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defend religious liberty

Charles Watson Jr. shares three lessons that religious organizations and houses of worship can learn from chaplains in this strange new world.

defend religious liberty

Holly Hollman examines various provisions of the CARES Act and questions houses of worship need to consider during this time.

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6th Circuit sides with Kentucky church in first COVID-19 religious liberty case to reach federal appeals court

6th Circuit sides with Kentucky church in first COVID-19 religious liberty case to reach federal appeals court

The decisions mark the first entrance by a federal appeals court into the growing debate surrounding whether and to what extent a governor’s emergency restrictions on public gatherings apply to worship services.
U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in ‘ministerial exception’ cases

U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in ‘ministerial exception’ cases

These new cases raise the question of how courts should go about answering the question of whether an employee is covered by the ministerial exception and, as a result, cannot litigate an employment discrimination claim.
U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments (again) over religious objections to contraceptive mandate

U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments (again) over religious objections to contraceptive mandate

In this new case, more than one justice – including Chief Justice John Roberts – sounded frustrated that their previous ruling in Zubik (encouraging the parties to find a compromise on the contraceptive mandate) had not worked.

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As religious communities deal with bans on mass gatherings, legal disputes are popping up across the country. What’s happening now, and what could we see more of when the country begins lifting restrictions? This week, Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman examine the key issues in these lawsuits (starting at 12:45) and talk about how courts are ruling in the various cases, including drive-in church services (19:42). Plus, they share how they’re learning about other religious traditions as people of faith continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

How do religious groups work together for the greater good? On this episode of Respecting Religion, we bring you a conversation featuring Eboo Patel, the founder of Interfaith Youth Core (starting at 13:01). In this discussion from March 2020, Patel talks about how the history behind the term “Judeo-Christian” suggests opportunities for greater religious inclusion, shares personal reflections on what it is like to be a Muslim in America today, and explains why he is optimistic about religious pluralism. Plus, Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman talk about how they saw religion respected in the world during the celebrations of Easter and Passover.

As the coronavirus changes everything – including the topics for this podcast series – Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman review how religious freedom principles are coming into focus. They talk about three principles that are part of many conversations during this time: the essential nature of religion for many people (04:53), why the government does not have to treat religious organizations differently when it comes to health and safety (12:00), and why the government should not fund religion (19:55). In the third segment, Amanda and Holly talk about what they are doing – and being inspired by – during this week that marks the beginning of Passover and the advent of Easter.

As the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus, Congress passed and the president signed stimulus packages that impact businesses and nonprofits. But, what does this mean for houses of worship? On this week’s Respecting Religion, Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman review the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (starting at 5:35), provisions of the CARES Act (15:45) – including the Paycheck Protection Program Loans (20:10) and increased charitable giving incentives – and more. They discuss new requirements and opportunities for nonprofits and what houses of worship need to consider when determining whether to apply for financial relief programs. In the third segment, Amanda and Holly explore how religious communities are caring for people in new ways during this time.

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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.