BJC’s podcasts feature some of our most popular lectures, in-depth discussions of current events and analysis of church-state issues.
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As the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus, Congress passed and the president signed stimulus packages that impact businesses and nonprofits. But, what does this mean for houses of worship? On this week’s Respecting Religion, Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman review the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (starting at 5:35), provisions of the CARES Act (15:45) – including the Paycheck Protection Program Loans (20:10) and increased charitable giving incentives – and more. They discuss new requirements and opportunities for nonprofits and what houses of worship need to consider when determining whether to apply for financial relief programs. In the third segment, Amanda and Holly explore how religious communities are caring for people in new ways during this time.
What does it mean for religious liberty when the government asks houses of worship not to hold services in the middle of a pandemic? Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman look at the impact of the coronavirus on religious communities and how they are responding (starting at 6:13). Plus, they explore a key law that keeps coming up in these conversations: the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (starting at 23:03). In the final segment, Amanda and Holly share how the stay-at-home orders are impacting them and how churches are finding new ways to serve in this time.
The coronavirus is leading many conversations this week, and we’ll talk about how it has impacted religious communities during this unprecedented time. But first, Amanda Tyler and Holly Holllman take a look at several Supreme Court cases this term that deal with protections for workers from employment discrimination that could have implications for religious organizations. They break down the term “because of sex” in Title VII (starting at 4:30) and discuss the ministerial exception (18:20), an important part of the law that protects religious organizations. On the final segment, Amanda and Holly share how the coronavirus is impacting – and showcasing – religion in the lives of Americans and how we can lean into a theology of abundance during this time (34:40).
This year, the Trump administration released proposed regulations impacting faith-based organizations that partner with the government. But, the story has gone largely unnoticed by the media, and it can have huge implications for people receiving government services. On this episode of Respecting Religion, Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman discuss the history of government partnerships with faith-based groups – including “Charitable Choice” and the faith-based initiative office under President George W. Bush (6:07). They also explore the new Trump administration proposals and three major points of concern that could undermine the religious freedom rights of those who often receive government services (21:13). In the final segment, Holly and Amanda discuss how religion has been discussed during the Democratic presidential primary and what this means about how religion is respected in our conversations (36:45).
Has God been kicked out of the public schools? Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman dig into a recent announcement from President Trump about constitutional prayer in public schools and explore the rhetoric and the reality. Hear their reactions to the Oval Office announcement (starting at 3:20), the stories behind the stories shared there (11:11), and the long history of guidelines on religion in the public schools through Supreme Court cases and consensus efforts (18:32). In the final segment, Amanda and Holly look at how religion is portrayed – and not – in the movie “Little Women” (37:35) and discuss a meditation practice in a public school.
Why is religion treated differently by our Constitution? In a blockbuster year at the Supreme Court, BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler and General Counsel Holly Hollman examine one case that could have major implications for religious liberty law. They dig deeper into Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue (starting at 1:50), talk about what people mean when they say “Blaine amendments,” explain the footnote of a previous decision that came up during oral arguments (18:20), and share their predictions for the decision. They also point out the links between this case and other events, including a troubling proposal released by President Trump during his State of the Union address (29:31). In the final segment, Amanda and Holly review how Supreme Court news continues to dominate religious liberty conversations and note how religion is being treated in news about the coronavirus (39:57). See the show notes for more details.
Why do we need to talk about religion and the law? In the inaugural episode of the “Respecting Religion” podcast series, BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler and General Counsel Holly Hollman recount things that have happened in the first few weeks of 2020 (starting at 4:50) and discuss the importance of understanding what’s at stake. They also share their reactions to this year’s unusually political National Prayer Breakfast (28:44), including the lessons it has for all of us. Plus, Amanda and Holly talk about their favorite rejected names for this new podcast series (16:30).
It seems like we’re constantly seeing new headlines about religious liberty or an important legal development about the relationship between faith and government. Keep track of it all with our new podcast series: Respecting Religion. Each week, BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler and General Counsel Holly Hollman will sit down for a conversation on recent developments regarding religion and the law. Respecting Religion begins on February 20, and new episodes will be released each Thursday. We respect our country’s commitment to religious freedom for everyone. From Supreme Court cases, to new policies from the administration, to what role Congress is playing in all of it, Holly and Amanda will review how religion is being respected today and how we can work to protect faith freedom for all.