Yes! We Agree America!
Freedom of religion is the foundation of our rights in a free and virtuous society. When a nation turns its back on its God given laws nothing is secure!
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What role does Religious Liberty play with “our rights”?
How would you like it if your government imposed religious restrictions in your nation? Over the course of history, Governments have imposed laws that have violated the religious conscience of some of its citizens.
One such case is Thomas More of England who defied King Henry the Eight’s “Oath of Supremacy.” Henry’s oath required allegiance to the Church of England instead of the Pope. More, being a Catholic, refused to take the oath, was tried and found guilty of treason, resulting in his death.
Another example is Hitler’s “Aryan Clause”, which removed Jews involved in civil service from their posts. Since the state supported the church, Christian Ministers who had Jewish family heritage found themselves being removed from their churches.
Many people chose to go to the new world so they could worship according to their conscience. Some of the states in our nation had their founding by members of a religion who would suffer the hardship of resettling, rather than continue to live under the dictates of a hostile government.
The founders of the United States did not want to follow suit with what they had experienced in their former homeland. Separation of church and state did not mean a removal of the influence of religion, nor the exclusion of religion in the public square, but established a ban of a national state run church. Jefferson’s letter to the Baptist church in Connecticut is a clear-cut affirmation of the First Amendment. Today the letter is taken out if its original context, and used to imply The United States is a secular nation. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Freedom of Religion protects your right to worship according to your conscience. It puts all expressions of religion into the public square, where one is free to express his beliefs without fear of government restriction or reprisal.
Today many are using the term freedom of “worship” rather than “religion”. The difference implies one can worship as long as it is in the four walls of a church. This is far from what the First Amendment is about. Freedom of Religion allows one to follow his religious conscience. The examples of Thomas More and Dietrich Bonhoeffer were driven by a deep religious conscience which permeated their lives and guided their convictions, to the point they were willing to die for what they believed. It is freedom of religion and moral conscience that motivates a Christian baker to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, even if it means losing their business.
The founders knew that the Constitution requires a moral people. They articulated their beliefs in the “Christian Religion,” while expressing tolerance for others. Freedom of Religion is the right to practice your religion with tolerance and respect. Religion provides moral understanding, which is essential to the preservation of our Constitutional Republic.
Austen Kreutz – Pastor
America is in crisis, possibly the greatest threat to its continued existence yet. However, we can do something about it, and that is the purpose of the Michigan Oak Initiative.
Along with a political and spiritual shift we find ourselves in need of a shift in our core values and there are signs that this shift is happening.
For us it’s not just about less taxes, correction in government spending, large or small government, liberal or conservative agendas, or correcting the balance of power in our legislative at local, state and federal levels. For us, it is about aiding and bringing a voice to a people who have lost their moral compass and not simply bringing about change from an external source of policy shifts and spending initiatives, but being a part of identifying and facilitating change from an internal perspective that lays a foundation for lasting reform and not simply reform until the next election.
For us it’s about awaking our people to the voice of our founding fathers recorded in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. For us, it’s not just voting a ballot or a single set of issues – it’s about being a part of an historical shift in a nation that is called to a destiny by God.
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Oak Videos – http://www.theoakinitiative.org/oak-videos#.VrNN3LIrI_M
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PRESENT MICHIGAN STATE COORDINATORS/CHAPTER LEADERS
Mark Gurley – Grand Rapids
Rick Warzywak – Northern MI
JP Kraft – Milford
Tom Walz – Lansing
Pastor Austin T. Kreutz
VIDEOS ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
Trampling of our Freedoms
America’s Moral Position