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
The Alabama legislature last week passed a bill authorizing school districts to offer elective classes based on the Bible. The measure now heads to Governor Kay Ivey for her signature.
Church-State News Roundup: Judicial Prayer Challenged, Sikh Bus Driver Spurs Diversity Training, More
A roundup of recent local stories from around the country related to religious liberty: New lawsuits in Texas and South Carolina; a discrimination ordinance gets a controversial change in a Kentucky town; and a Sikh bus driver gets justice after ten years of harassment on the job.
Do local governments have a responsibility to contract with businesses whose policies run do not align with government interests when those policies are motivated by the owner’s religious beliefs?
The United States’ legal tradition of protecting religious liberty seldom operates in absolute terms; religious liberty is not protected the same way in every context.
Approximately one in three countries has at least one blasphemy law on the books, which are common tools used by governments in oppressing freedom of belief and expression.
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.