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Each year, the Religious Liberty Council of the Baptist Joint Committee sponsors the Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest. High school juniors and seniors are asked to discuss a topic regarding an important church-state issue.

This year’s topic calls on students to explain whether elected and appointed government officials have the right to opt out of certain job duties based on closely-held religious beliefs. Examples include¬†a county clerk not wanting to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or a clerk who is a pacifist objecting to issuing a gun license.

In this podcast, BJC Education and Outreach Specialist Charles Watson Jr. joins Staff Counsel Jennifer Hawks to discuss the logistics of entering the contest as well as approaching the topic from an analytical and legal perspective.

For more information about entering the contest, including the complete topic and rules, visit the Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest page.