Allen West: 500 Years of Religious Liberty…will it make it another 500 years?

The roots of our religious freedom goes back a lot further than many of us realize. The roots go back further than is being taught these days in our government-run schools. How many realized what happened 500 years ago? That started a chin that ran from Martin Luther throgh John Loche and was imparted to us by Thomas Jefferson in the founding documents of our nation. Here is how it all happened.

As Written By Allen B. West:

I reiterate my sincere condolences and prayers for those who so tragically had their lives taken from them in Las Vegas. To those forever scarred by the memory of this violent attack and the loved ones who will have an empty chair going forward at family gatherings, we express our humble sorrow.

I pray we’ll not just seek to move on as we seem to do in America, but ask, and answer, the hard questions about what happened in Las Vegas. It’a not about the tool, but the evil that motivates. We cannot just settle for the fact that the coward who committed this heinous and despicable act took his own life. We must seek out and eradicate that which influenced and motivated him to commit such a disgusting act.

We face many assaults against our liberty, and we must never forget that our very first unalienable right, from our Creator, is life. Let’s us endeavor to do all that we can to preserve those rights, and our liberty.

With that being said, I want to share with y’all a very important piece of history that set forth and determined the establishment of these United States of America, and our God given unalienable rights. We all know 31 October as the day we celebrate as Halloween. Our children, and some adults, dress up in costumes and roam the neighborhoods saying those time-honored words, “trick or treat.” We indulge kids with massive amounts of candy, sweets, and assorted treats, giving them the ultimate sugar high, and causing at least a week of despair for parents all over the country.

However, I want to bring to your attention a very special date in history that had a profound effect on our nation. I pray you’ll share this, and discuss this date and its importance for our Constitutional Republic.

The date is 31 October 1517. The historical moment, our treat, was the action of a Germanic monk by the name of Martin Luther. It was on that date, 500 years ago, that Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church. Martin Luther’s act was a defiant stance against the religious orthodoxy of the day, and one of its practices. The Catholic Church ruled the day and maintained immense influence on the ruling class of royalty in Europe.

It was, however, the practice of indulgences that drew the ire of Luther. Indulgences were the monetary collections taken by the Catholic Church in order to purchase freedom – absolution — from God’s punishment for sins. Imagine going to church and having a fee chart displayed based on the sins of an individual which had to be paid in order to a church official to intercede for your transgressions…an insidious form of taxation for salvation.

It was Luther’s belief, his theology, that salvation was not attained through deeds — certainly not through purchase. He believed that we all have an inherent right to a relationship with God and our Savior Jesus Christ through our faith, as professed in Romans 10:9, (NIV), “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Luther took on the Catholic Church and in the end he was excommunicated by Pope Leo X for not refuting his assertions. Luther believed that our salvation, our eternal life is simply a free gift of God’s grace to us all. What Martin Luther did was to challenge the Catholic Church, the institution, claiming that it wasn’t supreme over the individual. Martin Luther was the first to present the idea of a personal relationship with our Creator that supersedes the false claim of intercession by way of manmade institutions. Thanks to Luther, the word “Protestant” came to define the movement that challenged the institution of the Catholic Church, the root word being “protest.” And what Luther was truly protesting and advocating is what English political philosopher John Locke would further define.

It was Locke who introduced the idea of natural rights theory. Locke proposed that we all have natural rights bestowed upon us emanating from our Creator. This was contrary to the reigning thought of the day — divine rights theory — which placed all power and authority with the ruling royalty over the individual, a power bestowed upon them by the institution of the Catholic Church. And in the case of King Henry VIII, when the institution did not grant him as he wished – divorce — he made himself head of state, and created his own church, the Church of England, where he was also head.

Locke didn’t believe the rights of the individual, by way of divine rights theory, came from intercessors. He wrote in his Second Treatise that the natural rights theory meant we had God-given rights, these being life, liberty, and property. What a continuation of the revolutionary idea of Martin Luther, to breakdown the social construct of Lords and Serfs, to say each individual was endowed with rights, and did not have to seek permission, bye of leave, and approval from someone established over them, by another.

And so it was, when a certain man from Virginia named Thomas Jefferson — you know that fella whose statue they defaced at the University of Virginia — was tasked to write the document establishing these United States of America he wrote…”We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

When you fathom the action of Martin Luther, you realize that his nailing the 95 Theses on the church door set in motion a deeper movement. It challenged and toppled the idea that the individual is subservient to the institution. America represents the manifestation of Luther’s idea, that simple protest he made on 31 October 1517. Perhaps that’s why James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton enshrined our first right in the Bill of Rights as freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof. This is why the Founding Fathers never wanted the establishment of a state sponsored religion. Jefferson asserted in his letter to the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptist Convention that we would have a separation of church and state. What he meant was that we would not have a head of state who is also a head of church.

However, when we do not study history, we enable others, namely the progressive socialist secular humanists, to redefine this as separating our Judeo-Christian faith heritage from who we are as a people, a nation. And therefore we ……..


500 Years of Religious Liberty…will it make it another 500 years? – Allen B. West –

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