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Documentary Examines Role of Christian Faith in History of Freedom

Documentary Examines Role of Christian Faith in History of Freedom

If it weren't for the Christian faith, the birth of freedom and liberty would not have been possible, according to a new documentary from the Action Institute.

In "The Birth of Freedom," Action Institute takes a look at key freedom fighters and associated documents to trace the historical development of the principles of liberty and freedom that endow Americans with "unalienable" rights as "equal" men.

From the plight of slave abolitionist William Wilberforce and America's founding father Thomas Jefferson to civil rights figure the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the documentary shows how the Christian faith was inextricably linked to their cries for freedom.

"Think of what a scandal it would be if we were to say the abolitionists should have kept their Christian faith out of the struggle against slavery. Rev. Martin Luther King should have kept his Christian faith out of the struggle for civil rights. People who fought against the terrible crimes committed in the name of eugenics should have kept their faith out of politics," said Prof. Robert P. George of Princeton University in the documentary.

The film also suggests that the idea of human rights was created by theologians.

The documentary, which has been screened to select audiences earlier this year, was shown at an exclusive premiere to a crowd of Christian bloggers at the 2008 Godblogcon over the weekend.

Jordan J. Ballor of the Institute, which sponsored the convention, blogged that the film was "well received" by the Godbloggers.

"There was a great deal of interest in how it fits into Acton's work and how the film could be passed along to friends, family, and colleagues," wrote Ballor.

Stressing a point made by George, Ballor said it was "patently false to think that faith plays no positive role in public life, a position promoted by the New Atheists and popularized by the likes of Bill Maher."

Maher, a former Catholic who now mocks religion as a comedian, takes another swipe at religion in his latest documentary, "Religulous," set to release on Oct. 3.

In conjunction with "The Birth of Freedom," Action Media has also been releasing a series of short clips that provide additional insight into key issues presented but not covered in the film.

On Monday, the organization released its fourth short video in the series which examines "Poverty in Medieval Europe." New videos are released every Monday.

The Mission of the Acton Institute is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.

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