The Baptist Joint Committee is the only faith-based agency devoted solely to religious liberty and the institutional separation of church and state. Since 1936, the BJC has continuously provided reliable leadership on church-state issues as it leads coalitions of groups striving to protect both the free exercise of religion and to defend against its establishment by government. Read more.
Baptists value religious freedom and separation of church and state because we suffered the hard lessons of history. The Baptist commitment to religious liberty is centered on our freedom to worship without efforts by the government to advance or restrain religion. God has made us all free – free to say yes, free to say no, and free to make up our own minds about our spiritual destiny. The BJC believes that a threat to anyone’s religious liberty is a threat to everyone‘s liberty. Read more
The separation of church and state is a shorthand metaphor for expressing a deeper truth: religious liberty is best protected when church and state are institutionally separated and neither tries to perform or interfere with the mission and work of the other. It does not require a “segregation” of religion from public life, but it serves both religion clauses in the First Amendment, insisting upon no establishment of religion and ensuring the free exercise of religion. Read more
More than 120 lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors of the Freedom of Religion Act, which is supported by several nonprofit organizations including the BJC.
Study *about* various religions can be an appropriate part of the public school curriculum, but a class that focuses exclusively on one religious text would seem fraught with constitutional peril in practice.
A federal jury awarded a whopping $21.5 million to a former Park Hotels employee who was fired for refusing to work on Sundays.
Organizations like the BJC are active in fighting hate. Safety is no longer just an illusion or willful denial – it’s simply not a reality for many.
“Maintaining the United States’ strong leadership in defending religious liberty around the world requires that we attend to challenges at home as well as abroad.”
Walking the hallowed ground of America’s commitment to religious liberty in Rhode Island is a pilgrimage for any Baptist and a reminder of how important it is to defend this freedom for all.