Do we have religious freedom by the generosity of our government or by our natural rights as human beings? Is it more correct to say “all Men should enjoy the fullest Toleration in the Exercise of Religion, according to the Dictates of Conscience” or “all men are equally entitled to the full and free exercise of [religion], according to the dictates of Conscience”?
Justin Taylor writes about the birth of religious freedom in the American colonies. The quoted lines above are from George Mason and James Madison respectively. “Madison’s breakthrough was the insight that since the human mind and consciences only works properly when they are uncoerced, it is therefore inherently wrong to coerce them. One should not revoke or restrict religious liberty because it is based on human reason and conscience, which cannot be revoked or restricted.”
He draws this thought from the book The Right to Be Wrong: Ending the Culture War Over Religion in America by Kevin Seamus Hasson.
Joe Carter, formerly of The Evangelical Outpost, is wicking out the nostalgia in me by profiling three God-bloggers who started blogging in 2003, a year before I started this lit-blog. Like Joe, I have admired these men for a long time. They helped shaped the blogosphere, or it feels like they did for me.
Of Tim Challies, Jared Wilson, and Justin Taylor, he asks these questions:
- What was your motivation for starting a blog?
- How has blogging changed your life over the past decade?
- What is one lesson you’ve learned from blogging about writing, communicating, etc.?
- How has blogging itself or the blogosphere changed in these ten years?
Tim says: “I learned that I think best when I write. I don’t really know what I believe until I write it down and work it through in my word processor, and in that way writing has been a critical part of my spiritual development. For some reason it took me beginning a blog to figure this out.”
Jared says: “Then one of our guys said, “Why don’t we stop the clunky email chains and do this on a weblog?” I had no idea what that was, but we all kinda said, ‘Okay.'”
Justin: “Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I think we are more bored with blogs than we were ten years ago. Our attention spans are even shorter as we want to hear from and interact with more people but with fewer characters — hence the rise of Twitter. What was a short piece ten years ago is now almost considered ‘long form.'”