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We The People Speak Out...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Open letter to citizens of Alabama. . .

From Dr. Mark Foley, President, University of Mobile

Events in history have, from time to time, brought our nation to turning points. The historian's lens can often pinpoint the hinge of such turns.

Chamberlain's direction of the 20th Maine at Little Round top in 1863; the galvanizing images of an erupting explosion in the hull of the USS Arizona in 1941; determined men and women attempting to walk across a bridge in Selma in 1965; and the images of crumbling towers on a day simply known as 9-11 are examples.

One might call such events tipping points.

It is my firm belief that the November 6, 2012 presidential election is the most important of our lives. It will be a tipping point in American history.

On that day, Americans will decide if we are to be a nation in which the people are dependent upon the government or a nation in which the government is dependent upon the people.

The lines are that starkly drawn, and the consequences of that day's decision will bring lasting impact into each of our lives and into the lives of the next two generations of Americans. [indeed on the course of American history]

That fundamental question and those clear lines of distinction have convinced me of the urgent need for citizens of faith and conscience to unify for the purpose of insisting upon our government's attention to the principles of liberty established in the Constitution.

The hard part is determining an appropriate point of unity. We are a diverse people. Honest interpretations of Scripture or other sources of theological/philosophical thought leading to deeply held beliefs have formed hard lines that make it hard for us to agree.

Consequently, when a challenge to our religious liberty emerges as has been experienced in a recent federal order, vocal ones among us take up their various tribal banners and march their separate paths in numbers much too easy to ignore.

Then there are those whose banners remain furled. They are genuinely busy, are unaware of implications, are mistrustful of marching with strangers, are reluctant to take a stand, or in some cases, simply don't care.

The end is predictable...and counted upon...a bit of noise, honorable mention on the national news, and the threat to liberty advances, perhaps quietly for a while, but advances nonetheless.

We are living through it now.

But, what if that point of unity could be found? What if citizens of faith and conscience could gather without sacrifice of theological/philosophical distinctive's and in numbers that cannot be ignored? I believe we can.

Two places exist where citizens of faith and conscience can meet and make their voices heard.

The first is the voting booth on Tuesday.

We must vote. The Alabama republican primary will impact the national political profile. The 50 delegates at stake are potential king-makers.

As a person of faith, I have selected the candidate who best represents the American ideals of faith, conviction, and policy that I hold dear and for whom I will vote. You will make your own decision.  But, we must vote.

The second place is The Manhattan Declaration.

The Manhattan Declaration is a remarkably crafted call of Christian conscience that endorses the integrity of marriage, the integrity of life, and the integrity of religious liberty. Currently, 523,544 Americans have signed it. I expect that number to rise above 5 million before late summer 2012.

I urge my fellow Alabamians to join me in both places. It is time for men and women of faith and conscience to be heard. Our nation is at stake.

Beyond all that, I ask as always, that you pray for God's protection and provision to our country. He has and will provide.

Hold on tight,

Mark Foley  

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