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Religion

Election takes Center Stage at C of O's Religious Liberty Symposium

Relgious Liberty Symposium
Lindsey Argo
/
KSMU
Religious Liberty Symposium Pledge Card

With the presidential election just around the corner, getting people out to vote is a top priority for many.  It was among the talking points last week at the Religious Liberty Symposium at College of the Ozarks.

Speakers included, among others, neurosurgeon and former U.S. Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, who spoke on issues surrounding religious liberty and advocated voting as a method for change.

“This is the nation that stands between peace and utter chaos,” urged Carson. He went on to explain that deciding not to vote because you cannot choose between “the lesser of two evils” is not an acceptable excuse.

“A papercut hurts and no one willing takes one but cutting off your legs hurts two, and I bet you can decide between the two,” joked Carson.

President of College of the Ozarks Jerry C. Davis echoed those thoughts, adding “We need to get the country back to the basics.”

He encouraged symposium attendees, who were each given voter pledge cards, to fill them out. The cards

Religious Liberty Symposium
Credit Lindsey Argo / KSMU
Full pledge card given out at the Religious Liberty Symposium

asked for a phone number and email that would enable the college to remind them ahead of Election Day.

“We need to think of the nation, not of ourselves,” explained Carson.

Kelly Shackelford is president and CEO of First Liberty, a law group that works solely on cases concerning religious liberty. He told the audience that the next five years will decide whether or not we as a nation will get to keep our right to religious liberty.

“If you lose this freedom, you will lose all of your freedoms,” explained Shackelford.

“A government that doesn’t respect your religious liberties won’t respect much else,” Davis added.

C of O teamed with The Pensmore Foundation to offer the symposium.

Many speakers also made note of the important role Christians play in advocating for religious liberty and voting in general.

“People of faith must be willing to stand up,” pleaded Carson.

Dr. Carson also pointed out that the number of evangelical Christians that did not vote in the last presidential election was 25 million, adding that the margin of difference between the candidates was 4.5 million.