The Baptist Joint Committee is the only faith-based agency devoted solely to religious liberty and the institutional separation of church and state. Since 1936, the BJC has continuously provided reliable leadership on church-state issues as it leads coalitions of groups striving to protect both the free exercise of religion and to defend against its establishment by government. Read more.
Baptists value religious freedom and separation of church and state because we suffered the hard lessons of history. The Baptist commitment to religious liberty is centered on our freedom to worship without efforts by the government to advance or restrain religion. God has made us all free – free to say yes, free to say no, and free to make up our own minds about our spiritual destiny. The BJC believes that a threat to anyone’s religious liberty is a threat to everyone‘s liberty. Read more
The separation of church and state is a shorthand metaphor for expressing a deeper truth: religious liberty is best protected when church and state are institutionally separated and neither tries to perform or interfere with the mission and work of the other. It does not require a “segregation” of religion from public life, but it serves both religion clauses in the First Amendment, insisting upon no establishment of religion and ensuring the free exercise of religion. Read more
Questioned by Senate Judiciary Committee members about recently issued Justice Department guidelines on religious liberty law, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not have many answers.
The 4th Circuit has rejected arguments that a large memorial cross in Prince George’s County, Maryland is a secular commemorative symbol, finding the cross an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.
In a new column, the BJC’s Holly Hollman dives into Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a highly charged case the U.S. Supreme Court will hear in December.
We all have a role to play in safeguarding religious freedom for all.
In one of the most visible cases this term, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a Colorado baker has a constitutional right to refuse to make a cake for the wedding reception of a same-sex couple.
These individual acts not only demand responses from our officials, but also from we the people. The images of clergy, standing arm and arm, praying, singing and ministering in the field show the power of religion free from state control.