C12 - Becket Fund: Religious Liberty Roundtable Summary 5-27-14




(Photos & Content Courtesty of The Becket Fund)


Below is a summary of Don Barefoot, CEO of The C12 Group's participation in the Becket Fund's Inaugural Religious Liberty Roundtable discussion - moderated by Princeton Professor and Director of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Robert George.


Mr. Barefoot deftly represented the viewpoint of Christian CEOs on the diverse panel of representatives of varying faith traditions from the legal, journalism, church, education, and government sectors.


Don Barefoot's (picture, 1st on left) comments as a part of this panel, pointed out "the enormous destructive impact of overreaching regulatory and tax burdens flowingfrom our increasingly unwieldy and untrustworthy ‘administrative state', that is wandering further and further away from the founding principles of our constitutional republic under God.


The drag on our economy due to overlapping, redundant, and mutually exclusive laws and regulations - local, state , and federal - coupled with the trampling of our God-given and constitutional religious liberties by an increasingly activist and secular judiciary makes it increasingly difficult for business leaders and taxpayers to see their government and judiciary as supportive of moral free enterprise.


This has great negative consequences for America, and for those, worldwide, who see America as demonstration of what's possible given personal freedom and the rule of law rooted in unchanging truth."  


In a blog recounting the event, Lori Windham (picture, 2nd from left) summarized what happened that same evening as supporters of The Becket Fund's efforts to protect religious liberty as foundational to the U.S. Constitution and way of life gathered together:


"In America, the tree of liberty has religious roots. Don't believe you can sever those roots and have the tree of liberty survive." Those words came from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, this year's Canterbury Medalist. Sitting in the room Thursday night, I watched Catholics, Sikhs, Mormons, Jews and Evangelicals stand together to applaud Rabbi Sacks, who gave an impassioned defense of religious freedom. The event was the Becket Fund's Canterbury Medal dinner, which the New York Post called "a glittering evening where men and women of strong (and conflicting) beliefs find common ground without watering down their principles."



Rabbi Sacks' speech explained why religious freedom, and religious people, are necessary to sustain freedoms of every sort.


At the Becket Fund, we have often called religious liberty the canary in the coal mine for other freedoms-when it perishes, other rights are soon to follow. Look no further than the most recent U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom report, and you will see that the countries most repressive of religious freedom attempt to strip their citizens of other human rights, as well.


But those rights were never the state's to strip away, because they did not originate with the state.


As Rabbi Sacks said, invoking John F. Kennedy, "The rights of man come from the gift of God, and not from the generosity of the state." He warned that states which forget that lesson are also likely to forget the moral limits of their own power. History is littered with examples.






About the C12 Group

The C12 Group is America's leading executive roundtable for Christian CEOs and owners building great businesses for a greater purpose. C12 Members gather monthly for a unique, proven peer forum to engage in worthwhile continual learning, brainstorming, intentional accountability, and to share proven best practices, combined with eternal perspective. Members also receive monthly counsel through one-on-one sessions, an annual business review, and an online library of high-impact leadership tools. Founded in 1992 by Buck Jacobs, dedicated Christian author and CEO, C12's mission is to change the world by bringing forth the Kingdom of God in the marketplace through the companies and lives of those He calls to run businesses for Him.

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Whenever a Christian converses with a non-Christian about the truth of the faith, every request of the non-Christian for the proof of Christianity should be met with an equally serious request of proof for the non-Christian's philosophy of life. Otherwise we get the false impression that the Christian worldview is tentative and uncertain, while the more secular worldviews are secure and sure, standing above the need to give a philosophical and historical accounting of themselves.
- John Piper