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Amanda Tyler responds to a question about the politics of school prayer

defend religious liberty Amanda Tyler

Holly Hollman examines a bill that provides a new marker for debates about LGBTQ rights and religious liberty.

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Florida pastor arrested for holding services, other congregations meeting in defiance of COVID-19-related orders

Florida pastor arrested for holding services, other congregations meeting in defiance of COVID-19-related orders

The arrest of a pastor intensifies the debate over whether religious gatherings should, or even must, be exempt from public health orders. While some states and local governments have made a point of explicitly allowing religious gatherings to occur, others have not.
U.S. Navy revises religious accommodation request policy regarding beards, attire

U.S. Navy revises religious accommodation request policy regarding beards, attire

The U.S. Navy joined the trend among American military branches in expanding the ability of service members to wear religiously motivated head covering and beards.
New Hampshire judge upholds ban on gatherings, dismisses religious liberty complaint

New Hampshire judge upholds ban on gatherings, dismisses religious liberty complaint

Because of the special protections in place under federal and state law for religious free exercise, some states are choosing to exempt religious services from orders forbidding gatherings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Why is religion treated differently by our Constitution? In a blockbuster year at the Supreme Court, BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler and General Counsel Holly Hollman examine one case that could have major implications for religious liberty law. They dig deeper into Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue (starting at 1:50), talk about what people mean when they say “Blaine amendments,” explain the footnote of a previous decision that came up during oral arguments (18:20), and share their predictions for the decision.  They also point out the links between this case and other events, including a troubling proposal released by President Trump during his State of the Union address (29:31). In the final segment, Amanda and Holly review how Supreme Court news continues to dominate religious liberty conversations and note how religion is being treated in news about the coronavirus (39:57).

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).

What’s the antidote to Christian nationalism? To conclude our podcast series, we take a look at what it means to embrace civic pluralism with Eboo Patel, the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core. He talks with BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler about the difference in religious and civic pluralism, the origins of the term “Judeo-Christian,” connections between anti-Muslim bigotry and anti-Catholic bigotry, and how we can create a “potluck nation,” where everyone brings their unique contributions to the table.

In light of our conversations about Christian nationalism, this podcast takes a broader view of work in the church-state realm. BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler is joined by Rabbi Ambassador David Saperstein, Melissa Rogers and BJC General Counsel Holly Hollman to look at the challenges to our constitutional commitment to religious liberty for all people. As they note, disagreement on the proper application of the First Amendment’s religion clauses is not necessarily evidence of Christian nationalism. Hear them discuss the complexity in this area of the law, the role of religion in public life, the dangers of government promotion of religion, how the Supreme Court tends to interpret the religion clauses, the protections provided by the separation of church and state, and more.

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People walking in front of the US Capitol Building

BJC Advocacy Trainings: Make a difference

BJC offers advocacy trainings that equip individuals to be more effective advocates and talk to their lawmakers about religious liberty issues. Hear from participants in one of our events on Capitol Hill, and learn more at https://bjconline.org/make-a-difference/.
Video cover showing the video podcast group Rabbi David Saperstein, Melissa Rogers, Holly Hollman, and Amanda Tyler

BJC Podcast video: Religious freedom, church-state law and Christian nationalism

In this episode of the BJC Podcast Executive Director Amanda Tyler is joined by Rabbi Ambassador David Saperstein, Melissa Rogers and BJC General Counsel Holly Hollman to look at the challenges to our constitutional commitment to religious liberty for all people.
video thumbnail of Amanda Tyler talking in an office hallway

Amanda Tyler: A Christian against Christian nationalism

BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler shares the dangers she sees in Christian nationalism, a political ideology that seeks to merge American and Christian identities. Join her and Christians across the country in signing the statement calling out this issue at ChristiansAgainstChristianNationalism.org
video thumbnail of a young woman with long blonde hair speaking and the Christians Against Christian Nationalism logo in dark red in the lower left

Christians Against Christian Nationalism

Join Christians across the country speaking out against #ChristianNationalism, which is a distortion of our faith and a divisive force in our country. Visit ChristiansAgainstChristianNationalism.org to read the statement and add your name.