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
Legislation proposed in Georgia purports to protect the religious freedom of public school students and school district employees, but is aimed at a football prayer controversy.
Religious indoctrination and promotion is appropriately the province of our homes and houses of worship, not our public schools. Where the religious liberty rights of children and parents are involved, the stakes are too high.
A profile of Bahá’ís who have resettled in the United States from Iran over many years reminds of the importance of our refugee program, and the power of religious liberty for all.
In his statements both during and after the hearing, Sen. Sanders seems to conflate Vought’s religious exclusivism with political exclusivism.
Some continue to blur the lines between being generally “political” – which is permitted – and taking a partisan position for or against a candidate’s campaign for office – which is not.
To understand what is truly at stake and to avoid the trap of hysteria in the Trinity Lutheran Church case, it helps to know a little history.