Pillars for Freedom is the communications outreach of Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s Keating Center for Capitalism, Free Enterprise, and Constitutional Liberty
The Pillars for Freedom align with the Four Pillars of OKWU’s Mission – Christ, Scripture, Truth, and Wisdom – by representing four freedoms that are essential to our Christian university and its ability to continue our core mission. These Freedom Pillars are: Religious Freedom, Academic Freedom, Individual Freedom and Economic Freedom. With our emphasis on the Pillars for Freedom, Oklahoma Wesleyan University will continue its fight to defend the freedoms that made this country the greatest nation in human history. In doing so, we hope our vision for Christian higher education will assure parents, students, and partners that there exists an outstanding academic institution that promotes and defends these essential and time-tested principles they cherish.
Learn more about each Pillar for Freedom below!
Religious liberty is the right to follow the faith of your choice—or to follow no faith at all. Religious liberty is a cornerstone of our nation and is the very first freedom guaranteed to Americans by the Bill of Rights. Yet on many college and university campuses, the right to associate on the basis of religious belief and even the right to express those beliefs is under attack.
The U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of religion in a distinct way, allowing people with vastly different beliefs to live peaceably together. Religious-liberty protections help preserve the conditions that make peaceful coexistence possible. They acknowledge both man’s dignity and the reality of pluralism and diversity even as we work to know and live the truth.The fight for religious liberty is an effort to prevent the government from doing what even God will not do: coerce faith.
“A presumption of liberty has been replaced with a presumption of regulation. Citizens used to think that liberty was primary and government had to justify its coercive regulation. Now people assume that government regulations are the neutral starting point and citizens must justify their liberty.” Ryan T. Anderson
Academic freedom is the conviction that the freedom of inquiry by faculty members is essential to the mission of the academy, as well as, the principles of academia, and that scholars should have freedom to teach or communicate ideas or facts in search of truth, without being targeted for repression, job loss, or imprisonment
“At campuses across the country, traditional ideals of freedom of expression and the right to dissent have been deeply compromised or even abandoned as college and university faculties and administrators have capitulated to demands for language and even thought policing. Academic freedom, once understood to be vitally necessary to the truth-seeking mission of institutions of higher learning, has been pushed to the back of the bus…” Robert P. George
Economic freedom has been defined as “the right of individuals to pursue their interests through voluntary exchange of private property under rule of law”—an idea rooted in the fundamental laws and principles laid out in scripture.
“For Christians, economic freedom is not an end in and of itself; it is a means to the end of bringing about shalom…..Shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight. It is the way things ought to be.” Anne Bradley and Joe Connors
Classical freedom suggests that to be free meant to have freedom to speak openly and decide what you want to do. And as the founding fathers suggested, this freedom was fenced in by the law. In order to preserve freedom, there needed to be political order governed by law that was enforced.
Cultural freedom today is a belief that freedom is the lack of norms, rules, or laws restraining us from doing what we want to do or be. People who hold to this view believe in “freedom from” any external values.
Personal freedom as defined in scripture tells us Christ provides freedom from the bondage to sin, the Law, death, and lies about reality. This freedom that begins at our core inevitably expands, leading to freedom in all areas of life.
“The Declaration of Independence sets forth our God-given rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” We have seen the cries for freedom that led to pulling down the wall between East and West Berlin. Believers should be the most free to enjoy life and God’s creation, as long as it is within the structure of how God has made us. We are not free from God-ordained obligations, but we are free to live life as God intended it to be lived.” Art Lindsley