By Bob Allen // Baptist News Global
Below is an excerpt. Read the full article on Baptist News Global’s website.
The head of a Baptist organization specializing in matters involving church and state gave low marks to a new White House initiative to promote the administration’s views on religious liberty.
Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, said she supports some of what Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a July 31 speech announcing the establishment of a Religious Liberty Task Force to enforce guidance on church/state dispute the Justice Department issued last year.
Tyler took issue, however, with “the oversimplification of unsettled legal questions involving the free exercise of religion” and “near total omission of any concern for government promotion of religion” in the Sessions speech.
In comments Aug. 1 responding to the establishment of the new Religious Liberty Task Force, Tyler agreed with Sessions “that we find ourselves in a perilous moment,” adding, “but I fear that what is most in jeopardy is widespread support for religious liberty for all.”
By establishing a “one-sided” task force, Tyler said the Trump administration is “only exacerbating the problem.”
“In aligning the government closely with a narrow viewpoint on religious freedom – which fails to balance concern for protection of the rights of others with the right to exercise one’s religion – the Trump administration is sowing division where there should be unity on our first freedom,” Tyler said.