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Faith and Reason, Fall 2012

September 21st, 2012

Pictures by Art Cox.

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722

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Friday's Faith & Reason lecture, featuring Dr. Michael Farris, entitled “Religious Liberty: Did it arise from Faith or Reason?”, asked whether the advent of religious liberty was a triumph arising from the Reformation or the Enlightenment or some other source. In his text, Dr. Farris examined the rise of religious liberty in assessing the actions and philosophies leading to this singular achievement for early America--a topic covered in depth in his book From Tyndale to Madison: How the Death of an English Martyr Led to the American Bill of Rights.

Exploring the rise of religious liberty in early America and asking whether modern secularism has abandoned this fundamental American freedom, Dr. Farris noted that, "We live in an age where it is growing more and more unacceptable to disagree with someone’s vision of that which is orthodox. If an American makes a film criticizing Mohammed, American ambassadors get killed, American embassies are destroyed, and American businesses are burned. And yet it is the American government that does the apologizing—a form of bowing the knee to the contention that it is illegitimate to say anything that offends Islam.

"I will demonstrate today that the leading advocates of religious liberty were professing Christians who were using religious arguments to advance their viewpoints. On the other hand, the same historical analysis shows that the leading practitioners of religious repression were also professing Christians who also relied on religious arguments. In fact, the religious persecutors sincerely believed that they were doing the work of God as mandated by Scripture."

Check back early next week to view video and read a full summary of the lecture. View a photo gallery, below, of the day's events, which included a post-lecture panel discussion with PHC professors and an extended Q&A with students.