Religious Freedom Summit Emphasizes Religious Liberty as Cultural Fight

Cedarville’s Religious Freedom Summit continued its discussion of religious freedom and the public square in Thursday’s 11 a.m. session in the Jeremiah Chapel.

Warren Smith, moderator of Thursday morning’s Q-and-A session and associate publisher of WORLD magazine, said the battle between religious freedom and sexual liberty is a cultural fight more than a legal battle.

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin Nimocks spoke of the increasing trend of society to accept homosexuality and the declining respect given to Christians, particularly those offering public services.

He said, “This is something that affects everybody, not just florists and wedding photographers.”

A list of vocations ranging from dietitian to educator followed his comment.

Jennifer Marshall, director of domestic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation, said now is the time for Christians to prove their commitment to religious liberty.

Marshall said speaking and acting consistently in accordance with the Bible and its definition of marriage and sexuality is one way to show this commitment. She also mentioned standing up for religious freedom by engaging reasonably in debates with the opposing party, seeking out facts behind public policies and using reason, not coercion or intimidation, to make a point.

Nimocks said society protects only what it values. In order to change what it values, its heart must change.

“What really moves humans to action is their hearts,” he said.

And Nimocks said Christians can show society through storytelling why religious liberty is something to be valued.

“The meaning means more than the facts. Religious freedom means all kinds of things in our society,” he said. “And we have to start explaining to people and showing them what religious freedom actually means.”

Anna Dembowski is a junior journalism major and managing editor/arts & entertainment editor for Cedars. She likes nearly anything that is the color purple and enjoys spelling the word “agathokakological.”

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