By Jennifer Hawks

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When we think of the great Baptist heroes who championed religious freedom for all people in America, we often think of Roger Williams, John Leland, Isaac Backus, George W. Truett or Martin Luther King Jr. As with most historical narratives, stories about the fight for faith freedom for all often leave women in the shadows. To celebrate Women’s History Month, BJC is introducing several stories of women who played a role in fighting for freedom, including religious freedom.

To kick off BJC’s honoring of women’s stories, I wanted to start in Colonial America with Jane Verin, the…

By the Rev. Dr. Perry Hopper

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In her essay, American Religious Freedom: Pride and Prejudice, Tisa Wenger argues that “many Americans take great pride in religious freedom as a pivotal feature of the nation’s founding experiment, and a signal contribution to global practices of democracy. However, any amount of historical investigation reveals that this freedom has always had its limits, and Americans have always disagreed about its implications in practice.” This is no less true when it comes to the experience and application of religious freedom among African Americans. I recall the 2015 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon in Dallas, Texas…

By Jaziah Masters

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History can be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, offering perspective and in many ways comfort. Every Black History Month allows us to intentionally reflect on the heritage that we as African Americans have inherited. This is a proud legacy washed anew with every generation. In a world where “unprecedented” seems to be the new normal, I find comfort in looking back on my history, so much of which is still relatively unknown.

I have just read Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin and it still amazes me that…

By Rev. Jaimie D. Crumley

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On Thursday, February 4, 2021, Charles Watson Jr., the director of education at BJC, shared a stimulating conversation with the Rev. William H. Lamar IV, the pastor of the Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C. They discussed what the Black Church teaches America about faith freedom. I respond to their conversation as a Black woman ordained in the American Baptist tradition and a Black feminist intellectual historian who studies the lives and theologies of Black Christian women in 18th and 19th century America. …

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Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC) is a faith-based education and advocacy organization devoted to the protection of faith freedom for all people. From its headquarters on Capitol Hill, BJC has worked for more than eight decades in support of the Constitution and other laws that protect religious freedom for all.

We take seriously the teaching of Jesus to let our “yes” mean “yes” and our “no” mean “no” (Matthew 5:37). At this time of crisis for our country — when the value of truth itself is in serious jeopardy — we are compelled to speak the truth as…

By BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler

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Happy New Year! I’ve waited months to say those words to you!

Thank you for giving generously at the end of the year. Your continuing support not only propels our work into this new year, but it also provides a tangible expression of your commitment to and investment in promoting our shared values of protecting everyone’s faith freedom. And if you missed giving at year-end or want to make a gift to launch us into this year, please give online now.

As we embark hopefully into 2021 and consider our work in the context…

By BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler

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I was appalled when I learned about the violence that took place this weekend in Washington, just blocks from my family’s apartment. Groups of protesters, many of them associated with the “Proud Boys” movement, violently ripped “Black Lives Matter” signs off historic churches in downtown Washington, D.C.

The banner of Asbury United Methodist Church was burned while onlookers laughed, hollered and took videos. The Rev. Dr. Ianther Mills, senior pastor of the church, said, “For me it was reminiscent of cross burnings.” In 2020. Blocks from the White House.

The Rev. William H. Lamar…

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By BJC Associate General Counsel Jennifer Hawks

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 512 (H.Res. 512), which calls for the repeal of blasphemy and apostasy laws globally. BJC worked with the American Humanist Association and more than six dozen religious and nontheistic organizations from across the political spectrum to educate the representatives on the harms of blasphemy and apostasy laws and urge passage of the common sense resolution. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, provided extraordinary leadership in the House to keep this resolution moving from introduction to final passage.

More than one-third of the world’s countries have laws…

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Chaplain (Colonel) Geoff Bailey enlisted in the Army in 1991 and became a chaplain in 2001. He is endorsed to serve by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and he is currently a student at the U.S. Army War College. In honor of Veterans Day, we asked him to share about his experiences serving our country.

How do you care for those who practice a faith different from your own?

This is one of the great joys and responsibilities of serving as an Army Chaplain. We are charged with coordinating or providing religious support for all Service Members, Department of…

By BJC Director of Education Charles Watson Jr.

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Monday, October 12, marks Indigenous Peoples Day, a celebration of indigenous life, culture and identity. The federal government recognizes the holiday on the second Monday of October as Columbus Day, but 14 states and more than 130 cities celebrate it as Indigenous Peoples Day, either in addition to or in place of Columbus Day.

This holiday was originally proposed in 1977 as an International Day of Solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, after a global gathering of indigenous nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Media commentators often talk about Indigenous Peoples Day…

BJC- Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty

Our mission is to defend and extend #FaithFreedomForAll. BJConline.org

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