BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty

BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty

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On behalf of the Convocation Committee I want to express our profound appreciation to the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty for partnering with Howard University School of Divinity to host the symposium and luncheon on a day of unprecedented importance for conversations about politics, race and religion. We are especially grateful for the diligent efforts of Mr. Charles Watson, BJC Education and Outreach Specialist, for all he did to make this event a great success to the benefit of everyone who attended.
BJC, thanks for taking care of our youth when they were up a few weeks ago. They did a presentation on their trip, in which some of their time was visiting the BJC. They were proud and impressed by the work. They are ginding that being Baptist us pretty cool!

BJC defends and extends religious liberty for ALL people. Visit us at BJConline.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @BJContheHill

BJC goes behind the headlines to tackle today's serious threats to religious liberty. We bring you conversations about the importance of standing up for religious liberty for all people, threats to our First Amendment right, and our work in the courts and with Congress. Learn with us and make a difference in your community.

Operating as usual

01/24/2023

High school juniors and seniors, ✍️ write this down! Entries for the 2023 Religious Liberty Essay Contest are due March 17th. By submitting an essay, you have a chance to win scholarship money and a trip to Washington, D.C.!

This year’s topic is about sacred land, including the work to save Oak Flat. Visit BJConline.org/contest for the full writing prompt and rules, and share this opportunity with students you know!

We are now accepting entries for the 2023 Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest! Open to all high school juniors and seniors, all you have to do is write an essay on this year’s topic, which is about sacred land (including the work to Save Oak Flat).

The grand prize is $2,000 and a trip for two to Washington, D.C. There are no GPA or religious requirements – all high school students in the classes of 2023 and 2024 are eligible to enter. Essays are due March 17, 2023.

Learn more about the topic and how to enter: https://bjconline.org/contest/

01/22/2023

We Don't Have Religious Freedom Yet

How have BJC's Amanda Tyler's views changed as she has studied American history and advocated for religious freedom for all? Watch this TED-style talk from the Belief & Belonging Festival in Waco, Texas.

01/20/2023

🚨 Attention all young professionals 🚨 There is one month left to apply for the 2023 class of . Applications and recommendations are due February 20. Everyone between the ages of 25 and 45 are eligible to apply.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to deepen your understanding of religious liberty and gain valuable skills to advocate for the cause throughout your career! Learn more and share this opportunity with others at bjconline.org/fellows.

Applications for the 2023 class of BJC Fellows are now open! The Program offers young professionals from diverse educational, religious and professional backgrounds the opportunity to deepen their historical, theological and legal understanding of religious liberty. Be part of the next class and develop your skills to advocate for faith freedom for all. Learn more and apply: BJConline.org/Fellows

My Baptist journey to interfaith work 01/19/2023

My Baptist journey to interfaith work

“The example of my church that combined soul freedom with a mandate to recognize and respect people who are different from ourselves is what I long for in my country and informs my work as a Baptist minister and as the president of Interfaith Alliance.”

Rev. Paul Raushenbush reflects on his Baptist journey in the latest edition of Report from the Capital: https://bjconline.org/my-bapitst-journey-to-interfaith-work/

My Baptist journey to interfaith work Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush shares how the Baptist concept of "soul freedom" influenced his life and career.

Photos from BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty's post 01/18/2023

BJC’s Jennifer Hawks joined students from First Baptist Church of Asheville over the weekend to talk about the work we do at BJC, including how we protect faith freedom for all. She even got to connect with former BJC intern, Tori Gilkeson!

Photos from BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty's post 01/17/2023

BJC’s Jennifer Hawks, Jaziah Masters, and Karlee Marshall attended the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists Religious Freedom Prayer Breakfast this morning. People from different faiths prayed for peace, our nation, elected officials, global health and healing, and the community.

01/16/2023

Today, we honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's also a day for all of us to engage in acts of service. Dr. King's fight for freedom and equality was robust, and the work he began must continue today.

January 16 is also known as "Religious Freedom Day," marking the date in 1786 that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was passed. It articulated the concept of faith freedom for all, and the principle was enshrined a few years later in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

But, not all citizens nor all people enjoyed the rights and privileges of religious freedom in 1786.

BJC encourages you to take a moment to learn more about the contributions of Dr. King and find ways you can stand up for the freedom of all. Visit some of the links in the comments for additional resources and information.

Reconsidering the Truths We Hold 01/15/2023

Reconsidering the Truths We Hold

The Rev. Larrin Robertson, pastor of Word For Life Church Ministries, reminds us that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of the Declaration of Independence as “a defaulted promissory note that repeatedly failed African Americans.”

Tomorrow is both Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Religious Freedom Day, and the Rev. Robertson calls all of us to reconsider our truths.

“Truths regarding economic issues, education, elections and experience were central to King’s call. They remain the grounds for truths that we must reconsider.“

Read his powerful piece published by Good Faith Media:

https://goodfaithmedia.org/reconsidering-the-truths-we-hold/

Reconsidering the Truths We Hold The truths set forth by the authors of America’s Declaration of Independence authors are twofold. First, all ‘men’ are equal. Second, these equal ‘men’ were endowed by God with unalienable rights. Let’s revisit and reconsider these truths.

How MLK’s Pastoral Ministry Shaped His Civil Rights Work 01/14/2023

How MLK’s Pastoral Ministry Shaped His Civil Rights Work

“God works through ordinary, everyday and mundane relationships to bring about the changes in the world that God wanted, King emphasized.”

Rev. Terrell Carter reminds all of us that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was, first and foremost, a preacher. Read his reflection via Good Faith Media:

https://goodfaithmedia.org/how-mlks-pastoral-ministry-shaped-his-civil-rights-work/

How MLK’s Pastoral Ministry Shaped His Civil Rights Work Martin Luther King Jr. was first and foremost a pastor. No matter how much King’s audience grew, or civil rights work called, he always found his way home to regularly preach to his people.

Photos from BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty's post 01/13/2023

BJC’s Amanda Tyler attended a Special Naturalization Ceremony for National Religious Freedom Day at the White House today. 15 new Americans took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America. Amanda is pictured with Melissa Rogers, former BJC General Counsel and current executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

“A key religious liberty principle is that there are no second class faiths under the United States Constitution,” Rogers said at the event, which was the first of its kind to ever be hosted at the White House.

Photos from BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty's post 01/13/2023

It’s been an exciting new year already as we welcomed student groups from The Washington Center for a BJC visit this week to learn more about our work combatting Christian nationalism and defending faith freedom for all.

Following the Lead of a ‘Transformed Nonconformist’ 01/13/2023

Following the Lead of a ‘Transformed Nonconformist’

“In standing apart, King often stood alone — though he preached to large congregations and was surrounded in marches.”

The Rev. Starlette Thomas, host of The Raceless Gospel Podcast, looks at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of not conforming to what he saw, but working to transform it.

Read more via Good Faith Media: https://goodfaithmedia.org/following-the-lead-of-a-transformed-nonconformist/

Following the Lead of a ‘Transformed Nonconformist’ King’s work and witness was, and is, celebrated because he was a “transformed nonconformist.” And while King is rightly praised as a civil rights icon, his message of peace, nonviolence and social justice was delivered mainly to congregations.

We Shall Overcome: Reviewing the Concept, Refocusing the Vision, Revisiting the Strategy 01/12/2023

We Shall Overcome: Reviewing the Concept, Refocusing the Vision, Revisiting the Strategy

“We must combine the strategies of the past with modern day approaches to address the pervasive injustices today.”

In reflection on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and legacy, the Rev. Chris Smith casts a vision on how we can take seriously the encumbrances to racial justice we have in society today.

Read more from her at Good Faith Media:
https://goodfaithmedia.org/we-shall-overcome-reviewing-the-concept-refocusing-the-vision-revisiting-the-strategy/

We Shall Overcome: Reviewing the Concept, Refocusing the Vision, Revisiting the Strategy “We shall overcome…” became a rallying cry, motivator and impetus for the ’60s civil rights movement. As Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches, let’s review the concept, refocus the vision and revisit the strategy.

01/12/2023

Podcast Clip: Two years after January 6

How dangerous is rhetoric that talks about our Constitution as “divinely inspired”? On this week’s , Amanda and Holly discuss the release of the January 6 Committee’s final report, and they share their reflections on the hearings and the two-year anniversary of the attack on our Capitol.

Listen to their full conversation on the Respecting Religion podcast, available from your favorite podcasting provider. You can also hear it on this website page: https://bjconline.org/s4-ep-10-a-report-a-prayer-vigil-and-a-somber-anniversary-two-years-after-january-6/

Martin Luther King Jr.: An Exemplar of Prophetic Citizenship 01/12/2023

Martin Luther King Jr.: An Exemplar of Prophetic Citizenship

“King was more than an orator. He was the best example of prophetic citizenship in the world during the last half of the 20th century – if not for all time – who lived and died for justice.”

Read more from Judge Wendell Griffen on the impact of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in this piece from Good Faith Media. https://goodfaithmedia.org/martin-luther-king-jr-an-exemplar-of-prophetic-citizenship/

Martin Luther King Jr.: An Exemplar of Prophetic Citizenship As the world commemorates MLK's January 15 birthday, politicians, business leaders, educators, theologians, activists and students should reflect on the meaning of King’s life. I am glad to join that effort.

Photos from BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty's post 01/11/2023

BJC’s Jaziah Masters returned to The Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University to talk to students about his work at BJC and combating Christian Nationalism. Jaziah is a graduate of the school, and he took the same Religion and Politics course when he was earning his master’s degree.

Sunrise vigil features prayers to commemorate January 6 anniversary 01/09/2023

Sunrise vigil features prayers to commemorate January 6 anniversary

Christian leaders gathered for a sunrise prayer vigil at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the 2021 insurrection and to seek divine guidance and protection in the struggle against the ideology of Christian nationalism.

Event co-organizer Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and lead organizer of Christians Against Christian Nationalism, said the Jan. 6 anniversary should be a reminder that the threat to democracy did not end with the attack on the Capitol.

“Tragically, Christian nationalism intensified the attacks on Jan. 6, 2021, and Christians bear a special responsibility in continuing to draw awareness to Christian nationalism as a threat to our democracy and to showing how it is a gross distortion of the Christian faith that we hold dear,” she said.

Sunrise vigil features prayers to commemorate January 6 anniversary Christian leaders gathered for a sunrise prayer vigil at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the 2021 insurrection and to seek divine guidance and protection in the struggle against the ideology of Christian nationalism. Event co-organizer Amanda Tyler, executive direc...

Photos from BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty's post 01/09/2023

We welcomed our first student group of 2023 last week! College students from United Methodist College Washington Consortium - Internship Program - CHIP visited our office on Friday for a to learn more about the Constitution’s protections for faith freedom for all and BJC’s work!

01/08/2023

What is Christian nationalism?

What's the difference between Christian nationalism and Christianity? As a Christian, BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler can’t stand it when her religious tradition is equated with the harmful political ideology of Christian nationalism. So, she's setting the record straight.

Join tens of thousands of Christians in calling out Christian nationalism at https://www.christiansagainstchristiannationalism.org/.

Learn more about BJC by visiting https://bjconline.org/ and subscribing to our youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/.

EndChristianNationalism on TikTok 01/06/2023

EndChristianNationalism on TikTok

BJC’s Christians Against Christian Nationalism campaign is now on TikTok!

EndChristianNationalism on TikTok Happening now in front of the Capitol, 2 years post January 6 insurrection.

Photos from BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty's post 01/06/2023

This morning, Christian leaders gathered at dawn to mark the 2nd anniversary of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“It’s up to all communities, and I think particularly Christian faith communities, to understand what Christian nationalism is, to talk about what role it plays on attacks on democracy, not just on Jan. 6, but continuing attacks with election denial, and conspiracy theories,” said BJC’s Amanda Tyler before the event.

BJC's Christians Against campaign and Faithful America co-sponsored the remembrance. Here are a few photos. You can watch a recording of the livestream here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=509734884353941

Photos from BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty's post 01/06/2023

Photos from BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty's post

01/06/2023

This morning , our Senior Strategist, joined and other Faith leaders to stand against Christian Nationalism in a vigil.

📸:

01/06/2023
Timeline photos 01/04/2023

Looking to address what the Bible teaches us about religious freedom during your worship service? Invite BJC to preach!

We love visiting Baptist and other Christian churches to preach the Gospel, which we believe calls us to defend faith freedom for all.

We currently have four staff members available to visit your church: Amanda Tyler, the Rev. Dr. Dan Hamil, the Rev. Jennifer Hawks, and Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons. In addition to preaching, they can lead small group or church-wide discussions on religious liberty and Christian nationalism.

Learn more and see examples at BJConline.org/bjcpreaching

Timeline photos 01/03/2023

As the 118th Congress convenes today, the Pew Research Center provides a look at the religious composition of our lawmaking bodies.

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution prohibits any religious test for public office, and – as you can see in this report – our country has legislators who come from a variety of religious backgrounds and no religious background.

You’ll also see that Christians make up 88% of this new Congress – a higher percentage than the overall population.

Get additional details in this article: https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2023/01/03/faith-on-the-hill-2023/

01/03/2023

BJC's Amanda Tyler joined Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove for Morning Prayer and a discussion about Christian nationalism. You can watch the recording here.

01/01/2023

Happy New Year! Join us on Monday morning at 9 a.m. ET for a special time of prayer with Red Letter Christians and School for Conversion.

12/31/2022

Religion News Service just named BJC’s Amanda Tyler one of its 15 “Faith Influencers” of the year for her leadership of the Christians Against Christian Nationalism campaign. Read more at the link in the comments!

12/30/2022

BJC is featured in TIME! Read the article for an in-depth profile of our Christians Against Christian Nationalism campaign and please share this article with your friends!

“In the coming year, Tyler is hoping to use the focus on the issue to grow the grassroots national network to help other Christian organizations learn to notice the signs of Christian nationalism ‘in order not to be complicit with its spread,’ and learn to address it. ‘To dismantle an ideology that’s so deeply seated will be a generational project,’ she says. ‘But it’s one that’s urgent for our democracy and for the safety of the country.’”

https://time.com/6242260/christians-against-christian-nationalism-violence/

12/29/2022

BJC WRAPPED: 195 students visited our office in Washington, D.C. in 2022! Students from across the country come each year to learn about religious liberty, the First Amendment and how we defend faith freedom for all.

Christian Nationalism Conspicuously Absent From January 6 Report 12/29/2022

Christian Nationalism Conspicuously Absent From January 6 Report

MSNBC’s Alicia Menendez interviewed BJC’s Amanda Tyler in prime time last night. They discussed the role of Christian nationalism in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. You can watch the full 7-minute segment here. We hope you will share this with your friends so they can learn about our work at BJC!

Christian Nationalism Conspicuously Absent From January 6 Report Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, talks about the role that Christian nationalism plays in extremist mov...

12/28/2022

‼️TONIGHT: Amanda will be live on MSNBC to talk about Christian nationalism and the role it played in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Alex Wagner Tonight airs at 9:00 p.m. ET ⏰

12/28/2022

In 2022, BJC defended the religious freedom of our Indigenous neighbors, delivering a letter to Congress in support of the Save Oak Flat Act from people across the country and from many faith backgrounds. We are asking for the continued protection of Chí’chil Biłdagoteel, sacred land to many Indigenous communities.

Learn more about our efforts to save Oak Flat: https://bjconline.org/saveoakflat/

12/28/2022

For the first time in two years, we gathered this summer for an in person luncheon, bringing together hundreds of religious liberty supporters to listen to and learn from Indigenous voices on faith freedom.

12/27/2022

From local newspapers to national television programs, BJC is speaking out in the news media about faith freedom for all and the dangers of Christian nationalism.

12/26/2022

Wishing everyone who is celebrating Kwanzaa a joyous seven-day festival!

Faith. Freedom. For All.

Mission: To defend and extend God-given religious liberty for all people.

Videos (show all)

Meet the BJC Board of Directors, composed of individuals from a variety of careers, Baptist denominations, and faith tra...
Christian Nationalism’s Threat to Democracy, Curated by Amanda Tyler
Podcast clip: Christian nationalism and the midterm elections
What does the Bible teach Christians about religious freedom?
Amanda Tyler at General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina
Can churches engage in political activity?There’s often misunderstanding about the role of religious communities in Amer...
Podcast clip: Lessons learned fighting Christian nationalism
Have you ever heard someone say the United States is a "Christian nation"? Is that true? In this new video, BJC General ...
Podcast preview: Justice Alito and religion at the Supreme Court
What is the difference between Christian nationalism and Christianity?
It’s the BJC internship 🌽 Applications for the spring semester close on October 15. Apply today at https://bjconline.org...
Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman are recording the season premiere of the Respecting Religion podcast live!

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