Jerry Bowyer: America Is Indebted To Martin Luther

500 years ago Martin Luther’s started a debate by nailing a document with 95 theological assertions to the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral, triggering the Reformation. No matter which side of that theological debate you’re on, you should be grateful for the ultimate effects of this action on Western liberty and prosperity.

Luther took existing strands of thought and weaved them together into a powerfully influential Biblical argument for freedom of conscience that ultimately laid the groundwork for our American 1st Amendment.

Many of these 95 assertions concerned economic exploitation. And Luther’s doctrine of the Priesthood of all believers helped to create a culture which honors hard work and innovation.

In the lands influenced by the Reformation, living standards have increased 100 fold; ordinary people who used to routinely die in their 30s, now often live into their 80s, and child mortality has gone from tragically common to increasingly rare.

Luther wasn’t perfect, but the good that he preached, is needed now as much as it was then.