Shuck and Jive

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oliver "Buzz" Thomas at ETSU

I just returned from an address by Rev. Oliver "Buzz" Thomas at ETSU. Thomas, a Baptist minister and a lawyer spoke on the constitution, particularly the first amendment, and more particularly, the freedom of religion.

He made a number of points:

  • Religion is one of the few things we kill and die for.
  • America is the most religiously diverse nation in the world.
  • The glue that binds us is not Christianity or religion but the constitution.
  • Many Americans mistakenly think the constitution stipulates that America is a Christian nation.
  • Respecting the right of others to exercise their religion is the key to being good citizens.
  • The American experiment will depend upon whether or not we can live together in peace despite our differences.
He talked about the importance of all people guaranteeing the freedom of others to practice their religion. For example, Christians should advocate for the local Islamic society to build a mosque in the city, regardless of our theological beliefs. That is what is unique and important about our nation.

He is an excellent speaker. He has also written a book,

Ten Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can't Because He Needs the Job!)


  1. I have just read "Ten Things Your Minisister Always Wanted to Tell You . . " for the second time. As a person who considers herself a Christian but is currently between churches, I think it is one of the best books I have ever read. I am recommending it to friends who approach spirituality without checking their brains at the door.

  2. Thanks Anna Marie. That is exactly what we need all right!

  3. I too have just finished reading the book and it has changed my perspective on a number of things.

  4. I just finished this book for the second time. Mainly, because I wasn't sure if I was reading it correctly. I also double checked to make sure the author was indeed a Baptist Minister. I'm so glad I came across this book at the library. I plan on buying several copies and giving them as gifts. It amazes me that a gentleman from his generation has these views and has publicly announced them. I applaud his efforts!