like Catholic. And that was somewhat
implicit in his argument, and he brought that out through this wonderful
discussion of Caritas Pirckheimer and the Sisters of St. Clare. It was the
relationship between Clare and of course Francis that we’re talking
about. That was the way that his lecture brought out some of the
pre-Reformation ideas, but to be completely fair he argued that the
Reformation created a new social and religious opportunity for the
development and consolidation of religious freedom. So I would add that in his
chapter for the book which we have for you today he observed that the Reformation also spawned
Protestant groups, above all the Anabaptists, who from their own experience
of oppression became what he called energetic exponents of religious freedom
and a sharper distinction between church and state, which he talked about in his
lectures. Let’s hear from perhaps Melissa first and
then from you Matt. Any general reflections you might have on anything
that Robert had to say but particularly this creative tension, if
you would. Well, thank you Tom and thank you professor. I just want to congratulate Tom and Tim and Allen and all the authors
they are here. If you haven’t had the chance to read this book you
are really going to enjoy it and it’s going to be on everyone’s bookshelf for
years in helping us understand the emergence and the growth of religious
freedom and the Christian roots of religious freedom, which are so important
to understand. I I just want to thank everybody for their collaboration in
this very important endeavor. Professor Wilken, I enjoyed your
lecture so much and as a Baptist I thank you for paying a close attention to
Baptist contributions to religious freedom. As you well know we were often
viewed as a despised minority in various places for our departure from
from other Christian thinking and I was very struck by the way in which the need to recognize voluntary societies, as you put
it, changed the calculus of religious freedom. And he so well explains in I
think the book and the lecture Roger Williams’ contribution to the idea of
voluntary associations, and so I wanted to say just another word about this idea
of volunteerism in Baptist thought which plays such a crucial role not just in
the formation of associations but of course in the formation of faith
commitments. And as I’m sure you know Roger Williams’ thought was echoed by
other Baptist preachers through the years including during the American
founding era. We have Massachusetts Baptist preacher Isaac Backus saying in
1724 that true religion is a voluntary obedience to God. Then many years later we have George Truitt in 1920 saying God
wants free worshipers and no other kind. So this idea of volunteerism plays a key
role in ensuring that we have communities that are able to meet and to
draw people voluntarily to the worship of God, so in that respect it embodies
and furthers the free exercise principle but also as you note it is very
important in terms of the disestablishment of religion and
Baptists played a key role here in saying that if the state is forcing
religion on its citizens, any religion including a religion that Baptists
perhaps would agree with, gets in the way of people forming voluntary
commitments to God because it seems to coerce and has people perhaps enunciating
beliefs that they do not truly share as a matter of conviction, and that not only
is a problem for faith generally — it actually is corrupting not only the faith that’s not established by the government
but also the faith that is established by the government. It becomes
corrupted by forced worship of that faith, so you know this becomes a very central principle in Baptist thought.
I believe also in furthering religious freedom. Then the the next statement that
Professor Wilken makes is that this voluntary society idea changed the
calculus of religious freedom, and then he says political and religious leaders
had to make space for the public exercise of different forms of
Christianity within a society historically united by one religion. And
one of the interesting things here for me is noting that it is essential that
we remove the chokehold of the state on religion to further religious freedom,
but that does not mean that religion is banished from the public square.
Sometimes today disestablishment is misunderstood I would say as a demand
that religion be removed from the public square; that’s not what disestablishment
means. Properly understood, it means that the state no longer monopolizes the
public square for whatever faith it favors and it stands back from matters
of conscience, but it also allows permits faiths of all kinds to exist in the public
square, to make their case, to worship, to expound on their beliefs, and to be
active on public issues and matters of civic importance. So i just wanted to
mention that as something that i think is a very key
element of understanding religious freedom and I’m so glad that you made the point
that disestablishment and the free exercise of faith is not something that
requires a removal of faith from the public square. Quite the opposite — it
frees up all faiths to be active in the public square and it ensures
the state is not coercing faith, that faith can be vital and active and
authentic in the public square. Now I want to echo Melissa’s thanks to Robert
for a really splendid lecture and thank Tom Farr and Tim Shah and the rest of my
friends here at Georgetown for inviting me to join them today. I was very
proud to be on the steering committee of the Christianity and Freedom project
that resulted in the two volumes that we’re celebrating today in their
paperback publication. They’re affordable and I do hope that everyone will
add them to their shelves. I contributed one chapter and I find all
the others extremely rich resources for my own education, and yes, while I was
not in the picture I do have a picture of Tom and Tim presenting
our monograph on religious freedom to the Holy Father four years ago.
Robert’s lecture this morning made me think that
in a way there have been three waves of scholarship on
religious freedom, and his talk represents the third and I think most
important wave of them. The first wave of scholarship or thinking on religious
freedom among modern scholars it still has legs still has a remarkable
durability is a story that religious freedom is primarily a product of
secular modernity, that disestablishment of churches,
separation of church and state, and freedom of religion and freedom of worship
are the legacy of secular thinkers like Spinoza and Locke reacting against
various forms of oppressive Christianity, of Erastianism or what have you, and
that of course just doesn’t survive the
examination of great Reformation thinkers in American and Great Britain,
great awakening thinkers such as Backus and such as Williams. So that’s the
second wave, to attribute doctrines and concepts of religious freedom
chiefly to the Reformation. And so Luther’s “Here I stand” is often regarded
as the pivotal moment in 1517,
but Robert reminds us — and now I come to the third wave and I think now
we’re getting a more complete story — it’s not that secular thinkers have made no single contribution, that
the rational and enlightened thinkers made no contribution. Of course they did. Neither is it the case that Protestant reformers made no single contribution to
religious freedom. But as Robert shows us the argument for religious freedom is
first generated within and from the most basic resources of Christianity itself,
from scripture and from traditional doctrines on the conscience. And this
actually makes me think of something else in revisionist history
that’s been very useful for me lately in the work of people like Larry Siedentop and his marvelous book “Inventing the Individual,” which relies in turn on the
scholarship of people like Harold Berman and Brian Tierney
and others that the argument for individual freedom
more generally is not distinctively modern; it’s not dependent on some break
as my Straussian teachers taught me between the moderns and the ancients
or between modernity and classical or Christian thought, but that individual
freedom too has Christian roots. This is a major theme of volume one of the
Christianity and Freedom collection, which I hope you’ll all acquire if you
haven’t already. The Reformation and the conflicts that it generated are indeed a
watershed moment, and I think that the church with a small “c” as a voluntary
association does seem new at this time, but I want to caution us not to overdo
the emphasis on volunteerism in relation to conscience because if it means
individuals may go where they will to worship — and it certainly does mean that —
that’s fine, but why do they go? The answer is not altogether by their will —
that is not really by their choosing — they go under compulsion. Conscience is a
form of compulsion. When Luther says “Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise,” he’s not
willing some sort of choice rooted only in himself on which he stands. He’s
declaring his obedience to God, to a higher authority to whom or to which
he answers. And so the church as a voluntary association should be
understood as a collection of persons worshiping together because something
compelled them to join one another in fraternal love and in love of the
Lord. So they are there under compulsion of God’s will, as they understand it. And
that understanding of conscience is so old it appears prominently in chapter
five of the Acts of the Apostles when Peter and the others say we must obey
God rather than men. Let me take this story forward just a little
bit into a figure whose something of a bridge to more rational enlightenment
thought — the early Scottish enlightenment thinker Francis Hutchinson. You’re all familiar with the
the language of the American Declaration of Independence, I trust, that says that
we’re created equal and endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights.
Now where does that word “unalienable” come from? Interestingly enough the marginal notation “rights not alienable” appears in
Hobbes’ Leviathan in the chapter on the state of nature, but
Hobbes doesn’t really develop that thought. It’s literally in the
margin and not in the text. And he doesn’t really elaborate what he means
by not alienable, but Hutchinson does. Hutchinson gives us perhaps the earliest elaboration or elaborate meditation on
what it means for rights to be unalienable and the first of those
rights is religious conscience. For Hutchinson the whole edifice of
unalienable rights, rights that the individual cannot part with because
they’re not his to give to anyone else, can’t be taken and can’t be given — that whole
edifice of unalienable rights is built by Hutchinson on the basis of the first
unalienable right as the right of conscience. And
its deep roots are in the notion that our religious belief and
faith are not altogether matters of our subjective will but of a life under
compulsion to obey God as we understand him as best we can. So with that
bit of filigree on Robert’s marvelous lecture I’ll just stop there. If I
could just reframe this interesting question that’s been raised by both
Melissa and Matt — reframe it slightly as you say in your lecture Robert, one of
the major contributions of the Reformation is this notion of voluntary
association, but Matt makes and Melissa emphasizes quite rightly the
individual nature of the conscience, the response of the individual to the call
of the conscience. I think all of us can see the the personal, intimate part
of that formulation, but Matt makes the point that the church’s voluntary
association also includes people that voluntarily are jointly under compulsion.
One follows one’s conscience because one is obligated, one feels the obligation to
something beyond one’s will. So talk about this — is this a distinction without
a difference or is this a very real difference between an earlier
understanding of church and the Reformation understanding of church and
of conscience? Well I would say I got a little bit uneasy when you started using
the word volunteerism. I think about associations that you choose to belong
to as voluntary associations, but I’m sympathetic to what Matt
has to say and the way I would answer it is simply that the term conscience
comes from the Latin sciencia (knowledge) It’s “knowledge with,” and in
its original use which you you get in Romans 2 — the passage of Paul about the
conscience bearing witness — and in Greek and Latin writers — Seneca would be a good
example of this — it means that there are things that you know that your
conscience bears witness to and other people would be able to see those. And so a
good conscience is one you don’t have to worry about because people recognized they were
good and if they were not good — because you’re the only one that knows it
perhaps but it’s something that bothers you. So I think one has to begin with the
notion that conscience is a form of knowledge, it’s a fundamental
understanding, and the first treatise that was written on this was by Tertullian, the Testimony of the Soul. And
so for him it’s basically the soul’s knowledge and he uses the term in one of
his apologetic writings to say why it is that the the confessors as Christian
confessors could stand up. It was because of their conscience — that wasn’t some
principle or idea — but it was because of their knowledge, and it’s a knowledge of
course of God. I try to be careful when I publish anything here. I just don’t want to let
conscience get unhinged from knowledge. And what is the knowledge: It’s the
knowledge that one receives through the faith, through the tradition, through the
scriptures, through one’s formation, and so it’s not something that
stands by itself. And that’s why the instance of the sisters is so
important, and of course for Luther. And that’s certainly the way it was used in
medieval times as far as the Baptist’s are concerned. They are major
players — there’s no question about this — but I don’t think that in the end
it’s Roger Williams, or the other big name is Thomas Helwys, and there are others like
John Merton, Busher, there’s a whole string of them. I’ve got a little chapter
on that and what they’re really concerned about is the freedom of
these communities. Now someone might come along and say well you know they’re just
deciding what they want to believe on the basis of the Bible. Well not really;
they believe that they are obligated to certain things which they consider to be
the deepest roots of the Christian faith and for the Baptists this is so important. The most extraordinary thing is that Locke — I mean, you could almost
read him in the same way in which you read Helwys or Sir Roger Williams — the
voluntary association, no national church, faith is something that’s an
inner persuasion — you go right down the line and I don’t understand what
people haven’t seen that in Locke. I mean you just can’t read him in any other way,
and the difference between Locke and others – the big figure who’s a
contemporary of Locke is John Owen, he was sympathetic to the separation — is that
Locke is a philosopher. He does not quote Christian
authorities except a few passages from the Bible whereas everybody else does,
including the Baptists (at least the separatists). So I don’t want to go the volunteerism
problem, the way you were just talking about. I want to talk about violence or societies, but I’m much more in sympathy with Matthew’s way
of putting it because I think that goes back to whole question about
the free will. I guess having been raised a Lutheran I always get a little
bit nervous when people start emphasizing. Melissa, clarify if you can —
are we really arguing about something important? I think we’re arguing about something
important but not necessarily something that is important for us to pursue
religious freedom together cooperatively. Clarify if you will
for us the distinction between your understanding of individual conscience
and this more collective response to an obligation — if there is a distinction. There are differences among Christians and Baptists and others about
the principle of how one responds to God and whether one responds to God, you know,
individually or by in some more corporate fashion in the body of
believers. And I’m not a Baptist theologian so I’d rather not, you know, get
into the fine details of that, but the
important point I was trying to make is that this state needs to allow
for those differences and we can altogether respect the differences that
are within our denomination and between our denominations
and otherwise — beyond Christianity of course — for other faiths and people of no
faith, while respecting that the state should not be coercing or pressuring
people along these religious lines. It should be
allowing of course voluntary societies to be meeting in the public square and
to the extent there are theological differences about conscience and how we
respond to God I think there are some — and there were then and continue to
be — that we insist that the state does not have the right to meddle in those
matters and instead should leave them to religious individuals and communities
themselves. Okay so that’s the point. That’s a very good point and I want
to come back to that in a bit, but maybe I could turn to Matt and ask whether the Reformation was about individual conscience as
opposed to something genuinely new and if not a rejection then
at least a movement away from a more corporate understanding — which is not
quite what you said but I’m trying to get your understanding of a
collectivity of people responding together to this sense. This is being
argued about today; this is being debated among historians and political
scientists and others with many vehicles to do it. One of them is the
American Founding some would argue, and a couple of books out on the Reformation — and I’ll ask both of you to respond to this too — they both happen to be Catholics, Brad Gregory at
Notre Dame and the other is Eamon Duffy at Oxford or Cambridge — then there is our former
colleague from Georgetown Patrick Deneen who talks about what he views as the defects
in the American founding. I don’t know Patrick but he attributes them to this
individualism. But let me just frame the question and ask you
to what extent does any distinction between individual
conscience and individualism as opposed to the collective conscience, ergo a
religious community, have importance to the modern era and if you like to the
American founding. Matt, you wrote a little bit about this in your chapter. Yes, there’s a lot there, Tom. I think it’s fairly well established by recent historians that
some of the most important arguments that feed into the stream of doctrines
of religious freedom in Christianity are first arguments about the freedom of
the church. So the papal revolution, the opening lines of Magna
Carta, these thirteenth-century events in the life of
Christendom about securing the spiritual powers independent of the temporal power are
part of the tale. Now, how that transforms in time into notions of
individual freedom rather than the freedom of the church is a rich and
complicated story. I referenced Larry Siedentop’s book a little while ago and I
I do commend it to everyone; he speaks of some of the important developments in
canon law and the title of that book, “Inventing the Individual,” came out about three or four years ago from Oxford. Now as for as for the Brad Gregory thesis, I’ve not
read the “Unintended Reformation” and I do understand that the Carlos Ayer’s book is
is must reading although when I recently got my copy from Amazon I needed a hand
truck to get it up the stairs to my office; it’s a big book, it’s a
doorstop. Recently at Baylor University my friend Carl Trueman who’s a professor of church history at
the Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, he’s Presbyterian, pushed
back on the Gregory thesis, which he also associated with Ayer — not the book but an earlier article or chapter Ayer had written somewhere, he saw
a troika of thinkers (Charles Taylor, Brad Gregory, and Carlos Ayer) as
advancing severaly and jointly the thesis that the Reformation is to blame
for all the modernity’s ills because it breaks up Christendom, it disenchanted
the world, it partakes of philosophical errors traceable to SCOTUS and Ockham. People ceased to pray for the dead and and seek the
intervention of the dead and the saints. Carl pushes back on it
very hard in this recent lecture he gave at a Reformation-commemorating event at
Baylor suggesting that material factors at work from the sixteenth century onward may explain as much as the the Lutheran Reformation
does. In one part of his lecture which I hope he’ll publish soon — he shared the
text of it with me just the other day — Carl engages in the thought
experiment of “what if not Luther?” If Luther hadn’t happened what else
would have happened anyway? Well, there had already been the crisis in the
Church of rival popes that had to be settled by a council. There are you know
some questions of papal authority already in the air in this period. Luther
is not creating a crisis of authority but responding to it, so that crisis is
there. And then the literacy revolution — we all know that Luther
took advantage of Gutenberg’s new press translating the Bible into German,
sending his tracks all over Europe, the the Protestant Reformation became famous
for its advocacy of scripture reading by every layperson and so encouraged
literacy. But as Carl says and I think he’s right,
literacy would have happened anyway and individual literate readers of the
Bible would have felt impelled, once it became available
to them, to precipitate their own crisis of authority in any event. Finally
you know Carl says that religious choice is perhaps the most
important factor in the life of Christians that generates
effective protections of religious liberty.
So yes the the Reformation divided Christendom and every community came to
have its own version of Christianity, but if you lived in that community and you
were unable to depart from it you didn’t have
much religious freedom. As Robert’s lecture noted, the Calvinists were
oppressing Catholics in the north of the Netherlands and the Catholics were
oppressing the Protestants in the south of the Netherlands and so on. Well, so
what was the big change that made the practical effectuation of the
religious liberty many people were already arguing for a reality or a real
possibility? It was, he says, the colonization of North America
and the ability here on this side of the Atlantic for, in a new society, for people
to really exercise religious choice. As we know, as Baptist
history in Virginia tells us, even that was imperfectly realized for a very long
time but it was here in the United States — as Tocqueville
observed in the 1830s — that people were able to combine the spirit of liberty
and the spirit of religion successfully. Okay, well I’d like you both to respond
to Matt if you’d like it, but I’m sensing too much agreement here and I don’t like
it. I think Trueman really is on to a much more credible story. I think that my Gregory account
is much too intellectual. You didn’t present it that way but I do think that
the profound social disruption that came with the creation of voluntary
associations had unimaginable consequences all across Europe because
there was nothing anything like that before. You know it kind of was moved out
or was crushed. But they were enduring so it changed the whole
complexity of people’s religious life The story I ran across in the reading where a priest is carrying the Blessed Sacrament through the city
streets to someone who is dying and some of the neighbors do not kneel as its
carried by and they rough them up because they’re not showing the proper
kind of reverence and so you multiply this — you know thousands upon thousands
of times that people are doing something different religiously not as individuals
but as communities. And you know from the Baptists in England the issue always
was do you have to follow the Book of Common Prayer? Can you write your own
prayers? The question was whether you wear surpluses or not — I mean these are
all the kinds of things… In some ways the American discussion is
almost a new discussion. I’m a student
of history of ideas in history and theology and so forth, but I do think
that these social disruptions made everybody have to think differently. Well,
let me just say Brad Gregory has been here on this stage with us and his
work is — I’m sure you would agree, and even if you disagree it is very rich and
I highly recommend it, but also his new book on
Luther. It’s a complex argument, but the thing I was trying to
hone in on, and so far I have not succeeded, is that he argues that one of
the unintended effects of the Reformation is to separate religion from
public life. He doesn’t go this far but to to lay bare a or at least
prepare the ground for one of our modern disagreements within the United States
or at least something we think we disagree over, and that is
does religious freedom mean the freedom to worship primarily if not exclusively,
or to come back to something that Melissa was talking about, the freedom to
act publicly with respect to religion and connected to that does the American
founding — I don’t mean this in a legal sense — but did the founders and the
First Amendment intend to protect individual religious freedom (clearly
they did) or also the religious freedom of communities as being full and equal
not only in their private worship but in public life. I think to me that is
one of the more interesting arguments of Brad Gregory. So Melissa? So much
here to look at but to your point Tom I think that sometimes
disestablishment as I said and the No Establishment Clause of
the First Amendment is improperly understood to be a demand for excluding
religion from public life. I think that if you look at the Supreme Court’s case
law just to take it forward and into the United States, there all kinds of ways in
which the court has made clear that people are and religious freedom
protects the right of students to express their religion in public
schools, of groups to protest and be active on public issues from a religious
point of view. So I think that’s a misunderstanding, something that we have
to work against because it can be very prevalent and some people do
hold that view that disestablishment means no public role for religion. I
think that’s a misunderstanding in terms of the freedom of worship idea; I mean
certainly religious freedom should never be reduced to the freedom of worship. It
is much broader than that. The Free Exercise Clause talks about exercise, and
we exercise faith in innumerable ways in our lives everyday not limited to what
we do in a house of worship and I think that’s always been
pretty well understood. I don’t know so much that our argument today is about
whether some people want to limit the religious freedom to
freedom of worship. There may be some but I think that they are more outliers. It’s
more about you know how do we balance the claims of religious
freedom against competing claims for other human rights? How do we
balance those things out? And so I find sometimes that the the the discussion of
well it’s freedom of worship — and some people are trying to reduce it to
freedom of worship as a kind of distraction, because it gets us away from
the very specific debates that we’re having about, for example, conditions that
follow government funding and things of this nature that I think are very
important debates. They just are not well described by talking about
a debate about freedom of worship versus freedom of religion. Just one historical note. The term “freedom of
worship” as far as I have discovered was used first by the Dutch, and they were
talking about free exercise — so it has a completely different meaning
than the modern use of the term. Just as a historical footnote. Franklin
Roosevelt’s “four freedoms” — one of them was freedom to worship, but
we don’t think he simply meant private freedom. You’ll find almost in every president’s
rhetoric freedom of worship because you’ll find that those
speech writers like to be able to vary the wording. So you know they’ll go
from freedom of religion and put in a freedom of worship and you’ll see that
across presidents. Well, there are some who would like to privatize religion. We’ll have have to talk about that, yeah. But what we
see that’s troubling to me is that we see sometimes partisans choosing that
freedom of worship for one president that they don’t like his rhetoric and
saying this is trying to reduce it to freedom of
worship, and then ignoring references of freedom of worship in FDR’s rhetoric.
Partisans in America? Shocking I know. Matt, what do you have to say? Tom I you know
I’ve already confessed to not having read Brad Gregory’s Unintended
Reformation yet it’s on a list as long as my arm of many books I must
read, but if it is his view that the Reformation is a kind of mono
causal matter — it’s an unintended effect because I
think I think that the Protestant Reformation is a necessary but
not sufficient condition for the privatization of religion or the
secularization of society, stripping the public square naked. And
you have to add, I think, this distinctly non-Christian element to the
equation to reach sufficient conditions for it. You have to entertain theses that simply collapse morality or moral claims
and is sectarianism. You have to have an account of reason and
faith as somehow opposed to one another or science and religion as opposed to
one another. There’s a host of other things that have to come in to the
mix I think to get to the problems that Father Neuhaus memorably described 30
years ago in the naked public square over and above any contribution the Reformation might have contributed to. Okay, so
again I sense we’re perilously close to agreeing on
the role of conscience so I think we’re all in agreement that the Protestant Reformation contributed a different
understanding of conscience. I don’t think I said that. Talk to us about the kind of conscience — well what I’m saying is
the reason I put Luther right next to Pirckheimer, I mean they are
representing the same understanding of conscience and that goes through all the
writers right on up to John Locke: that is conscience is knowledge that one
has — and they’re talking about Christians here — has about God, about
dearest confessions of faith we have, that bears with it an obligation to act. It is not an individual matter, it’s a communal matter. Now clearly it becomes
that, but I don’t think that’s at all present in these early writers and it’s
very clear that what we’re talking about is the
public practice of religious community because the issue was they were supposed
to be following the Book of Common Prayer and he doesn’t really use the
term conscience that much. The more important writer was John Owen there. So it’s tied to faith that is rooted in tradition; the
tradition might be relatively recent if you’re talking about a certain Baptist but I think it’s a knowledge of God that one gets through
the community of faith. I believe you said that the modern concept or modern concepts of conscience are deformed. No I don’t think I said that. When I was a graduate instructor I
always told my graduate students when you give a lecture in public,
talk about what you know and don’t talk about what you read somewhere in some
modern scholar. So I don’t really have an answer to that. Clearly you are not trained as an
American diplomat as I am. Which is to say I can speak at length
about things I don’t really know. What I do want to say though, and this goes back to the question of the
public nature of religion, I think up until at least the eighteenth century — Locke would be included in that — I think that there is no other religion except public
practice of religion. That’s all there is and that’s what the issue was. Perhaps it’s time to turn to the audience and see if there is a controversy to be had. Let me just see if
I can sum up though a little bit about what we’ve been talking about and I
believe we have a microphone so if you’ll raise your hand if you’d like to
ask a question or make a comment the guys with the mics can find you. We’re
talking about the religious roots within Christianity of the modern
understanding of religious freedom and there’s several themes here: Does
religious freedom mean primarily the freedom of individuals or does it mean
in addition to that the freedom of religious communities? And if so what is
the grounding of that? What does this freedom of conscience mean? Robert has
argued that you have this Catholic nun and Martin Luther in a sense agreeing
about the ground upon — not in a sense, they did agree — … I like that; in fact it wasn’t
Martin Luther that said “Here I Stand,” it was a Franciscan nun. Yet we
have clearly between the Catholics and the Baptists a different way of
articulating what freedom of conscience means and we heard it in the way that
Melissa talked about it. We heard of the way the Matt talked. One is a very
individualistic and is the individual responding to God, so it isn’t
simply an act of the will in and of itself, but there is a more
corporate understanding as reflected in Matt’s understanding and articulation. Let me just try to find one point on that. What Pirckheimer said and what Luther said… in your book Ian Levy gives examples of medieval thinkers, monks who did exactly the same
thing. They said, “I, unless I am shown on the basis of the Word of God and then
the tradition in the church that this is false doctrine, I stand on my conscience.”
So that’s sort of what there is. Anyway I just didn’t realize I would be arguing this point and I was a little bit repentant actually coming
here today and beating up on those poor Lutheran magistrates in
in Nuremberg you know but yes… Well Melissa’s prepared to beat up on
those Lutheran magistrates, too. I mean I think that’s her
point is that it’s the coercion, yes, that we all are in agreement on; it’s simply
unacceptable, including in American society. Right and I like parking the theological differences for the most part but I think that the
Baptist belief is significantly different in terms of you know we
have the concept of the priesthood of the believer so that obviously creates a different approach than other traditions but going back to
what unites us, it’s not having state coercion or interference with whatever
understanding we have individually or corporately of religion and our duty of
conscience. Indeed which is why you have Baptists and Catholics and everyone
in between working arm and arm of course to defend religious freedom both here
and I might say abroad so hopefully we don’t get more Nurembergs. Yeah or more early American founding persecution of various faiths that
departed from the establishment. Okay I saw somebody over here with their
hand up; if you would identify yourself and if you have a particular person
you’d like to direct your question at or the entire group that’ll be great. Thank you so
much for the awesome conference. I’m Alex Centric coming from Washington Adventist
University, the chair of the religion department and professor of ethics and
philosophy. I have two questions for Melissa. You mentioned that the state provides the space for differences, that the state needs to provide a space for freedom of conscience. Now in
regard to definition of conscience, what is a conscience? If it’s a legal
principle that’s okay but if it’s a knowledge — as Professor Wilken
suggests it is — does the state need to control people’s religious
knowledge and how they acquire knowledge, maybe controlling the dynamics of some
communities that need to express their conscience in a public square? As we know
the state is based on an enlightenment worldview and it’s very naive to believe
that the state is neutral and they don’t have this religious aspect of the
conscience in a Christian sense of the word. The second question is does the
state only passively recognize the natural right of the conscience or does it
provide sometimes the gentle push toward the responsible use of
freedom in the public square, like examples of restricting human sacrifices on
Halloween day or the persecution of Mormons who wanted just to materialize the American
dream spiritually. Thank you so much. I’m afraid that because my
training is as a lawyer I can’t respond to all the nuances that you raise —
perhaps others can — but I think you know the state’s goal properly understood and
carried out is to respect the religious beliefs or lack of religious belief on
behalf of all citizens and individuals and institutions, to stand back from that
to ensure both by not establishing religion and not interfering with its
free exercise that these matters are left to individuals and institutions to
determine. Does the state do that perfectly? No, and that’s why we have lots
of checks and balances. We have activism a lot of people in this
room work together for the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
partially for this reason because we felt like the Supreme Court was not
paying enough attention, giving enough deference. Would you say another word
about the RFRA, for those that don’t know? So in 1990 to make a very long story
short the Supreme Court, in a divided opinion written by Justice Scalia, held that if a law is neutral — meaning it
doesn’t target religion and is generally applicable, meaning it basically applies
to everyone, then it doesn’t matter if it burdens religion, it doesn’t matter how
much it would burden religion, it just isn’t a free exercise problem. You don’t
have a free exercise claim under the First Amendment. And that had not by and
large been the understanding of the court running up to 1990. So a great
coalition of people ranging from right to left came together to pass and enact
with the help of President Clinton and Congress
the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that essentially placed a
standard into statutory law. What had previously been the
constitutional standard — which was if the state substantially burdens religious
exercise then it has to show a narrowly tailored compelling interest for doing
so or else it can’t justify the burden that it placed on religion and it must
lift that burden. So that was just to say that there’s a
lot of course correction, there’s a need to be vigilant by everyone and a need to
do course corrections when there’s insufficient attention and protection
for the free exercise of religion. Could I just follow on? We’ve got others and I want you to we have plenty of time so please hold your question but just to
follow on to what you just said Melissa… 25 years ago (when RFRA was passed) it was almost
unanimous. There are a couple of people that voted against it, but President Clinton
signed it and gave a very strong signing statement as I recall and among others
Senator Edward Kennedy was very much in favor of it and and delivered a rousing
defense of it. And yet today it probably wouldn’t pass, and we’ve seen versions of
it at the state level that have not passed or have either passed and
been sort of changed because of outcry against it. Get as far as you would like into the issues involved, it’s clear that something
has changed in our embrace of the principles that you described as being
in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Can we blame that on Martin Luther? That’s not the way to put it, but is there a logic at all that flows from the individualism of the
Reformation but even better or perhaps more relevant how would you account for
this rather important change that you couldn’t pass the same law 25 years
later? I think that there have been changes but some of them
relate to a new — well I can’t say new — but I would say something that’s more
prevalent in our discussions today than it had been in the past and that relates
to for-profit corporations and whether they appropriately can exercise faith
which is not something that — historians correct me — but you
know it’s not something that was foregrounded I don’t think in these
early discussions or history. So that has been a flashpoint. That’s the Hobby Lobby case. Right and then going beyond Hobby Lobby,
should generally for-profit including Fortune 500 companies be able
to express a religious objection? So I think that you know
it’s a complicated matter; there is a more
committed understanding of religious freedom. Sometimes it emanates from some
who want to say, well if there are other competing human rights claims then
religious freedom must lose and that’s a trump card and people
can be very dismissive of religious freedom when there are competing human
rights claims and I think that’s wrong. I think it’s wrong to be dismissive of the
competing claim and wrong to be dismissive of religious freedom, and
better yet to try to work your way through recognizing the important claims
on both sides. I’m sorry that wasn’t a terribly coherent answer to
what you just asked but I think it’s very complicated and there are lots of
difficult answers to the question you raised. Probably good for its own panel
discussion. It’s a good idea. Matt, anything you’d like to add? I think we can go to another question. Good morning I’m
Christopher Gray, I’d like to ask two related questions. The first question I’d
like you all to answer: don’t you think
you’re being hagiographic in your discussion of John Locke? You have yet to
mention that Locke didn’t think religious toleration should be permitted
to either Catholics or atheists and you don’t mention that Locke was a
bloodthirsty would-be regicide who was working eagerly along with his
patron Lord Shaftesbury to murder Charles II to prevent the Catholics
from seizing control of the four kingdoms. The second question is
addressed to Ms. Rogers: Yes there are great benefits to religious freedom but
what about the dark history? I spent part of my life in Kentucky which is where
Baptists are a despised and resented majority and I’m a Catholic. Reinhold
Niebuhr backed me up on this. Baptists fought harder to preserve racial
segregation there than any other denomination in American society, whereas even
Reinhold Niebuhr, who disliked Catholics, had to admire the way Cardinal
Ritter in 1947, Cardinal O’Boyle here in D.C. in 1948, and Cardinal Doherty in
Philadelphia in the 1920s in effect instituted religious integration within
their archdioceses. Well given what I
thought of John Locke before I read him on the basis of what my friends always
told me — I mean to be hagiographical about Locke is a step forward. Look, there have been a lot of bad people in
the course of this history. I mean they were killing one another left and right
and every side. I don’t see how you can talk about someone who is part
of this history who makes an intellectual contribution in terms of some of the bad
things he might have said. Of course he said them about the Catholics. But he said
other things that were profoundly important and had a deep influence on
American founders. So what am I gonna do, just kind of have a footnote here and
say well you got to remember this? You know maybe that will make me think
differently about what he says? No, you have to take what he says and and accept
it as it is. And the question of the killing of the king, well, there were very
good reasons why they wanted to kill the king. And then of course
there was an interim and they put the king back in. So who are
the good guys and who are the bad guys here? I’m going to chime in, you know
there are warring schools of thought on the
interpretation of Locke and there are some who see him as
essentially secular, rational, Enlightenment thinker and then
there’s the Cambridge school that you know reads him very differently.
Jeremy Waldron reads him very differently. Eva Brann at St. John’s
College in Annapolis regards Locke’s argument as essentially
Christian — same with Madison’s argument in the Memorial and Remonstrance. But
it’s maybe useful to recall the reason why Locke gives them
the Letter Concerning Toleration, why toleration should not be extended to
atheists and Catholics. To atheists it should not be extended he says because
they cannot take an oath exactly, and civil order depends on being able to
trust in men’s oaths and atheists cannot swear an oath. Catholics on the other
hand cannot be trusted because of their presumptive allegiance to a foreign
prince — he means the Holy Father, the Pope in Rome. As for the the Glorious Revolution, which Locke celebrates in the preface to
the two treatises which he’d actually written far earlier and publishes the two treatises anonymously, he
celebrates the arrival of William and Mary in the Glorious Revolution.
Well Locke is a partisan of Englishmen’s freedom,
and he regarded Englishmen’s freedom as under threat under the rule of James II
and particularly with that papist king the threat of subordination of English
liberties to to the Catholic French King. So there’s all sorts of international
dimensions and political dimensions to Locke’s qualifications on religious freedom and his advocacy of revolution. But I agree
with Robert, there’s no question that Locke’s espousal of toleration and religious liberty is a step forward in the right direction. Allow me to
say that we Baptists have much to apologize for, including
ugly sentiments of anti-Catholicism through history. We have been repenting for and hopefully will continue to repent
for and make good on our relationships with Catholics, and also yes for
racial segregation. There’s some ugly history there that I fully understand
and deeply regret. I think that Baptists have tried to repent of
that history as well. I’ll note that in addition to many statements by
Baptists of all kinds, the Southern Baptist Convention this summer made a
statement against white supremacy and and we’re active in the debate in some of the protests and the white supremacist rallies that happened
even this past weekend I believe in Tennessee. So for our sins we
repent and continue to seek to do better in terms of respecting and honoring
people of all races and all faiths and respecting the human dignity of
everyone. I just want Baptist defenders of
religious freedom to recognize that embedded within the principle of freedom
is the freedom to do wrong, to do evil. That’s all, just a frank recognition of
that. Gunnar Myrdal pointed out in his book on race and 1942 that it was a tragedy the U.S. did not
have a national church because he thought that would have ended racial
segregation a lot sooner. And that’s something critics of the confessional
stage should keep in mind. Thank you. Thank you for a fascinating
conference so far. My name is Allison McKinney Tim and I’m a human rights
practitioner approaching my work from a Christian worldview so I’m very eager to
discover and lift up consonants between Christian thought and modern
understandings of human rights. In that vein I really thank you and welcome
the thoughts being shared at this forum. My question though is if we’re thinking
about Protestant and Catholic contributions to freedom of conscience, should we also be thinking about the broader record of Christian
institutions and leadership on issues of religious freedom? Ms. Rogers just
began to start to get at these issues of repentance and and you mentioned kind of
the record in North America of not allowing religious freedom for
non-Christian religions, but if we broaden the scope even further and think
about the Christian record in those parts of our history that are most
painful to remember — the Crusades the Spanish Inquisition, colonial missionizing, and the murder and enslavement that went with that — then what does that
add to this conversation? I take it that it goes beyond saying we
failed to live up to our ideals, we failed in practice to do that which we
believed. We failed to respect the freedom of conscience that we believed in, but I
take it that there were also theologies and arguments that supported those bad practices that we would now want to
disown and distance ourselves from. And so we might say Christianity gave us
freedom of conscience but might it have given us something else? And then how
does that help us think about the kind of confluence of Christian thought and
rational enlightenment leading us to the place we are now on religious freedom? Thank you for that question. I’ll maybe start with Robert and ask him to respond
first and then go down, and Matt this might be an opportunity if you were to
talk a little bit about your the chapter in Christianity and Freedom. I’d like to just say though as I mentioned briefly in my
introduction that we do in our volumes — particularly our historical volume one in the Christianity and Freedom series — deal I think very
honestly with the issue that you just raised. I mentioned noble and not so
noble historical underpinnings of Christian contributions to freedom or
otherwise, so I don’t want you to think we are running away from this and in
fact let’s chat a little bit about it now. I have nothing in
particular to say except that what you really raised was a question about how
eventually things get thought in a new way and the Christian Church and its
intellectual life is constantly looking critically at its history and its
beliefs and asking what went wrong and how can that be corrected. But that’s
that’s what people like myself and millions or thousands of other people do,
but there is no simple solution. You don’t have to be a member of any
Christian communion whether it be a local church
or a diocese or whatever to realize that there are a lot of evil things that
go on in the church and evil people. I’ve been reading a history of Russian tsardom. I mean, come on. You can
talk all you want about it and I love the Orthodox Church but when you read the
history it’s all about power and politics when you’re talking at the top,
and that’s part of what Christianity has been. I don’t think there’s any solution —
that’s the job that we all are engaged in today. I want to echo that with a couple of observations. It
may sound odd to put it this way but given the fallen character of human
beings it may be that evil requires relatively little explanation — that is, sinfulness is just sown in our nature
and so violent oppression of others, depredations against others, enslavement, even genocides have been undertaken at
times in Christian history by people marching under a Christian banner.
No question. And yet what is interesting and maybe what we should
seek explanation for is what leads people to dissent from those actions? What leads people to cry out against them and
to criticize them? Time after time it’s people falling back on Christian
resources, Christian arguments. So Bartolome de las Casas raises the
early great objection to the
treatment of the Indians of Latin America. Jonathan Edwards advocates the
cause of the Indians of North America. The Quakers begin the abolitionist
movement in the American colonies; the abolitionist movement of the nineteenth
century is a distinctively Christian movement, and researching my chapter in
the Christianity and Freedom volume on the American founding I had to come to grips with the slavery problem; it’s just unavoidable.
And I came across this wonderful treatment by Eugene Genovese. He
and his wife Elisabeth Fox Genovese both sadly have left us and in one of their
several works together on slavery in the antebellum period they remarked that
throughout human history slavery had been practiced and accepted in every
culture and every civilization. What was new was opposition to slavery, and that
opposition welled up from wellsprings of Christian faith and belief. That’s their
explanation for the rise of anti-slavery impulses in American history. Kyle
Harper here wrote a book and showed that
the first principled, theological, philosophical argument against labor was
made by Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century. Read his book — he’s got so many he’s got a new one out. We will be discussing that here this
afternoon. There were a couple other question. But you have a
follow-up, yes ma’am quickly. I’ll make it brief. So I take all of those
points and wouldn’t disagree with any of those. De las Casas is a hero but his
career is ruined; he’s absolutely going against the authorities of the time. And
so understanding that we’re fallen and there is evil and that has been the
the premise of our meeting today…that there have been these significant
Christian contributions to freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, but there
have also been other strands in our history and so in some sense I think
there’s a an implicit kind of ethical judgment we’re making, that this is the
history we want to celebrate and lift up. And I would just encourage a
consciousness of that. Remember that the great event and symbol
of Christianity is the cross. You can’t ever forget that. We are not a religion of triumph except through suffering and death. Well said. My name is Anna Sineva,
I work at the national affairs office of the Church of Scientology in Washington
D.C. My question is mostly for Melissa but I
will appreciate thoughts from any other speaker that would wish to contribute.
Melissa I just wanted to follow up or piggyback on something you said a few
minutes earlier when you spoke about the controversial topic of free exercise
in the for-profit world. I totally agree that this is a really long
conversation that could be had and probably not even for one panel, because
the Supreme Court is trying to navigate this field for a long time now. But I
wanted to touch upon the nonprofit field rather than for-profit, especially in the
modern society where a lot of religious groups choose to take a sector of
society and try to engage in social betterment activities. Yesterday I
attended a panel discussion elsewhere in D.C. at a foundation that identifies as
very progressive and they seemed to make a lot of arguments, the upshot of which
I would summarize as: If a religion is unwilling or unable to cater to
anybody and everybody they should keep out of social betterment altogether. And
they were giving an example of a hospital that wouldn’t perform abortion
services. I am thinking of maybe a drug rehab that doesn’t take anybody and
everybody but tries to take some. What are your thoughts on that? So yeah
that’s an important question. I think that first of all any religious
organization as a part of religious freedom
should be able to follow its calling to help people around them and in
whatever way it sees fit, you know of course barring any extremes that you
know would actually be harming people. But I think something that we
need to embrace as part of religious freedom is to allow religious groups to
help those around it to perform ministry; that is that is a very central part of
the Christian calling, when I think you can get into different, more nuanced
arguments when you’re talking about what government is paying for and whether all
people have to be served at a place that the government is
subsidizing the service that is provided. That to me is a
different kind of argument. And then you can also divide it in between services,
and I think religious groups will have the belief in
certain circumstances that they cannot provide certain services because of
their religious convictions and the state.
I think we should whenever possible say we respect that and if there’s a service
that we won’t provid that we don’t believe in that we object to providing, then we
will try to find someone else to provide that service. And if you are a good
deliverer of services — which many religious organizations are — we want to
involve you as well based on the kind of services you can provide under your
consciousness, your conception of the world. When it comes to serving people I
think that’s a more difficult argument for the state to be subsidizing services
and to allow a religious organization or any organization to say we won’t serve
you. I think that becomes a more difficult proposition for the state to
accept when it is a state-funded enterprise. That’s a short answer to the
question. Do you think that the state funding may be the key element in the scenario you just described Melissa? So if the religiously based Church or
social service agency is undertaking to serve the public… say an adoption agency. I mean this has been troubling to me that in states like
Illinois and Massachusetts and here in the District of Columbia, Catholic
Charities’ adoption agencies have been put out of business because in their
view the welfare of children requires them to be placed only with a married
man and woman. Their refusal to place them with single persons or with
gay couples has essentially put them out of business. Now if the state were
actually funding the agencies I could see the state calling the tune, but I
think it’s just wrong and actually serves no one’s interests — not parents
and certainly not children — to shut these adoption agencies, these religiously
based adoption agencies, out of the marketplace — a marketplace in which you
know other agencies including state agencies of foster care and so on are
willing to sponsor the adoptions that the Catholics won’t. I think
it’s wrong to force those agencies out of that charitable operation. I agree that the funding
issue has to be looked at, whether there is funding or whether there
is not funding. There is going to be a different kind of analysis you’re going to
do in those two types of situations. And it’s the most
artificial kind of econometricians’ sophistry to say that because you get a
tax exempt status as a charitable organization you’re funded by the state. Let me make that clear that when I talk about funding I’m talking about awards from the government; I’m not talking about a tax exemption where
I would draw a clean distinction between those two types of situations. Sophistry in America. We have time for one more question. Rob Schenck
with the newly established Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute and a big question
for a small amount of time. In the telling of this 500 year old story what about the importance of the atheist, the
non-theist, the anti-theist Christian attitudes towards the non-believer. How
large does that factor into this story? Should each of you say a word? Well it’s a late-comer to the discussion and this simply was not part of the historic discussion.
You mentioned law but as Matthew said very clearly it had to do with if you
didn’t believe in God then you couldn’t make promises that could be trusted. That was
basically what he said. And so the question now has become when we live in
a society in which belief in God really cannot be assumed, what you’re
doing basically is making it very difficult to make through all the
arguments that have been made this morning. So that’s why the book by Leiter, Why Tolerate Religion, is really a sign of what the next stage of the
argument is going to be, no privileges. An interesting story that maybe still
needs to be told and in full complexity is how you get from Locke’s no toleration of
the atheists in the Letter Concerning Toleration to a century later with Jefferson
saying that it makes no difference to me whether my neighbor believes in
20 gods or no god, and neither picks my pocket no breaks my leg. So Jefferson
has made some progress if you will towards recognizing
the conscience of the atheist. The atheist is equally under a kind of
compulsion — what it is he thinks he knows. There is no God
and he should be — Jefferson’s right —
he should be left alone, that’s his religious freedom
claim, not to have a religion. But the Leiter book you know shows us
that now she was on the other foot and there is certainly not a
majority; there’s not an atheist majority in the United States by any means. Quite
the contrary. But there is an increasingly
powerful atheist elite that regards religious belief as irrational, wrong, and
bad for people and therefore not itself to be tolerated. So the the
wheel has come around pretty far. Just a quick comment from the
Baptist — though at least as I understand it Baptists have believed that
it is very important to protect the conscience of everyone, including not
coercing either the state or other people — atheists, people of other religions —
that we need to as part of our faith respect the conscience of
everyone from pressure, from coercion, and so I think that in our faith there has
been that kind of very vigorous defense of the Mormon, the Methodist, the
Muslim, the Baha’i, the Baptist, and the Buddhists to say we will go to bat for
everyone’s free exercise rights or their rights of conscience and rights of
religious freedom and belief because we believe that everyone must come to a
voluntary decision about whether to embrace faith, which faith to embrace, or
whether to embrace no faith at all, and that to us it is sacred to protect that
right of every human being. So sometimes people will get confused and I
think there’s actually much interesting work to be done in this field, for
Christians to be more vocal about explaining from a theological
perspective why we as Christians believe that we should protect the
rights of free exercise and conscience for everyone whether they’re from a
different faith or no faith. I think today especially we could do even more
and invest even more and I think this book may help us to accomplish this, to
make the Christian theological case for religious freedom for all people. That’s a great place to end. Thank you so much.

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