Only through understanding what divides us can we find common ground in our religious liberty tradition like Americans did before us.
As Baptists, we are particularly steeped in the historical reasons for avoiding government entanglement in religion, and — like all Americans — we are beneficiaries of a robust religious liberty tradition.
We must protect all of our churches and religious beliefs about marriage and — at the same time — recognize as citizens and Christians that we should treat all equally and without regard to religious differences in the commercial marketplace.
In one of the most visible cases this term, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a Colorado baker has a constitutional right to refuse to make a cake for the wedding reception of a same-sex couple.
While the holding of this decision may be narrow, its tone is unfortunate and ahistorical, as aptly noted in the dissent. Treating churches in a distinct way has long been part of our religious liberty tradition.
To understand what is truly at stake and to avoid the trap of hysteria in the Trinity Lutheran Church case, it helps to know a little history.