Introduction To R.I.S.E.
I’m Dr. Eric Wallace, President, and co-founder of Freedom’s Journal Institute for the Study of Faith and Public Policy. It is my privilege to share with you the R.I.S.E. principles, an acronym and guiding philosophy, developed by Freedom’s Journal Institute to rally our communities together to collectively rise and build.
These principles: Responsible government, Individual liberty and fidelity, Strong Family values and Economic Empowerment) represent our unique articulation of conservative ideas and values meant to both vigorously challenge “liberal” ideology; as well as, to create a paradigm shift in how people view matters of faith, race, and public policy.
The purpose of this video series is to clear up misinformation about what it means to be a conservative.
In recent years, conservatism has been maligned as, racist, out of touch, or just for rich people.
This characterization could not be further from the truth.
Our hope is that as a result of this series, the R.I.S.E. principles will begin to help to dispel these false narratives, as well as inspire a whole new generation of people who are willing to stand for what they say they believe, and to actively engage in the political process that represents us.
This is the first of five videos, which we hope you will watch in their entirety.
Human history is replete with men and women who willingly stood against the tyranny and opposition of those individuals and governments that refused to recognize the Sovereignty of God.
They fought to preserve their liberties, and the freedoms of those dearest to them, against all odds. These early Freedom Fighters fought—and even gave their lives—as they clung to a set of principles, convictions, and values written upon their hearts, and ingrained in their minds. These principles gave rise to a vision for freedom, which has been passed down from generation to generation.
As conservatives, we too pledge to hold to a set of core values and principles that are foundational to our political philosophy. These have been dubbed the R•I•S•E principles, Responsible government, Individual liberty and fidelity, Strong Family values, and Economic Empowerment.
At the core of the R.I.S.E. principles are those biblical doctrines, which duly recognize a Sovereign God as the Creator and Sustainer of all life. They acknowledge that, out of chaos, God brought forth order; and that He declared the work of His creation “good.” They recognize that man was created in the image of God, and given authority to “rule and subdue” the earth, which is what gives mankind purpose. It is also what makes each human being a “unique” creation with God-given potential.
The R.I.S.E. principles acknowledge that God is the originator of government or “the law” from the prohibition in the Garden of Eden, to the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mt. Sinai; to Jesus’ proclamation of the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. These principles recognize that since the Fall of man, mankind has been in rebellion against God; and that humanity in its fallen state needs God’s redemption.
Additionally, the R.I.S.E. principles acknowledge that God has provided redemption for all mankind through the advent, death, and resurrection of His son Christ Jesus. And, a promise that to everyone “who believes” in the Son of God, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who writes upon the heart a moral law, which is testified to in Scripture. This “new” law allows people to govern themselves, and to live in peace with God and one another as members of a new political reality known as “the Kingdom of God.”
It is from this foundation that our Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence and established the Constitution of the United States of America. In it, they wrote of “unalienable rights,” which come from our Creator (and not from men); along with the conviction of equality of all mankind before God, as they battled to overthrow the tyranny of foreign rule. Furthermore, it is this same worldview with which many of the heroes of our past, such as Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, fervently fought to maintain the principles and values of freedom and economic empowerment—principles we, today, continue to fight for in our modern society.
And lastly, to this, the R.I.S.E. principles acknowledge America’s African American history, which includes a storied history and legacy of struggle against social injustices— one, which is deeply rooted in the conservative principles upon which this nation was founded. We also acknowledge that distinctive to this heritage is the presence of the Black Church, which has served as the core of the Black community; as well as the center for social, political, cultural, and economic activity.
As a political philosophy, Black conservatism is based on those African-American traditions, values, and experiences (both political and cultural), which place God at the center of our existence; and, which securely root the tenets of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Holiness into the political fabric of American society.
The preamble to R.I.S.E.