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
Two years away from an election, hosting a guest speaker may not imply endorsement in a way that it will two weeks from the start of voting, when all attention on that individual revolves around their candidacy.
This week, a U.S. House Subcommittee will hold a hearing on recent charges of increased religious persecution in China.
RFRA remains an important protection for free exercise. But that doesn’t mean that those claiming their religion is burdened are automatically allowed an accommodation to circumvent the law.
When viewed in light of Justice Kennedy’s church-state legacy and ongoing conflicts, it is clear that living up to our country’s promise of religious liberty for all remains an uphill battle.
BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler shares a learning experience she had during the summer of 2018.
We must all advocate for a more complete and inclusive understanding of religious liberty for people of all faith traditions and those who do not adhere to any religion.