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Andrews University Association of Adventist Forum Meetings January 22, 2017

Posted by jimharris2006 in Uncategorized.
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Michiana Adventist Forum


Religious Freedom & Public Morality:

Church-State Issues in America Today


A presentation and discussion led by

Nicholas Miller, JD, PhD

Director, International Religious Liberty Institute

Professor of Church History, Andrews University




Emmanuel Abar

PhD student at Andrews University

Studying Muslim/Christian interactions in Nigeria


Vernon Alger, Esq

Retired director of public affairs and religious liberty

for the Lake Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


Moustafa Elsayed

Imam at the Medina Islamic Center

 Benton Harbor, MI


John R. Nay

Retired US diplomat


Saturday Afternoon at 3:30 pm

April 22, 2017


Chan Shun Hall

Andrews University

Berrien Springs, MI


About the Program

Topics for discussion include:

 “Immigration Reform and the ‘Muslim ban’:  Religious Discrimination or National Security Protection”           

“Repealing the Johnson Amendment: Pros and Cons to Pulpits and Politics.” Does the Johnson amendment infringe religious speech, or is it a fair application of church/state separation?

            “Adventists and Political Power: A New Era?” Adventists Ben Carson, Barry Black and others serve in the Cabinet, as Senate Chaplain, and as US Representatives. Have Adventists changed their attitudes regarding involvement in political affairs?

            “Politics and Prophecy: How Flexible is the Adventist End Time Outlook?” How might Adventists relate to the religious right and the secular left?  What about Sunday laws?


About the Participants

Nicholas Miller

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Nicholas Miller received his B.A. in theology from Pacific Union College, a J.D. from Columbia University Law School, and a Ph.D. in American Religious and Legal History from the University of Notre Dame.  Dr. Miller has argued many church/state cases in state and federal courts, has appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Mitchell v. Helms, and is the author of more than thirty scholarly and professional journal articles and book chapters dealing with issues of church, state, and society.  His book on the development of religious freedom in America, The Religious Roots of the First Amendment, was published by Oxford University Press in the summer of 2012, and he edited the Andrews University Press book on Homosexuality, Marriage, and the Church (2012).

Emmanuel Abar

Emmanuel Abar is a PhD student at Andrews University who is from Nigeria.  He has studied church history and religious liberty and is doing a dissertation on the history of church and state in Nigeria, looking especially at Muslim/Christian interaction.

Vernon L. Alger

Vernon L. Alger, Esq., served for many years as director of public affairs and religious liberty for the Lake Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He has also served as chair of Americans United’s National Leadership Council Meetings Committee. He is currently retired in Grand Rapids, MI. He has been licensed to practice law in Michigan since 1970.

Moustafa Elsayed

Moustafa Elsayed has been Imam at the Medina Islamic Center in Benton Harbor, MI, since July 2014. He has also served as Imam at the Egyptian Religious Endowment Ministry.    He holds a bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies from Al-Azhar University in Cairo and a master’s degree in comparative religion from Western Michigan University. He dialogs regularly with local Christians. 


John R. Nay

Ambassador John R. Nay served as the 13th U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Suriname. During his tenure as Ambassador to Suriname, he  emphasized the importance of human rights, freedom of the press, respect for law, and the value of protecting Suriname’s rich environmental diversity in both its rain forests and its marine areas. Ambassador Nay was a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, holding the rank of Minister Counselor. Before arriving in Suriname, Ambassador Nay was the Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto, Canada.  Prior to serving in Toronto, he was the Office Director for African Regional & Security Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs.  A native of Michigan, he and his wife, Judith Ashdon Nay, have three adult children and two grandchildren.