Senator Chris McDaniel Releases Statement On National Religious Freedom Day

January 16, 2015–Senator Chris McDaniel today released the following statement in support of National Religious Freedom Day.

National Religious Freedom Day commemorates the adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom that became the basis for the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

Senator McDaniel authored Mississippi’s landmark Religious Liberty Law in 2013 that re-established the state’s commitment to the rights of all to freely worship.

Statement:

“I join today with millions across the country to celebrate National Religious Freedom Day and with those who believe that if we are ever going to get our country back on track, it is going to start in our churches,” Senator McDaniel said.

The foundation of everything we believe, the cornerstone of society, is religious freedom. It is the driving force of engagement and involvement that comes from that freedom that has made our country the most prosperous in history. It is not man-made designs but our faith in a higher calling and purpose to serve one another that has created prosperity. 

“God has shined the light of his blessings upon our willingness to serve. It is the millions of unknowable transactions of neighborly kindness and prayer that we all take for granted every day. 

“This is the foundation of a country of traditions that is worth preserving. 

“I will continue my dedication to those traditions and to the rights of the people to freely worship where ever they may be, whether in the classroom or in the public square. I will continue my service to the people that they may have a voice and a place to share their unique God-given gifts with others. 

“Religious Freedom is what allows that Power to bring us into individual renewal and prosperity. 

“We must never allow the divisive schemes of secularism and the cultural worship of ourselves to hide that from the world. We must renew our commitment to the spiritual guidance only available to us by our Creator. Christians must stand now like we have never stood before, and we must do everything within our power to maintain that right without compromise.”

Senator McDaniel is an attorney, conservative commentator and a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014. He has represented the 42nd District, which encompasses part of South Mississippi, since 2008. He resides with his family in Ellisville, Mississippi.

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Comments

  1. Bill Smith says:

    What freedom to worship in a MS classroom would mean, even for other Christians, is compulsion to worship as Baptists.

  2. Hey Guys: As we all know pursuant to natural law, all men and women are created equal. Therefore, I think that Mr. McDaniel overstates himself when he says that religion is the foundation of our beliefs and the cornerstone of society. Rather, the foundation of our beliefs is based upon individual liberty and the cornerstone of society is based upon individual freedom. It is from these two places that religious freedom sprouts. Without the the absolute
    right for all individuals in society to be able to think, believe, or to not believe as their individual conscience dictates, there can be no freedom of religion. Rather, one is forced to live in a godless theocracy which masquerades for spirituality. I do agree with Mr McDaniel 100% that we are often blessed
    based upon our willingness to serve others and to impart acts of kindness on our neighbors. I continue to find it strange however, that he manages to select those Christian principles which are convenient to him, yet continue to ignore those that get in his way. If there is one principle that Jesus made clear, and that Paul reiterated, it is that Christians are to live in the world, but they are to refrain from getting involved in worldly matters. And yet, The Anointed One and other good Christianists continue to ignore this admonition by their involvement in matters of politics and governance. Hmmmm.
    David Frazier

    • Dang, my bible tells me that Jesus told the people and the apostles to spread the gospel. I didn’t know that we were not to spread the gospel to the masses. I thought these were worldly things also. People still continue to attack senator McDaniel for being a good Christian and a good person with good intentions, maybe some of you folks are just jealous of a good man otherwise you wouldn’t spend so much time trying to drag him down so maybe your own shortcomings are not exposed. When will you try to help lift even a good man up instead of attacking anything someone says to satisfy your own egos. You seem to blame senator McDaniel and most conservatives for all problems within the republican party without putting the same scrutiny to the established republicans who have been in power and have had a hand in creating part of the mess that we are in. Where are your complaints with them even though their approval rating is a measly 15%. Maybe it’s time that a few of you took time for reflection of your own shortcomings. I know I try to do this Dailey.

  3. Michael, you did not understand the point of my post. 1) liberty and freedom are the foundation of our society, not religion. Religion is a biproduct of a free and open society. 2) Chris is correct about the liberating effect that doing good works and helping others can have on the doer, as well as society at large. 3) Why do committed Christianists persist in taking part in the worldly political process that Jesus and Paul admonished their disciples to shun?Please forgive me if I didn’t make these points clear the first time.
    David Frazier

    • Then why is it wrong to kill people? Why not just use the “might makes right” standard, which is the most pragmatic standard of all. By what authority can you say the brutal tyrant is wrong?

      As for your assertion #3, Jesus and Paul never admonished their disciples to shun the worldly political process, although I am aware that some people misinterpret their words in that way.

  4. In regard to the question brought up in the comments as to whether Christians can be involved in politics per the teachings of Christ and Paul, I think the answer is entirely yes. Indeed, as a devout Christian myself, I find the best rationale for political involvement can be found in the two main commands of the Bible–Love God and love neighbor. Good government can establish peace, uphold a degree of justice and safeguard freedoms, and as a result, by striving for good government, we can help and show love to our fellow human beings. True, the Bible commands Christians to not be of the world, but in my opinion, this relates to politics in at least three ways, none of which forbid political involvement. First, the Christian’s heart is to rest in allegiance to God and not in allegiance to a world that Christianity asserts is fallen in sin. Christians such as myself can still pursue political involvement while serving God. We just can’t give our entire heart and loyalty to human governments, some of which in history have themselves claimed to be divine or nearly so. Second, since the world is beset by sin, we cannot pursue politics and expect to achieve some sort of utopia that answers all of the world’s problems. That authority and power rests only with God. Finally, since the Christian’s primary duty is to follow Christ, we cannot let political involvement come at the expense of that. When it impedes our ability to share the Gospel of Christ, we need to change our approach. In closing, I know some of the commenters on this site don’t believe in Christianity anyway, but I do and I wanted to outline why I believe Christians can be consistent with the teachings of the Bible and be politically involved.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey Cal: Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I agree that most of the principles set out by Jesus are helpful for the promulgation of even a secular democratic republic such as ours. However, in my reading of the New. Testament, Jesus and Paul were very clear when they admonished Christians to avoid any involvement in civil matters and things of this world since their service should be exclusively to the Kingdom of God.
      David Frazier

      • Nowhere in Scripture are Christians admonished “to avoid any involvement in civil matters and things of this world.”

        In addition, the Scriptures plainly teach that Christians ARE TO SERVE their fellow man, for by doing so, they are serving the Lord:

        “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”

        Titus 2:9-10

    • Hey Cal: I think that you do a great job in summing up the Christian’s responsibility in this world, and at the same time, make my point as well. Politics is a dirty and difficult arena. Why would anyone who wants to be, or claims to be part of the Kingdom of God also want to have anything to do with such a worldly affair?
      David Frazier

      • David Frazier, that’s a valid question and one that has been discussed during the course of Christian history. Christians do believe they are part of the Kingdom of God, and we also believe that we participate in the Kingdom of God both while living in this world and later as the Kingdom of God comes to full fruition. Without getting bogged down in theological terms however, we believe that we are called to love God and love others during the course of our lives. We can pursue this calling in many areas of life–in work, in family, in church, etc. The question on politics, therefore, boils down to whether politics is dirty enough to be inherently wrong morally. If we define the term as a raw and selfish pursuit of power, then perhaps it is. I, however, use the word politics more to refer to the science of government. Government, as an institution, can establish a degree of peace in a society, allow people the freedom to pursue good and can uphold justice. And though some Christians in history did view it as being too much a part of this fallen world, Christian history is also full of those who saw government as a way to pursue good and who sought to utilize it to that end. Old Testament figures such as Moses and David were civil rulers (even though Moses was also a religious leader). The apostle Paul readily took advantage of the benefits of his Roman citizenship as he traveled to spread the Gospel of Christ. The early Christians prayed for their rulers, as they were directed to do in the New Testament. Later Christians such as William Wilberforce and William Carey sought to reform laws to make them more just and more merciful. It would seem politics is not inherently sinful, and the only things Christians biblically have a blanket ban on pursuing are those things that are inherently sinful–murder, adultery, etc. That said, Christianity also teaches that we live in a world beset by sin, and that all are sinners (hence the need for Christ’s redemptive work in our lives). We can pursue good government as a means of loving our neighbors, but we cannot expect government to solve all of life’s problems. Indeed, since it’s a human institution, we find it unwise, as I think you do too, to trust government too much, and I would argue we should not be surprised when politics is misused, even by professing Christians. Any tool can be used for different purposes, some good and some ill. Government is no different in this regard. Christians, as all men and women, should seek to use government for good, call out those who do not do so, and themselves repent when they sin and use government wrongly.

  5. Hey Cal: As T.S. Elliott once said, “The problem with Christianity is Christians!” Unfortunately, most believers whom I have known over the years do not necessarily share your insights. Actually, the notion of having a government as an institution began as an institution and was developed by various priestly classes of different ancient cultures. The idea was as Paul advocated that all governments are derived from the gods themselves. This notion only began to change with the Enlightenment, The Rights of Man, etc. where western culture came to separate the temporal from the spiritual. In doing so, we came to believe that government originates with the people themselves. However, it took a wholesale rejection of the Pauline doctrine of “divine right” in order to get here. In a representative democracy, religion is always the enemy of knowledge and liberty since religion is designed by its very existence to limit education, and a greater understanding and knowledge of the physical world, which are the keys to self-government.
    David Frazier

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for hearing me out! We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this, as obviously I have a different take on the importance of religion. I would note, though, that I don’t believe Paul advocated a “divine right of kings” in the same vein as some of the kings during the Reformation/Renaissance and into the Enlightenment period. Those kings toyed around with arguing rather selfishly and incorrectly that they were answerable to no one but God and could do whatever they wanted. In short, there would be rule of king rather than rule of law. On the other hand, Paul in biblical passages such as Romans 13 spoke primarily of God’s approval of the institution of government (not everything individual kings did) and God’s direction over the affairs of men, including the rise and fall of leaders. This was not a command to have any particular form of government–monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy. Indeed, professing Christians and those influenced by Christianity were instrumental in the formation of democratic governments in the western world. Examples of some of their arguments against the alleged divine right of kings to do whatever they wanted can be found in such works as Samuel Rutherford’s Lex Rex and in the Huguenots’ Vindiciae contra tyrannos, among many, many others. John Locke wasn’t exactly an orthodox Christian, but at least made a show of using arguments from the Bible in his Two Treatises of Government. And some, though certainly not all, of America’s Founding Fathers were either professing Christians themselves or drew strongly from Christian ideas, as did civil rights leaders (such as Martin Luther King, Jr.) in the mid-twentieth century. Again, I know you and I disagree on the importance of religion, but I wanted to close with these thoughts. And I thank the host of this blog for allowing this digression from the blog’s topics.

      • The reply at 7:37 a.m. was from Cal90.

      • Hey Ano: Indeed, It was the advent of Protestantism that eventually led to the Enlightenment and the western world’s break from the absolutism of the Catholic Church. However, as I recall, it was the Apostle Paul who admonished all Christians to pray for and obey their earthly rulers since as Christians, their kingdom is not of this world, but of the next. And of course, the earthly rulers to whom he was making reference were Caesar and all of his administrators acting in his behalf. Once Christianity became the established religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, the Catholic Church put this verse and a few choice other verses to work to insure that the masses were kept in line with the ongoing threat of excommunication and other mystical rites that played upon the fears, ignorance, and prejudices of the masses. By issuing his 95 Treatises, Martin Luther in essence acknowledged that not all of the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God, but rather, parts exist which must be ignored from time-to-time in order to follow a higher Natural Law–the right of everyone to live in freedom and liberty. But like in everything else, the devil is always on the details. What may be one Christianist’s idea of liberty,ight be my idea of servitude.
        David Frazier

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