Celebrate the Reformation by Celebrating the First Amendment

When Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517, 500 years ago this Oct. 31, he probably had no idea what forces he was unleashing. Although his intention was to spur reform within the Catholic Church rather than breaking off and starting a new church, he ended up accomplishing both.American history from the very beginning, with the Anglicans settling Virginia, the Puritans and Presbyterians settling in New England, the Reformed Dutch settling in New York, and the Quakers settling Pennsylvania, to name a few, is inextricably linked to the Protestant Reformation. The drama started with Luther, who, after being expelled from the Catholic Church, stood trial and stated publicly that it was wrong for anyone to act against his or her conscience in religious matters. With obedience to authority having been the norm for most of recorded history, Luther appeared to be either a fool or a subversive for proclaiming that liberty of conscience was the proper basis for religious and political life.  Continue reading...

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