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
The West Virginia House of Delegates advanced a bill that would create tax credits for private school tuition, even if the school openly discriminates on the basis of religion.
A recent 6th Circuit opinion found that a Wiccan inmate’s religious exercise was in fact substantially burdened, regardless of how many other Wiccans might agree, and sent the case back to the District Court for further analysis.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill repealing the state’s religious exemption from vaccination requirements. “[O]ur first job is to protect the public health,” he explained.
Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins challenges audiences to see the connections between race and religion and how we can move toward a more just future
Today, religious communities must lead by example to engage in civil dialogue and mediate deep differences of opinion and belief.
Religious liberty for all will only be a reality when we revise any theology or ideology thatrenders some of our neighbors to be less than human.