Evangelical Leaders: Defend Religious Freedom for All
At the American Enterprise Institute’s Evangelical Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, a panel of evangelical leaders advocated for Christians to defend the religious liberty of all, because religious freedom benefits everyone. Panel member Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said
the burden to fight for religious liberties is not just about Judeo-Christian beliefs, but that Evangelicals are called to fight for freedoms for all religious motivations. He also stated that evangelicals should bring back the use of the term “separation of church and state,” but in a different context.
“It doesn’t mean that church and government should be apart,” Moore said. “But that the state is limited and doesn’t have lordship and direction over the church.” Moore purported that evangelicals should champion the religious freedoms of all religions, otherwise evangelicals are “not only willing to be persecuted, but willing to be persecutor.”
That’s absolutely correct. Religious freedom is a human liberty, and it is a culture in which Christianity flourishes.
It is also noteworthy that people of faith were the original advocates of the “separation of church and state.” Simply put, they didn’t want the state to have the power to either affect the practice of their faith or establish and attempt to enforce a state belief system.
Much like the rainbow — a symbol of God’s promise — the “separation of church and state” is a part of the history of the faith that should be reclaimed.