The Protestant Reformation
499 years ago in Wittenberg, Germany, Martin Luther changed the course of western civilization. That was a big deal then, as it is today.
In the last 1000 years, a few people changed the way we think about the whole world and our place it it. These few people had an idea that forever changed the world; the earth shook beneath our feet.
Whenever we go to the dentist, drive a car, bake a cake, or use our computer, we think back to the time when science was invented or discovered. It sounds so strange to say: "science was invented," but it was.
Sir Isaac Newton, among others, is credited with developing the scientific method. Before he discovered that things can be studied and figured out (like penicillin), we looked to demons and powers beyond our control to explain life. Fate controlled everything.
Luther is up there with Newton and a few others who changed the world and everyone in it, including us. His discovery: personal responsibility and conscience give us power to stand up to those in authority. Or, no one can tell you what to do. No one can make you violate your conscience even if they claim the right to do so. This idea changed the world.
We have elections on November 8 because of the Reformation in 1517. We have a Christian Church that, because of the Reformation, is continually reforming itself. The Reformation lifts each of us up as an equal to other rulers or ideologies. We are free to make our own decisions and our own mistakes.
When casting our ballots, thank the leaders of the Reformation who transformed the world, and each of us in it. Your conscience is more important than an unjust order given by a superior. The Reformation celebrates, among many other things, our sacred right to make our own decisions; to follow our conscience.