Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oliver "Buzz" Thomas at ETSU

I just returned from an address by Rev. Oliver "Buzz" Thomas at ETSU. Thomas, a Baptist minister and a lawyer spoke on the constitution, particularly the first amendment, and more particularly, the freedom of religion.

He made a number of points:

  • Religion is one of the few things we kill and die for.
  • America is the most religiously diverse nation in the world.
  • The glue that binds us is not Christianity or religion but the constitution.
  • Many Americans mistakenly think the constitution stipulates that America is a Christian nation.
  • Respecting the right of others to exercise their religion is the key to being good citizens.
  • The American experiment will depend upon whether or not we can live together in peace despite our differences.
He talked about the importance of all people guaranteeing the freedom of others to practice their religion. For example, Christians should advocate for the local Islamic society to build a mosque in the city, regardless of our theological beliefs. That is what is unique and important about our nation.

He is an excellent speaker. He has also written a book,

Ten Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can't Because He Needs the Job!)