By Diana Hsieh
As readers of this blog might recall, The Oklahoman published my letter to the editor against the attempt to ground American politics in Christianity. Then they published five letters in response on August 22nd.
More recently, on August 30th, The Oklahoman published an excellent response to that onslaught by Nick Provenzo of The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism. It reads:
Faith itself is enemy of freedomNick's writings can also be found on his blog, Rule of Reason.
The Oklahoman published five letters in Your Views on Aug. 22 criticizing Diana Hsieh (Your Views, Aug. 14) of the Coalition for Secular Government, for arguing that a free society can't be founded upon religious dogma, Judeo-Christian or otherwise. None of these writers objecting to Hsieh's position were able to articulate how mysticism leads to individual freedom beyond their merely asserting it. After all, there were 1,776 years between Christ's birth and the establishment of America as the world's first individual rights republic.
If the Holy Bible is full of ideas that lead to individual freedom, why the long disconnect? Why did other religious thinkers give us the Dark Ages, the divine right of kings and the Inquisition, while the supposedly equally religious American founders gave us the First Amendment? The reality is that faith itself is the enemy of freedom. It takes reason to look at humankind and see beings who require liberty in order to prosper.
We owe the liberty we enjoy today to the champions of reason; we owe our freedom more to a man like Galileo turning his telescope toward the heavens and accurately reporting what he saw (in bold defiance of the faith-based tyrants of his day) than to any religious prophet or savior.
Nicholas Provenzo, Washington, D.C.
Provenzo is chairman of the The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism.