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Monday, May 12, 2008
posted by Kyle Hampton | 4:07 PM | permalink
I wish I could elaborate on the Governor's remarks at the Becket Fund ceremony honoring him with the Centerbury Medal, but they would add nothing to his remarkable words:
In the days that followed, my remarks drew a considerable amount of congratulatory comment…and some criticism as well. The criticism was a good thing, of course. It meant that my words were not like the proverbial tree falling in the forest — unheard and unheeded. It also gave me an opportunity to go back and re-think, and that presents an opportunity for more learning.

Several commentators, for instance, argued that I had failed to sufficiently acknowledge the contributions that had been made by atheists. At first, I brushed this off — after all this was a speech about faith in America, not non-faith in America. Besides, I had not enumerated the contributions of believers — why should non-believers get special treatment?

But upon reflection, I realized that while I could defend their absence from my address, I had missed an opportunity…an opportunity to clearly assert that non-believers have just as great a stake as believers in defending religious liberty.

If a society takes it upon itself to prescribe and proscribe certain streams of belief — to prohibit certain less-favored strains of conscience — it may be the non-believer who is among the first to be condemned. A coercive monopoly of belief threatens everyone, whether we are talking about those who search the philosophies of men or follow the words of God.

One critic dismissed this idea [that freedom requires religion] by pointing out that there are indeed countries in Europe which have become godless but nevertheless remain democratic. But that underscores my point. I was not speaking about Europe’s recent experiments in state secularism, I was speaking about America and the larger family of free nations; and I was not speaking about a moment of time, but rather about a span of history. Would America and the freedom she inaugurated here and across the world survive — over centuries — if we were to abandon our faith in God?

I don’t believe so.

This is hardly a novel view.

Please read the entire speech.
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This is stunning. In large part because of the modern day scarcity of profound thought of this nature.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 12, 2008 at 11:25 PM  

what a great speech.
It amazes me we passed on this guy.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 13, 2008 at 1:22 AM  

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