Written by Don Byrd

2017 was packed with news surrounding religious liberty and the separation of church and state. It’s nearly impossible to rank their importance, but my reflection on the top ten stories of the year is an attempt to bring into focus and perspective the headlines marking the most significant and potentially significant developments.

You can find my article in the Baptist Joint Committee’s publication, Report From the Capital. At least one of the entries is already in need of an update, after Congress dropped a troubling provision from the House’s tax bill that would have severely undermined the Johnson Amendment, which provides essential protections for houses of worship from politicization.

Read the entire year-end story for my discussion of each entry, but here are my top ten religious liberty stories of 2017.

  1. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer.
  2. President Trump’s Travel Ban Raises Religious Discrimination Concerns
  3. Johnson Amendment Under Fire
  4. Supreme Court Hears Masterpiece Cakeshop Discrimination Case
  5. Harrowing Increase in Bigotry and Violence Targeting Religion
  6. Neil Gorsuch Appointed to U.S. Supreme Court
  7. Legislative Prayer Issue Likely Headed Back to Supreme Court
  8. Bladensburg Cross Ruled Unconstitutional
  9. Senators Cross Line in Questioning Nominees
  10. RFRA Argument Rejected in Keystone Pipeline Protest 

Coming up: what I’m watching for in 2018.