Nov. 4, 2004
Annual Henry Lecture
In the wake of this week's election a lot of commentary has focused on the "moral values" issue.
Across the country exit polls showed that more voters said "moral values" were the most important issue to them in deciding their presidential vote - more important than the economy, terrorism or Iraq.
For many the term "moral values" means such traditional issues as abortion and gay marriage.
But, in a talk to be held at Calvin College on November 11, Allen Hertzke, a professor of political science and director of religious studies at the University of Oklahoma, will argue that moral values for conservative voters means a lot more than those two hot-button issues.
His 7:30 pm address - which is the ninth annual Henry Lecture - is titled "Freeing God's Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights."
It is also the title of his recent book. In the book Hertzke makes several significant claims in demonstrating how the social networks of the evangelical world, born of a conservative impulse, are being put in service of justice and human rights concerns normally associated with progressive politics.
"This startling phenomenon," he says, "has sparked unlikely alliances on a series of human rights initiatives -- on religious persecution, sex trafficking, Sudanese atrocities, and North Korean gulags -- in which born-again Christians joined with liberal Jews, Catholics, Episcopalians, Tibetan Buddhists, Iranian Bahais and even secular feminists."
At Calvin, Hertzke will speak about how this movement is transforming American foreign policy. He also will speak to what the movement suggests about the role of global Christianity in the new century.
The talk will be held in the Willow Room at the Prince Conference Center and is free and open to all. A reception for Hertzke will follow the lecture.
The annual Henry Lecture is sponsored by the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics which was created in 1997 to continue the work of integrating Christian faith and politics advanced by its namesake: educator and public servant Paul B. Henry. Henry taught political science at Calvin College from 1970 to 1978, then served in the Michigan State House and State Senate and finally in the U.S. House of Representatives from November 1984 until his untimely death in July 1993.
Henry's book Politics for Evangelicals provided a blueprint for his own involvement in public service, involvement characterized by a constant search for justice.