Following conscience in community with neighbors: BJC Staff Q&A with Amanda Tyler
As the executive director, Amanda Tyler leads BJC as it upholds the historic Baptist principle of religious liberty: defending the free exercise of religion and protecting against its establishment by government. She is the lead organizer of BJC’s Christians Against Christian Nationalism campaign and co-host of BJC’s Respecting Religion podcast. A graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the University of Texas School of Law, Amanda is based in Dallas.
What does faith freedom mean to you?
Faith freedom means having the necessary autonomy to follow the dictates of one’s personal conscience in community with one’s neighbors. As a Christian, Galatians 5 is a touchstone text: I believe it is for freedom that Christ has set me free, but that my freedom is meant to be used in love and service to my neighbors, not for my own self interests.
What’s one thing you’ve accomplished at BJC that makes you proud?
Leading the team that conceived of and launched Christians Against Christian Nationalism. In 2019, we heard a call to provide a platform for organizing and advocacy against an increasingly violent ideology and started something that continues to evolve to meet current demands.
What have you been reading, watching, and listening to lately?
I like to read contemporary novels (Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt is delightful!) and listen to podcasts (“The Ezra Klein Show” and “Another Mother Runner” are two favorites). I watch a lot of Major League Baseball with my son, who has become a superfan. I catch up on fun shows while I run on the treadmill – it keeps me moving and also keeps me from binge-watching!
Who inspires you?
My mom. She defines resilience for me. She also has modeled for me what a lay leader looks like in church and in the community. And she is my biggest encourager.
What’s your favorite BJC quote or saying?
“No one is as free as a bird. Only a bird is as free as a bird.”
What has been your favorite BJC event during your tenure?
The BJC Fellows Program – I learn so much from each cohort!