Author to speak out about religious freedom

After reading “A Free People’s Suicide,” by Os Guinness, President Linda Bennett said she feels Guinness believes the freedom of religion lays the foundation for all others to exist.

Guinness has written 30 books about religious freedom and the problems surrounding it and traveled the world to talk about the subject. He is scheduled to speak on campus at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Mitchell Auditorium about religious freedom and diversity. The event is free and open to the public.

Bennett invited Guinness personally after she was introduced to his work by her colleague Jeff Knight. Ever since, she has been enthralled with his works as a Christian Apologist — one who gives explanation and defence to the Christian faith.

“What was interesting to me in ‘A Free People’s Suicide,’ was he talks about (the mentality of) today and he has a great phrase in (the book),” Bennett said. “‘We’re so afraid of the external threats to the country, but it’s not the wolf at our door, it’s the termites in the floor.’”

With all that has happened and is currently happening on campus as well as throughout the nation, Bennett said she felt this was the perfect opportunity to talk about fundamental freedom of religion and believes it is a healthy topic for students to engage in.

“We’re doing more than just giving you a degree in a certain area,” Bennett said. “You’ve got to be opening up minds and discussions on issues of the day.”

Guinness will talk about  his book “The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity’’. The main point will be how to live together and have discussion about things that not everyone may agree on

A local Evansville interfaith group has been invited to the event as well as, Omar Atia, Rabbi Gary Mazo and the Chaplain of the University of Evansville will be attending the event.

“He is very winsome and makes the case for why and how (everyone) should be able to live in a global public square with our greatest differences,” said Jeff Knight, first vice chair of the Board of Trustees. “He encourages the reader to be respectful of other’s points of view, and even to the point of defending their right to those points of view.”

Knight said Guinness stood out because of his eloquence and diplomacy as well as his independent viewpoints.

According to Bennett and Knight, he has spoken with many different world leaders without taking political sides

“There are others like him that I respect,” Knight said, “and I would love to see more speakers like Guinness come to University of Southern Indiana to help young people to learn the technique and skill that he has.”


Fast Facts:

What: Os Guinness Religious Freedom and Diversity Presentation

When: 7:00 p.m. January 27

Where: Mitchell Auditorium