The Unique Contribution of Adventists to Religious Freedom

The new editor of Liberty, Bettina Krause, shares her goals and plans for the magazine, her ideas about why the Adventist voice should be loud and effective in the public discourse, and a reminder of the fundamental reason behind the importance of religious freedom. 


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11364
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Congratulations to Bettina and the staff at Liberty!

Looking forward to reading along as you shape the magazine to meet this moment, keep us grounded in our commitment to the dignity of God’s creation, and challenge us to be mindful about the draw to power over others — both through the state strictly defined and through our own institutions.

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I expect that the biggest challenge today is to help the Religious understand that their beliefs do not include the right to impose their preferences on or harm others in their pursuit of what they perceive as “Religious Liberty”.

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This statement always confuses me. How have religious people imposed their preferences or harmed others with their beliefs any more than Adventists who rightly claim religious liberty in work or sabbath keeping issues? Do you consider evangelism imposing religious preferences? Just curious.

At some point I would like to see Liberty define religious liberty more specifically.

I am not saying who is right, I really want to know. There are many who say this was founded as a Christian country and others say no. Yet we see statues and religious statements made by our founders. I have read Lincoln and Washington’s prayers and it is certain they considered it a Christian country. I have heard religious meetings once took place in the capital. I realize all the leaders were not our stereotype of Christian or religious, but they certainly promoted it. It seems deceptive to claim otherwise.

Now there is a move to remove (Judeo-Christian) religion from public places and not refer to it in schools (unless against it). I think of the ten commandments being taken out of a government building a few years ago. There are organizations called “Freedom from Religion.” They have their right and so does every religion in the country. To have a public faith is not pitting one religion against another or politically funding or choosing one over another. Each religion is free to have their own schools on an equal basis with vouchers. I look for equity in a changing nation, not denying the voice of any or our founding fathers.

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