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
Americans United filed a lawsuit challenging HHS’ policy allowing federally funded child placement agencies to discriminate on the basis of religion.
The BJC’s Amanda Tyler explains why the Supreme Court’s first church-state opinion of the term was an “astonishing display of religious preferentialism.”
A bill in Alabama to authorize Bible classes in public schools joins several others inspired by “Project Blitz,” a troubling and coordinated campaign to incorporate religion into public institutions.
Those who care about religious liberty in this country need to know about Dunn v. Ray and its astonishing display of Christian preferentialism that threatens everyone’s religious freedom.
After 82 years of faithful service, the BJC’s enduring mission now lives in a new and fluid environment. It would be easy to be discouraged by the current reality, but we are not.
The United States’ legal tradition of protecting religious liberty seldom operates in absolute terms; religious liberty is not protected the same way in every context.