June 26, 2019
Carmen shares, “I’m in NYC at the Council on Foreign Relations Religious Liberty Workshop. Last night we heard from the US Ambassador on International Religious Liberty Sam Brownback. Three takeaways: 1. Pray for him. 2. The world is a hostile place for people of faith and we, as people of faith, have a role to play in making the world a place where people of all faiths, every faith or no faith live in freedom to believe without fear. 3. America is the global leader on Religious liberty – but that does not mean we do not have our own religious liberty challenges right here at home. Domestic religious liberty issues are a frequent topic here on the program – we’ve just talked in the last week about the U.S. Supreme Court decision related to the Bladensburg Maryland Peace Cross and the action of the Court to send the Oregon Sweetcakes case back to a lower court for review. We have talked and we will talk again about the so-called Equality Act now before Congress and there are cities denying churches land or building permits which are clearly discriminatory.”
When you think about religious liberty, what are the issues that come to mind?
Would you fight as fiercely to defend the right of another person to believe what they believe or their right to believe nothing at all as you would defend your own right to hold Christian views?
Sam Brownback told a story last night about an Imam who is going to be honored at the upcoming Religious Freedom Ministerium in DC. This Imam sheltered 200 Christians whose lives were being threatened by a radicalized militia seeking to cleanse the area of Christians. The Imam took the Christians into the Mosque and then knelt between them and those seeking to kill them. He said, “Kill me first. If you would kill them, kill me first.” And the men stopped. They would not kill the Imam – and could not, therefore, kill the Christians. Those 200 Christians are alive today because of that man’s commitment to religious liberty in his homeland.
Are you that committed to the religious liberty of your neighbor? Would we have the conviction and moral courage to do likewise?
Turning to the topic de jour, Carmen discusses transhumanism and Christian engagement with the transhumanist movement. First up, Newton Lee and his forthcoming Transhumanist Handbook (to which Carmen contributed a chapter asking the questions Christians have for Transhumanists). Hunter Baker from Union University then joins Carmen to unpack the issue further from a distinctly Christian worldview.