Baptist Joint Committee Podcast



Defending and extending religious liberty for all since 1936


  • S3, Ep. 05: What’s the problem with the government funding religious education? A preview of Carson v. Makin

    03/12/2021 Duración: 38min

    You are subscribed to our old feed! Subscribe to "Respecting Religion" on this same provider to get the clean feed and to access show notes! A central concern for BJC in protecting faith freedom for all involves keeping the government out of religion, and that principle is at stake at the Supreme Court next week. Holly and Amanda preview the case of Carson v. Makin, talking about the Baptist beginnings of protecting religious liberty, the importance of religious education, the unique school system in the state of Maine, and how this case is different from cases involving school vouchers. After listening to this episode, you’ll also be able to impress your friends with trivia about Maine’s public school system. In segment three, they talk about a troubling article and share a warning about overreaching arguments. For show notes and additional information, please find this episode on the "Respecting Religion" feed or visit this link:

  • S3, Ep. 04: Searching for sincerity and standards: SCOTUS on religious rites in the execution chamber

    22/11/2021 Duración: 38min

    You're listening to this show on the old feed -- subscribe to "Respecting Religion" on its permanent feed so you don't miss any episodes! This was released November 18, 2021. Description: The Supreme Court brought the execution chamber into the courtroom as it heard arguments about the activities clergy can perform at the moment of death. Amanda and Holly share clips from the arguments in Ramirez v. Collier and discuss issues raised by the justices. From questions about sincerity of religious belief to the key laws that protect the religious exercise of prisoners, hear what the justices focused on and learn about the arguments made by both sides. In segment three, Amanda and Holly discuss the roles of pastors in cases like this and how churches connect with prisoners.    Show notes: Segment one (starting at 00:43): Amanda and Holly previewed the Ramirez v. Collier case in episode two this season — you can listen to that on your feed and access show notes at this link. This Texas Tribune article by Jolie McCul

  • S3, Ep. 03: What’s going on with religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates?

    04/11/2021 Duración: 40min

    You're still listening to the show on the old feed. Search for "Respecting Religion" and listen to us there! This week, Amanda and Holly explore questions swirling around vaccine mandates and religious exemptions related to COVID-19. Is there a newfound religious awakening that is leading to new requests? Are people gaming the system? Dive into the issue that is on the mind of employers, government officials and individuals across the country. Amanda and Holly discuss the religious liberty rationale for religious exemptions, the compelling government interest in mandating vaccines and how those values have been balanced in the past and in dealing with the present pandemic. They also talk about some of the difficult decisions employers are facing as they try to keep their workforce safe, healthy and productive. In the third segment, they look at the broader impact of COVID-19, including new reports on the trustworthiness of clergy when it comes to this topic.  See our "Respecting Religion" podcast feed for com

  • S3, Ep. 02: Out of the shadows and into the courtroom: Religion in the execution chamber

    28/10/2021 Duración: 38min

    You're listening to this podcast on our old feed. Search for "Respecting Religion" on this same podcast provider to find the current feed -- we won't be here much longer! The Supreme Court is about to hear arguments in a type of case it usually addresses in its emergency or “shadow” docket: Questions surrounding clergy and religious exercise in the execution chamber. Amanda and Holly review the issue by considering cases over the past few years, including how the justices have shifted over time, with strong words from Justice Elena Kagan and the arrival of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. In segment two, they dive into the first religious liberty case the Court will hear oral arguments this term in Ramirez v. Collier, including the statute at the heart of the case: RLUIPA. In segment three, Amanda and Holly step back to discuss their personal experiences visiting death row early in their legal careers. Subscribe to our new feed or visit for our show

  • S3, Ep. 01: The fondness of magistrates: Is religion really winning at the Supreme Court?

    21/10/2021 Duración: 38min

    As we kick off season three of Respecting Religion, Amanda and Holly take a look at where we’ve been and the big cases the Supreme Court will hear this term. Please join us on our new podcast feed -- search for "Respecting Religion" on this same podcast provider. In this episode, they dig into doctrinal shifts at the Court and recent studies about religion cases, explaining what the numbers don’t show. In segment two, they dive into the Supreme Court’s 2021 decision in Fulton v. Philadelphia (15:55), involving a faith-based group’s voluntary partnership with the government to administer a foster care program. The decision hinged on a single line in a contract, and they share why it’s not as sweeping a decision as the 9-0 outcome might make it seem. In the third segment, hear what Amanda, Holly, and BJC have been doing since we last gathered for a podcast — from new school routines to calling out Christian nationalism.  For show notes and additional information, find the program on our new feed. You can also v

  • Previewing season 3 of Respecting Religion -- subscribe to our new feed!

    14/10/2021 Duración: 01min

    Respecting Religion is coming back this month -- join us on our new podcast feed! Search for "Respecting Religion" and subscribe. The new icon will be a photo of Amanda and Holly in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Join BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler and General Counsel Holly Hollman for new conversations on religion and the law this season, including the most significant cases concerning religion and religious liberty at the Supreme Court. They'll be discussing government funding of religious schools, the religious liberty rights of prisoners, Christian nationalism and flag flying, the continuing debates about religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination mandates, and more.  As lawyers and people of faith, Amanda and Holly think these topics deserve respectful conversation -- something that we don’t always hear in the public square or in our social media feeds.  Look for new episodes to be released each Thursday on the new feed, starting October 21, 2021. All of season one and two are already on the new

  • Season 2 bonus episode: When ministers become candidates

    17/12/2020 Duración: 54min

    Race and religion are topics at the forefront of the U.S. Senate race in Georgia between Sen. Kelly Loeffler and the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock. On this bonus episode of Respecting Religion, we bring you a conversation between BJC Director of Education Charles Watson Jr. and Executive Director Amanda Tyler about what happens when ministers become candidates. In this dialogue broadcast live on December 2, they go beyond partisan politics and dive into the sensitive topics, discussing the implications of using sermons in attack ads, the power structure of whiteness, Christian nationalism, liberation theology, double standards and how you can’t ignore the racial components at play right now. Plus, they ask a serious question: How do the attacks against the Rev. Warnock compare to similar attacks on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his time?   Show notes: You can watch this conversation on BJC’s Facebook page at this link.   Brian Kaylor of Word & Way wrote a story on the conversation, and you can r

  • Season 2, Ep. 06: What’s next? The Biden administration and religious liberty (Featuring Melissa Rogers)

    10/12/2020 Duración: 54min

    In our season finale, we look to the future and the potential ways the Biden administration could impact religious liberty. Our guest for this episode is Melissa Rogers, former executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships during the Obama administration. Amanda, Holly and Melissa discuss the need for an administration to be organized at the outset and ready for issues that are going to impact religious liberty, both explicitly and implicitly. There is a key difference between an administration making unforced errors and actions that inflame the culture wars. Plus, the trio reviews the religious liberty impact of the Trump administration and the centuries of partnership between the government and religious organizations.     Show notes: Segment 1: Why do we need priorities for the next administration? (Starting at 00:47) Melissa Rogers is the author of Faith in American Public Life, which is available wherever books are sold. The report for the Brookings Institutio

  • Season 2, Ep. 05: This Emotional Court

    03/12/2020 Duración: 48min

    This summer, the coronavirus pandemic raised novel new questions about religious freedom and government powers. Now, as we head toward winter, what have we learned? Amanda and Holly talk about the latest actions from this surprisingly emotional Supreme Court. Starting with Justice Samuel Alito’s November speech to the Federalist Society (starting at 08:12), they then break down the Thanksgiving eve decision that overturned New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s limits on worship in coronavirus hotspots (20:03) and talk about what it might mean for restrictions in other places. Learn more about what’s at stake for religious freedom in these court cases and the importance of comparing apples to apples.   Segment one: What’s happened in challenges to  government restrictions on in-person worship services so far? (starting at 00:47) Amanda and Holly talked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on religion and religious freedom in four episodes of season one of Respecting Religion: Episode 6: Stay-at-home orders, relig

  • Season 2, Ep. 04: Grading the Trump administration on religious freedom

    19/11/2020 Duración: 42min

    What do we make of the Trump legacy when it comes to religious freedom? Go beyond the sound bites and confusing statements as Amanda and Holly analyze what really happened over the past four years. They note areas of agreement, instances where religious language was used to divide, how high-level appointments mattered, proliferations of religious exemptions, Betsy DeVos and the shift of public funds to religious schools, and what it all means for the future of religious liberty in our country.   Segment 1:  Divisive tactics and confusing statements (starting at 00:49) Holly was in this NPR story by Tom Gjelten: Religious Freedom Arguments Give Rise To Executive Order Battle For more on the protections of the Johnson Amendment, visit Read Attorney General Bill Barr’s 2019 speech at Notre Dame Law School at this link. Read Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 2019 speech titled “Being a Christian leader” at this link. In season one, Amanda and Holly talked about religion and the pub

  • Season 2, Ep. 03: Religion and politics: Decision 2020 and beyond

    12/11/2020 Duración: 44min

    How did Christian nationalism show up on the campaign trail and at the ballot box? What is the possibility for religion to be a positive and unifying force for our politically divided country? How did President-elect Joe Biden talk about religion in his acceptance speech? Amanda and Holly look at religion and politics this election season — the good, the bad and the confusing.   Segment one: Christian nationalism in the 2020 election (starting at 00:52) For more on the political ideology of Christian nationalism, visit Read and sign the statement at Amanda mentioned two episodes from season one to take a deeper dive on Christian nationalism:         Episode 11: Christian nationalism during the coronavirus pandemic         Episode 15: Protests, the president, and the photo op with a Bible For more on the speech by Vice President Mike Pence on Old Glory, read this Religion News Service story by Jack Jenkins and Emily Miller: Citin

  • Season 2, Ep. 02: Religion vs. Religion at the Supreme Court

    06/11/2020 Duración: 51min

    What’s at stake in the high-profile religious liberty case at the Supreme Court this term? Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman break down the oral arguments in Fulton v. Philadelphia, which centers on whether a religious organization can apply its religious criteria to discriminate when operating as a government contractor delivering foster care services. They share four takeaways and speculate about what sort of decision we might see in the case. Plus, they take a look at how religion has been discussed in terms of voting this week, including problematic implications of a religious test for office.     Segment one: What are the religious liberty issues at play in Fulton v. Philadelphia? (starting at 1:05) For more on Employment Division v. Smith (1990) and the legislative response, visit Holly mentioned this story in the Washington Post by Michelle Boorstein: Religious conservatives hopeful new Supreme Court majority will redefine religious liberty precedents BJC has a page dedicated to the Ful

  • Season 2, Ep. 01: Amy Coney Barrett hearings and the Supreme Court's future

    29/10/2020 Duración: 47min

    What did we learn about religious freedom from the Amy Coney Barrett hearings? To kick off season two of Respecting Religion, Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman put the Senate’s confirmation hearings for Justice Amy Coney Barrett into context, spotlighting the religious freedom issues raised – or politicized – during the event. And, after so much talk about the Constitution’s prohibition on a religious test for office, they ask an important question: Who was imposing a religious test during the hearings? Plus, in segment three, they look at how religion is showing up in our world today, including in a controversy with one of the Hollywood stars named “Chris” and a recent statement by Pope Francis about civil unions.   Segment one: Barrett and Ginsburg, Cruz and Cornyn (starts at 1:09) Amanda mentioned two pieces BJC wrote about the impact and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: RBG: Defender of equality, principled dissenter, faithful supporter of religious liberty by Holly Hollman, published by Baptist News G

  • Ep. 20: Supreme Court in July!

    16/07/2020 Duración: 45min

    The doctrine of the “ministerial exception” and the latest installment in the ongoing saga of challenges to the contraceptive mandate capped off this year’s Supreme Court term. Amanda and Holly give their analysis of those key cases impacting religious liberty and discuss how they interact with other decisions from this blockbuster year. In this season finale, Amanda and Holly also look back at our entire season of Respecting Religion and invite you to continue the conversation. The post Ep. 20: Supreme Court in July! appeared first on BJC.

  • Ep. 19: SCOTUS disregards distinctiveness of religion in school funding decision

    09/07/2020 Duración: 38min

    Amanda and Holly examine the troubling Supreme Court ruling that has major implications for funding education and protecting against government-sponsored religion. They break down the decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, including a concurrence that would undermine the entire Establishment Clause and the different angles taken by the dissenting justices. In segment three, Amanda and Holly share ways they are seeing religion respected in the world around us. The post Ep. 19: SCOTUS disregards distinctiveness of religion in school funding decision appeared first on BJC.

  • Ep. 18: White supremacy and American Christianity

    02/07/2020 Duración: 48min

    We’re bringing you important conversations on white supremacy and American Christianity in this episode. First, we’ll play the June 26 discussion between researcher Robert P. Jones of PRRI and journalist Adelle Banks from Religion News Service (starting at 2:14). Jones is the author of the forthcoming White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, and he talks with Banks about the church’s current “moment of reckoning” across denominational lines, particularly as white churches have been either blind to their part in systemic racism or have ignored it. This podcast also features Amanda’s call to action from the June 26 event, including the dangers of Christian nationalism (25:39). We’re also bringing you part of a follow-up conversation with BJC’s Charles Watson Jr. and Dr. Alphonso Saville of Georgetown University (37:48), where they discuss a wide range of issues, including how arguments can inform how we proceed and the importance of understanding history. The post Ep. 18: White su

  • Ep. 17: A landmark case for LGBTQ rights: What’s next for religious liberty?

    18/06/2020 Duración: 39min

    This week, the Supreme Court issued a landmark case for LGBTQ rights, interpreting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Amanda and Holly discuss the opinion and the dissents, looking at the way each interprets “because of sex” in the statute. They also talk about how the opinion and dissents discuss implications for religious liberty, as well as responses to the case from the community. In the final segment, Amanda and Holly discuss and recommend recent movies and podcasts and invite you to join upcoming conversations about religious liberty, race, white supremacy and American Christianity. The post Ep. 17: A landmark case for LGBTQ rights: What’s next for religious liberty? appeared first on BJC.

  • Ep. 16: When religious liberty covers racism

    11/06/2020 Duración: 49min

    As the conversation about racial justice continues in our country, we dig in to talk about race and religious liberty. BJC Director of Education Charles Watson Jr. joins Amanda and Holly for a personal conversation about his experiences and how his work at BJC intersects with the work for racial justice. He tells his story and explains how a seminal speech at a BJC Luncheon on Juneteenth impacted the trajectory of his work at BJC. Amanda, Holly and Charles discuss how different ethnic communities view the phrase “separation of church and state” and why the work for religious freedom matters. Plus, in the third segment, they discuss how they are seeing religion respected in books and articles this week. The post Ep. 16: When religious liberty covers racism appeared first on BJC.

  • Ep. 15: Protests, the president, and the photo op with a Bible

    04/06/2020 Duración: 49min

    After President Trump publicly addressed the unrest following the killing of George Floyd, peaceful protesters were violently dispersed and the president posed for a photo holding a Bible in front of a church. This week, Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman talk about the photo op and what it means in terms of religious liberty and Christian nationalism. They also review the most recent legal developments related to houses of worship and the coronavirus, including a late-night Supreme Court order and an unexplained change on the CDC’s guidance for houses of worship. In the third segment, Amanda and Holly answer listener questions and share important books for self-reflection and action to take a stand against systemic racial injustice. The post Ep. 15: Protests, the president, and the photo op with a Bible appeared first on BJC.

  • Ep. 14: Finding the right response to reopening

    21/05/2020 Duración: 41min

    Churches are facing a barrage of challenges as they navigate whether, when and how to resume in-person worship and other gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. This week, Amanda and Holly explore what’s at stake for churches and how religious liberty fits into these nuanced conversations (28:30). They look at what makes religion unique in the reopening landscape and respond to articles about life in our current context. Plus, find out how you can help shape a future episode of Respecting Religion – we want to hear from you! The post Ep. 14: Finding the right response to reopening appeared first on BJC.

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