Wednesday, November 15, 2017
There is now online a podcast conversation on religious freedom that I recently did with the Rev. Leith Anderson. Leith is the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a wonderful and prolific writer on Christian living, and the former senior pastor of Wooddale Church in the Twin Cities. He has been interested in religious-freedom issues, and commenting thoughtfully on them, for some time. It was great fun to have this conversation with him. A sample comment of mine, in response to Leith's question "Why should Christians work on protecting people of other faiths in the U.S.?":
Two kinds of reasons. One is a matter of principle: Christians know that a commitment of faith, a relationship with the Divine, is a matter of the heart; it can’t be real and valid if it’s coerced by government. Human dignity means that the soul should be free to seek and respond to God, even if its response is mistaken. The second reason is pragmatic: If Christians want to preserve freedom for their own religious exercise, they have to recognize it for others. You won’t get sympathy for your plight if you don’t show it for others.