By Charles and Kim Cates of Falls Church, Virginia
We started giving to the Baptist Joint Committee a number of years ago, and in 2011 we became monthly donors to support the good work that the BJC does defending and extending religious liberty for all. We first learned about the BJC when Charles was an intern there 16 years ago. It was the summer that the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) was passed. Being an intern gave Charles a front row seat to witness the abilities of the BJC to build a diverse coalition around an important issue, and do real good in the end.
The BJC is unique because of its laser focus on the traditional Baptist tenets of separation of church and state and religious liberty for all. No other group has that uniquely Baptist history and perspective. Our founding fathers were wise to enshrine freedom of religion with no government intervention for or against religion as the first freedom in our Bill of Rights, and the BJC defends this from the understanding that true religious freedom is a gift from God for all of us.
The BJC really stands out in three areas: education, legislation and litigation. They have educational materials for students, clergy, congregations and lawmakers. They build coalitions with other groups to help defend everyone’s religious liberty. They watch crucial court cases and help us understand their implications for religious liberty and even participate by writing briefs for the court detailing our Baptist perspectives.
We chose to become monthly donors to the BJC because we feel like it is good for us and good for the BJC. Being able to spread out our gift over the year helps us to plan our budget and enables us to give more in the end than if we gave once or twice a year. We also don’t have to remember to write and mail a check — our donation is an easy recurring payment. It helps the BJC because they know that steady and reliable donations are coming regularly.
Become a monthly donor for you and for the BJC! It is easy to set up and once you do, you can read Report from the Capital each month knowing that you’re making a difference in the fight to defend and extend religious liberty for all!