Open House at the new Baptist Joint Committee on Religious LibertyWritten by Don Byrd

Writing for Word and Way, Brian Kaylor profiles the Baptist Joint Committee’s work on Capitol Hill and other Baptists focused on religious liberty. In the piece, Kaylor quotes BJC Director Brent Walker’s evaluation of the current state of church-state law in America.

Here is an excerpt:

As Walker considers recent trends in religious liberty legislation and court decisions, he sees a mixed picture. In some areas — like protecting church autonomy and free exercise — he generally likes what he sees.

In other areas, especially with the “no establishment” clause, he remains worried.

“I don’t think we understand the importance of not having government promote religion,” he said. “The [Supreme] Court has gotten pretty squishy.”

“The Baptist Joint Committee has taken the position the government shouldn’t subsidize churches — period,” he added. “We stand up for historic Baptist principles and First Amendment principles.”

Kaylor’s profile is an important reminder that Baptists are among our country’s strongest advocates for religious liberty, and for good reason. The historic tradition of Baptists underscores the fact, as is often said, that denial of religious liberty for anyone jeopardizes the religious liberty of everyone. That is why we much safeguard not only the right of free exercise but also, as Brent says, “the importance of not having government promote religion.”

Read the whole thing.