Ep. 01: Respecting Religion and the National Prayer Breakfast

Feb 20, 2020

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).

Scroll down below the player for the show notes.

Show notes:

Segment 1: Why this podcast and why now? (starting at 00:31)
All 10 episodes of our previous podcast series on The Dangers of Christian Nationalism are available on the BJC Podcast feed and on this SoundCloud playlist.

Holly mentions her recent column about the need for advocacy on various fronts and recalls how she grew up having respectful conversations about politics and religion. You can read it at this link.

Segment 2: Why “Respecting Religion”? (starting at 16:30)

Amanda and Holly mention two other podcasts on the law that they enjoy: Amicus with Dahlia Lithwick and Strict Scrutiny.

The rejected podcast name Amanda references (in re) means “with regard to.”

Segment 3: Where did we see religion in our world? The National Prayer Breakfast (starting at 25:15)

Each week, Amanda and Holly will talk about where they see religion in the world around us, including popular culture, in ways that sometimes shape the public’s view and understanding of faith freedom for all.

The documentary about Aretha Franklin’s 1972 performance at a church is called Amazing Grace.

The Netflix series mentioned about The Fellowship Foundation is called The Family.

Amanda mentioned two commentaries about religion from the week of the National Prayer Breakfast: Trump’s politicization of the National Prayer Breakfast is unholy and immoral by Michael Gerson in the Washington Post and ‘Conscience … more or less’: Roger Williams, Mitt Romney and the rest of us by Bill Leonard, published by Baptist News Global.

Holly mentioned the response that prayer breakfast keynote speaker Arthur Brooks wrote for the Washington Post: Trump and I disagreed at the National Prayer Breakfast. But we listened to each other.

Amanda mentioned Sen. Mitt Romney’s speech about his decision to vote for impeachment and the importance of his faith. You can read the full text and watch a video of it here.


Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.