Respecting Religion

BJC

What's at stake for faith freedom for all in our world today? Join the conversation on religion and the law, including the most significant cases concerning religion and religious liberty at the U.S. Supreme Court. As lawyers and people of faith, BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler and General Counsel Holly Hollman think these topics deserve respectful conversation -- something that we don’t always hear in the public square or our social media feeds.

S3, Ep. 21: Not solving a problem, but creating one: Dissecting the Kennedy v. Bremerton decision
Jul 7 2022
S3, Ep. 21: Not solving a problem, but creating one: Dissecting the Kennedy v. Bremerton decision
The Supreme Court is sowing more confusion with its Kennedy v. Bremerton decision, ruling for a public school official and abandoning long-standing Establishment Clause protections in ways that harm the religious freedom rights of students. In our season three finale – and our first episode in front of a live audience – Amanda and Holly discuss the impact of this ruling, and they ponder just what, exactly, would actually constitute “coercion” for this Court. The Supreme Court did not overrule the previous school prayer cases with the decision, but it did gut some of the consensus that protects the religious liberty rights of everyone at public schools. In the second and final segment, Amanda and Holly look to the next Supreme Court term and BJC’s plans to continue its work defending faith freedom for all.  The first segment of this episode was recorded in front of a live audience during the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly in Dallas, Texas, on June 29, 2022.  Segment 1: A six-justice majority upends settled law (starting at 06:07) Season three of Respecting Religion won the “Best in Class” award for specialty programming from the Religion Communicators Council’s DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards.  You can access BJC’s resources on the Kennedy v. Bremerton case by visiting BJConline.org/Bremerton, including BJC’s amicus brief in this case.  You can read the Bremerton opinion here, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch. Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissenting opinion includes photos of the prayer practice at issue (see pages 9 and 10 of the dissent, which are on pages 49 and 50 of the opinion PDF document). Segment 2: It’s “game on” for BJC (starting at 30:09) Watch the livestream of Holly and Amanda recording the first segment of this podcast during our workshop at the CBF General Assembly at this link.   Holly and Amanda discussed this NPR story by Nina Totenberg: The Supreme Court is the most conservative in 90 years Holly mentioned this article by Kelsey Dallas for Deseret News: The Supreme Court came together on religion this term. Then, it fell apart Amanda mentioned our BJC Luncheon, which was held in Dallas on June 30, listening to Indigenous voices on faith freedom. You can watch a video of the program on our YouTube page.  While the podcast is taking a break, BJC is not! Keep up with our work by subscribing to our email list at BJConline.org/subscribe and following us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 20: Forcing states to fund religion: Carson v. Makin decision
Jun 30 2022
S3, Ep. 20: Forcing states to fund religion: Carson v. Makin decision
Does the Constitution require our government to fund religion? In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court says, for the first time, that if a state has a program that includes funding for private schools it must also provide funding for religious schools. In this episode, Amanda and Holly examine the Carson v. Makin decision, which shows how the Supreme Court is shifting further and further away from the Establishment Clause’s protections of religious liberty for all. They explore the Court’s “bait and switch” to make this radical shift seem not so bad, and they look at all of the reasons the Framers thought it was smart to avoid government funding of religion. In segment three, Amanda and Holly review the latest misleading headlines that conflate “religious liberty” with a promotion of free exercise rights at the expense of Establishment Clause protections.    SHOW NOTES Segment 1: A radical shift in religious liberty law (starting at 03:50) You can contact Amanda and Holly with your thoughts on the show by writing to RespectingReligion@BJConline.org. Amanda Tweeted her reaction to the Dobbs decision on Friday, June 24. You can see her Tweet thread here.  Holly and Amanda recorded this episode before the Court released its opinion in the Kennedy v. Bremerton case on June 27, 2022. They will analyze that case in the next episode of Respecting Religion. Access BJC’s resources on Carson v. Makin at BJConline.org/CarsonvMakin, including the brief we joined, Holly’s article for our winter magazine, and our statement on decision day.  Read the Supreme Court decision in Carson v. Makin at this link. We mentioned the two recent cases that led to this case: Trinity Lutheran v. Comer: BJConline.org/TrinityLutheranEspinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue: BJConline.org/Espinoza   Segment 2: Where’s the Establishment Clause?  (starting at 19:18) Holly and Amanda mentioned these cases when discussing how the Court abandoned the “play in the joints” principle in religious freedom law and the impact of this case in state funding of religious schools:  Locke v. Davey (2004)Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002) Amanda quoted from the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written by Thomas Jefferson. Holly quoted from Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments, written by James Madison.   Segment #3: More misleading headlines (starting at 33:02) Amanda and Holly discussed this New York Times newsletter written by Ian Prasad Philbrick: A Pro-Religion Court. It also links to a piece by Adam Liptak with some misleading shorthand, titled Supreme Court Rejects Maine’s Ban on Aid to Religious Schools. Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 19: Gun culture and Christian nationalism in America
Jun 16 2022
S3, Ep. 19: Gun culture and Christian nationalism in America
The United States has a distinctive and increasingly destructive gun culture. In this episode, Amanda and Holly look at how embracing Christian nationalism correlates to opinions on gun control and why conversations about gun reform become more difficult when “God-given rights” are invoked and government-sponsored prayer is advanced as a policy solution after violence. Dive into this nuanced, complicated and emotional issue as our country reels from recent mass shootings and searches for policy solutions. SHOW NOTES Segment 1: What is it about Christian nationalism that drives such strong opposition to gun reform? (starting at 00:43) You can contact Amanda and Holly with your thoughts on the show by writing to RespectingReligion@BJConline.org. We’ve discussed manifestations of Christian nationalism this season in several episodes, including episode 6, episode 12, and episode 18.  Visit ChristiansAgainstChristianNationalism.org for a statement to sign and additional resources on Christian nationalism.  Amanda and Holly mentioned our 10-part podcast series on the dangers of Christian nationalism and corresponding discussion guide. You can listen to each episode individually at ChristiansAgainstChristianNationalism.org/podcasts, or you can visit our “BJC Podcast” feed and scroll back to episodes from 2019. The podcast discussion guide is also available at this link. Amanda mentioned Dr. Samuel Perry and Dr. Andrew Whitehead’s book Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States, which uses a model to identify and explain Chrisitan nationalism and its impact on a variety of public policy issues and debates. You can see a quick overview in this one-page document. Dr. Samuel Perry and Dr. Philip Gorski have a new book out titled The Flag and the Cross: White Christian Nationalism and the Threat to American Democracy.  Dr. Perry’s recent article for TIME magazine is School Shootings Confirm That Guns Are the Religion of the Right Amanda mentioned this article by David French: Against Gun Idolatry. She also referred to this episode of the Good Faith podcast, with David French and Curtis Chang: Gun Violence, Gun Rights & Gun Idolatry.   Segment 2: How do we see Christian nationalism impacting the debate on guns? (starting at 18:00) Amanda and Holly mentioned this article from Australia by Nicola Heath: Where do religious groups in the US stand on gun control?   Segment #3: Clergy in action (starting at 35:28) Amanda and Holly mentioned these two articles: A profile of Peter Cook by Edward Helmore in The Guardian: The Christian leader trying to break America’s link between faith and gunsAn opinion piece by Charlie Dates for Christianity Today: White Churches, It’s Time to Go Pro-Life on Guns   Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 18: Christian nationalism and election season 2022
Jun 2 2022
S3, Ep. 18: Christian nationalism and election season 2022
It’s an election year, and we’re already seeing high-profile primaries and debates over the role religion plays in elections. In this episode, Amanda and Holly discuss constructive engagement for religious organizations in elections and voting, discussing terms that often get confused – such as “political” and “partisan” – and the important role of religion and religious people when it comes to advocating for policies. They explain the tax benefit that houses of worship and other charitable organizations receive and what that means when it comes to partisan campaigns. Getting involved in elections is one way you can fight back against Christian nationalism, and this episode talks about the legal rules and the rules of thumb when it comes to making your voice heard in the public square.  SHOW NOTES Segment 1: What’s the difference between being political and being partisan? (starting at 04:22) You can contact Amanda and Holly with your thoughts on the show by writing to RespectingReligion@BJConline.org.   Segment 2: Understanding the tax rules and steering clear of violations (starting at 16:21) Holly mentioned IRS guidance for churches that is available online. You can see it at this link. Amanda mentioned the Pew Research poll that shows a majority of both Republicans and Democrats identify as Christians. You can see the full religious landscape study and results at this link.  Holly mentioned BJC’s one-page handout with tips for being an advocate instead of a partisan. You can see that here. For additional resources from BJC on churches and political campaigns – as well as the “Johnson Amendment” – visit BJConline.org/JohnsonAmendment.   Segment #3: An extreme example (starting at 37:22) Amanda and Holly mentioned this post on our website: Troubling growth of Christian nationalism on display in the pulpit, on the campaign trail
S3, Ep. 17: Religious freedom and our Indigenous neighbors: Save Oak Flat
May 19 2022
S3, Ep. 17: Religious freedom and our Indigenous neighbors: Save Oak Flat
Imagine your house of worship is facing destruction and your elected officials could stop it, but they were more concerned with how others view your sacred space. That’s the scenario facing the San Carlos Apache and other tribes in their fight to preserve their sacred land of Chí’chil Biłdagoteel, loosely translated in English as “Oak Flat.” In this podcast, learn more about this issue facing our Indigenous neighbors and how you can use your position to make a difference and save sacred land. Just because a religious group doesn’t build a steeple, it doesn’t mean the sacredness of the land is any less than a church or mosque or other worship site.   Show notes: Segment 1: Land use and religious freedom (segments starts at 01:12) RLUIPA is an acronym for the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which became law in 2000. Starting at 12:17, we played audio of congressional testimony from Naelyn Pike, a youth Apache Leader. She gave this testimony on March 12, 2020, during a hearing of the Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples of the United States in the U.S. House of Representatives. You can watch the entire hearing at this link, and her testimony begins at 8:21 in that video.   Segment 2: How did we get here? Sweetheart deals in the NDAA (starting at 18:03)  NDAA stands for the “National Defense Authorization Act,” which is the bill that authorizes the annual budget and expenditures of the U.S. Department of Defense.  The Save Oak Flat Act is H.R. 1884/S. 915.  Learn more about Chí’chil Biłdagoteel and the Save Oak Flat Act, including social media posts you can share, at BJConline.org/SaveOakFlat. The individual petition you can sign will be linked on that page in the near future. Read the letter from more than 100 religious and religious freedom groups sent to Congress asking to Save Oak Flat. If you would like to contact your members of Congress about co-sponsoring the Save Oak Flat Act, here is a sample script you can use: Hello, my name is [Name]. I am a constituent and am calling to ask Representative/Senator [Name] to co-sponsor the Save Oak Flat Act. Oak Flat is an ancient sacred site for the Apache and several other tribes in the Southwest. The federal government is giving the land to a foreign mining operation that will totally destroy this holy ground. Oak Flat’s sacredness is not lessened because their tradition does not build a steeple to mark it. Will Rep./Sen. [Name] co-sponsor the Save Oak Flat Act? Not sure who your members of Congress are? Click here to find out.   Segment 3: What can you do to Save Oak Flat? (starting at 34:18) See a list of 18 ways you can advocate for Oak Flat in this piece by BJC Associate General Counsel Jennifer Hawks on Medium: Celebrate Earth Day 2022 by protecting Oak Flat Learn more about the Oak Flat Challenge in this article on Medium: What does 1.8 have to do with faith freedom for all? See examples of the Oak Flat Challenge on Facebook here and in our Instagram highlight here.  Hear from Indigenous voices on faith freedom this summer in Dallas at our BJC Luncheon. On Thursday, June 30, we’ll be at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, and you can learn more and purchase a ticket at BJConline.org/Luncheon. Plus, we’ll be doing a live recording of the Respecting Religion podcast on June 29 during our workshop at the CBF General Assembly. There is no cost to attend the assembly in Dallas – learn more at this link.  As always, you can contact Amanda and Holly by writing to RespectingReligion@BJConline.org.   Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 16: SCOTUS decision roundup: Shurtleff v. Boston, Ramirez v. Collier, and the leaked Dobbs draft
May 5 2022
S3, Ep. 16: SCOTUS decision roundup: Shurtleff v. Boston, Ramirez v. Collier, and the leaked Dobbs draft
It’s been quite the week for the Supreme Court, releasing a decision in a case we were watching and responding to the unprecedented leak of a draft opinion in a case that captured the attention of the entire country. In this episode, Holly and Amanda break down Monday’s ruling in Shurtleff v. Boston – about a city flying a Christian flag – and the recent decision in Ramirez v. Collier – concerning religion in the execution chamber. They also react to the big Supreme Court news this week: the leak of a draft opinion for Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case challenging a Mississippi law that restricts abortion. Amanda and Holly share their reactions to what’s happening at the Court and preview what’s to come.    SHOW NOTES Segment 1: The leaked Dobbs draft opinion and a decision in Shurtleff v. Boston (segments starts at 00:55, the discussion of Shurtleff begins at 8:16) Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward of Politico broke the story with the leaked draft opinion: Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows Amanda and Holly discussed Shurtleff v. Boston on two previous episodes this season: They previewed the oral arguments in episode 8 and reviewed the arguments – and made predictions – in episode 10. Read the Supreme Court’s opinion in the case, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, and the concurring opinions at this link.   Segment 2: Say “yes” unless you have a really good reason to say “no” (starting at 23:41)  The Supreme Court issued its decision in Ramirez vs. Collier on March 24. Amanda and Holly discussed the case in episode 2 and episode 4. Read the Supreme Court’s decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the concurring opinions and Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissent at this link. “RLUIPA” is shorthand for the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which became law in 2000. The new filing from a district attorney in Ramirez v. Collier is discussed in this New York Times article by Ruth Graham: Days After Setting an Execution Date, a Texas Prosecutor Reverses Course   Segment 3: A rich holiday season (starting at 38:45) Amanda and Holly mentioned this article by Adelle Banks in Religion News Service: Second gentleman Doug Emhoff touts ‘critical’ interfaith collaboration As always, you can contact Amanda and Holly by writing to RespectingReligion@BJConline.org. Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 15: The coach is the loudspeaker and the field is his classroom: Recapping the arguments in Kennedy v. Bremerton
Apr 28 2022
S3, Ep. 15: The coach is the loudspeaker and the field is his classroom: Recapping the arguments in Kennedy v. Bremerton
This week, the Supreme Court discussed a coach-led prayer practice on the football field, hearing two very different versions of the facts. Amanda and Holly review Monday’s oral arguments in Kennedy v. Bremerton in this podcast, sharing their four takeaways and playing key courtroom exchanges. From the fights over the facts to conflating the rights of students and school officials, there are plenty of moments that caused more than fleeting concerns.   SHOW NOTES: Segment 1: Get your facts straight (starting at 00:51) You can see Amanda’s videos outside the Supreme Court on oral argument day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Amanda and Holly previewed Kennedy v. Bremerton in Episode 14. Americans United for Separation of Church and State represented the Bremerton school district, and Richard Katskee presented their arguments in the courtroom. First Liberty represented Coach Joseph Kennedy, and Paul Clement presented their arguments in the courtroom. In this segment, we played the following clips, which are all available from the Supreme Court’s audio recording of the oral arguments: Justice Stephen Breyer (from 15:37 in the oral argument)Justice Elena Kagan and Paul Clement (from 37:59 in the oral argument)Chief Justice John Roberts (from 57:28 in the oral argument) You can learn more about Kennedy v. Bremerton and read BJC’s brief in the case at BJConline.org/Bremerton.   Segment 2: Tim Tebow, Mohamed Salah, and examples that aren’t relevant to this case (starting at 19:30) Amanda and Holly mentioned several cases about religion and public schools: Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) Santa Fe v. Doe (2000) Engel v. Vitale (1962) Abington v. Schempp (1963) Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971 – origin of the “Lemon test”) In this segment, we played the following clips, which are all available from the Supreme Court’s audio recording of the oral arguments: Paul Clement answering a question from Justice Brett Kavanaugh (from 43:26 in the oral argument)Justice Brett Kavanaguh and Richard Katskee (from 01:01:42 in the oral argument)Justice Neil Gorsuch and Richard Katskee (from 01:27:16 in the oral argument)Justice Samuel Alito and Richard Katskee (from 01:18:32 in the oral argument) The American Jewish Committee, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the General Synod of the United Church of Christ joined BJC’s brief, which was co-authored by Professors Douglas Laycock and Christopher Lund.   Segment 3: Where do we go from here? (starting at 40:40) Holly’s reaction to the case was quoted in this article from the Los Angeles Times by David Savage: Supreme Court conservatives lean toward allowing football coach’s postgame prayers Dr. Charles Haynes shared his experience teaching guidelines in the public schools in this piece for Baptist News Global: At the Supreme Court: The First Amendment on the 50-yard-line   Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 14: #NoPrayToPlay: Previewing the Kennedy v. Bremerton case
Apr 14 2022
S3, Ep. 14: #NoPrayToPlay: Previewing the Kennedy v. Bremerton case
A public high school football coach is claiming a right to pray with students on the 50-yard-line immediately after the game while still on duty. What’s the best way to protect religious freedom for everyone in this situation? Amanda and Holly talk about the Supreme Court case of Kennedy v. Bremerton, what’s at stake, and how various groups are portraying what really happened. They go over BJC’s brief, which works to find a solution for everyone that protects the rights of students to be free to make their own choices about what religious practices they want to do and when to do so. Amanda and Holly also discuss the lines between private practice and government speech, and the different rights of students – who are compelled to be at school – and government employees, who represent the government.    SHOW NOTES: Segment 1: What is going on in this case? Outlining the facts and setting the record straight (starting at 00:50) In episode 10, Amanda and Holly discussed Shurtleff v. Boston, the flag-raising case at Boston City Hall. BJC filed a brief in the Kennedy v. Bremerton case, defending students’ rights to religious liberty. You can read the brief here, and read more about it on our website in this article: BJC urges Supreme Court to reject high school coach’s defense of on-field prayers with students. BJC’s brief was led by Holly and BJC Associate General Counsel Jennifer Hawks, and it was written by church-state scholars Douglas Laycock and Christopher Lund.   Segment 2: Previewing the oral arguments (starting at 16:30) Amanda and Holly mentioned several cases involving case law about the rights of government employees and the rights of the government as an employer: Pickering v. Board of Education (1968) Garcetti v. Ceballos (2006) They also mentioned cases about religion and public schools and speech that are relevant to this case: Good News Club v. Milford Central School (2001) Santa Fe v. Doe (2000) (another case involving prayer at public school football games) Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) You can read BJC’s guidance on religion in the public schools – including consensus guidelines put together by diverse groups in decades past – by visiting BJConline.org/religion-public-schools-resources/.   Segment 3: Religion and sports in our lives today  (starting at 33:56) Amanda and Holly discussed this article by Kelsey Dallas, published by Deseret News: Trying to raise successful kids? Experts say you shouldn’t forget about faith Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 13: Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings: The historic, the outrageous and the awkward
Apr 7 2022
S3, Ep. 13: Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings: The historic, the outrageous and the awkward
The expected and the unexpected came up during Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings to be a Supreme Court justice. Amanda and Holly review key exchanges, including questions about her personal religious belief and religious liberty. Plus, they review the jaw-dropping news about texts from Virginia Thomas – wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas – on January 6 that showcase the prominence of Christian nationalism in the events and conversations that culminated in the attack on the Capitol.  SHOW NOTES: Segment 1: We’re back! What’s happened since our last podcast? A review of events and a look at Judge Jackson’s nomination (starting at 00:58) Amanda and Holly previewed the case of Ramirez v. Collier in episode 4 and episode 2 of this season, and they discussed Kennedy v. Bremerton in episode 10. Read more about the event led by the Progressive National Baptist Convention on the first day of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings in this article from Baptist News Global: PNBC leads call to action for voting rights, democracy Learn more about the Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures on our website at BJConline.org/ShurdenLectures A new Marquette University Law School poll shows the national support for confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. You can read it at this link.  Read Holly’s review of Judge Jackson’s record at this link.    Segment 2: Religion in Judge Jackson’s hearings (starting at 20:43) BJC’s website has two articles with video clips of the conversations about religion during Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearings: Day two, featuring clips from Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. John Cornyn, and Sen. John Kennedy Day three, featuring clips from Sen. Cornyn and Sen. Jon Ossoff During the podcast, we played clips involving questions from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana; Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas; and Sen. Jon Osoff, D-Georgia.   Segment 3: Virginia Thomas and January 6: Texts and Christian nationalism conversations (starting at 41:57) The Washington Post broke the story in this article by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa article: Virginia Thomas urged White House chief to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 election, texts show Amanda also tweeted about the jaw-dropping story. Holly mentioned this opinion piece by Michael Gerson at The Washington Post: What the Ginni Thomas text furor warns about an outsize role of faith in politics Read the report on Christian Nationalism and the January 6, 2021, Insurrection, a joint project between BJC and the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Read and sign the Christians Against Christian Nationalism statement online. Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 12: Christian nationalism and January 6
Feb 17 2022
S3, Ep. 12: Christian nationalism and January 6
Christian nationalism is one of the great threats to religious freedom in America, and there’s a new, comprehensive report on the role it played in the January 6 insurrection. Amanda and Holly take a look at what the report tells us, BJC’s experience working with Freedom From Religion Foundation on this expansive project, and the reactions we continue to see. They discuss the different ways people – including researchers – view Christian nationalism, and they talk about what you can do to start to move the needle against this ideology so entrenched in our society.    SHOW NOTES Segment 1: Why do we need a report on Christian nationalism and January 6? (starting at 00:52) The new report – Christian Nationalism and the January 6, 2021, Insurrection – is available for free download at the following links: Watch the webinar releasing the report at this link. Right after the January 6 attack, Amanda wrote this article for Good Faith Media: An Attack Done in Jesus’ Name You can access the BJC Podcast series called “The Dangers of Christian Nationalism” at this link, including discussion guides for each episode. You can also visit the BJC Podcast feed on your favorite provider and scroll back to those episodes from 2019.    Read and sign the Christians Against Christian Nationalism statement at  To learn more about the genesis of the report, see Chrissy Stroop’s piece for Religion Dispatches: New Report on (White) Christian Nationalism and the J6 Insurrection Shows Just ‘How Dire the Threat Is’ Check out this one-page resource: “What is Christian Nationalism?”    Segment 2: A detailed breakdown of the Christian symbolism at the January 6 attack (starting at 16:38) We played a clip of Andrew Seidel, a constitutional attorney at the Freedom From Religion Foundation who was the major contributor to the report. This portion of the webinar begins at 29:28. Segment 3: Responses to the report (starting at 29:56) Jack Jenkins of Religion News Service covered the report in this article: New report details the influence of Christian nationalism on the insurrection Sarah Stankorb wrote this article for GEN magazine: White Christian Nationalism’s Threat Has Not Gone Away Here are some actions mentioned that can help move the needle against Christian nationalism: If you are a Christian, sign the statement. Share the statement with others, including on social media. Watch and share webinars and resources available at:  Use those handouts to better define and understand the ideology, and start conversations with your social media networks.Lead small group discussions at your church or in your civic organization. The website has discussion guides and curriculum for different series of small group discussions. Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 11: Race and Religious Freedom
Feb 10 2022
S3, Ep. 11: Race and Religious Freedom
How do we tell a more inclusive and more critical narrative of religious liberty? How do we recognize and spotlight those who have been left out of the conversation, whether intentionally or not? This week, Amanda and Holly talk about the concept of religious freedom for all, exploring the intersections of race and religious freedom. From the racial divides among Baptist denominations to how BJC is interrogating its own history to BJC’s new Project on Race and Religious Freedom, they highlight resources from BJC and our partners.    SHOW NOTES: Segment 1: Learning to tell a more honest history and launching the Project on Race and Religious Freedom (starting at 00:44) We always like hearing your feedback – email Amanda and Holly at respectingreligion@BJConline.org. For more on Baptist history and BJC’s commitment to religious liberty, see the BJC website:   BJC has been responding to the truth that religious freedom has been white too long. Amanda wrote about what that means last year, including the quote from James Baldwin who coined the idea. Watch the Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle’s speech at our 2015 luncheon on the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth:  Amanda mentioned Dr. Corey D.B. Walker’s work in complicating the narrative of religious freedom. Hear him on a panel at the 2019 BJC Dinner: An Inclusive Approach to Religious Liberty. Amanda read from the book African Americans and Religious Freedom: New Perspectives for Congregations and Communities, edited by Dr. Walker and Dr. Sabrina Dent.      Segment 2: Resources from recent BJC events on race and religious freedom (starting at 20:03) The first clip is from Dr. Nicole Myers Turner of Yale University, speaking during Religious Liberty Has Been White Too Long: Voices of Black Scholars, which was our presentation for the 2021 Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures. You can watch the entire presentation at this link, featuring Dr. Turner, Dr. Teresa L. Smallwood of Vanderbilt Divinity School, Dr. Anthony Pinn of Rice University, and Dr. David Goatley of Duke Divinity School. Holly also mentioned Dr. Turner’s book: Soul Liberty: The Evolution of Black Religious Politics in Postemancipation Virginia The second clip is from The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. He spoke during a webinar called “Democracy and Faith Under Siege: Responding to Christian Nationalism.” You can watch that entire presentation at this link.  Our third clip is from the Rev. William Lamar IV, Pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. This is from a Facebook Live conversation with BJC Director of Education Charles Watson Jr. in 2021 called “What can the American church learn about Black faith freedom?” You can watch their entire conversation at this link, and visit BJConline.org/facebook-live for more conversations in our “Voices of Faith Freedom Series.” We played two clips from Fierce Freedom, a live event held in 2021 featuring the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis. During the clips, we heard from Dr. Lewis and then we heard a clip from a conversation after her presentation, featuring the Rev. Keisha Patrick, who is an attorney and a BJC Fellow. You can watch the entire “Fierce Freedom” presentation at this link. For other videos and resources, visit our page of resources on race and religious freedom, available at:BJConline.org/race-and-religious-liberty/   Segment 3: Freedom Fighters and Black History Month (starting at 32:38) Holly and Amanda mention an episode of the Ezra Klein Show, featuring Martha Jones being interviewed by Jamelle Bouie. You can listen and read a transcript at this link. Follow BJC on Instagram as we share stories of freedom fighters throughout Black History Month. Our handle is @BJContheHill.   Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 10: Supreme Court roundup
Jan 27 2022
S3, Ep. 10: Supreme Court roundup
The Supreme Court’s docket is deep with cases impacting religious freedom, and we learned this week that Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire. What does it all mean? Amanda and Holly take a look at what’s facing the Court, including recent oral arguments in the Christian flag case that deserve our attention and a new case about a coach’s prayer practice on the football field. They talk about decisions we’re waiting for, cases the Court might still take, and cases the Court declined to hear. In segment three, Amanda and Holly discuss the recent hostage crisis at a Jewish synagogue in Texas that happened the day before Religious Freedom Day, highlighting the chasm between the promise and reality of religious freedom today.    SHOW NOTES: Segment one: Changes coming to the Court and a review of the Shurtleff v. Boston argument (starting at 00:54) NPR broke the news about Justice Breyer’s retirement in this piece from Nina Totenberg: Justice Stephen Breyer, an influential liberal on the Supreme Court, to retire You can see pictures from the opening of our Center for Religious Liberty in 2012, featuring remarks from Justice Breyer, in this photo album.  Amanda and Holly previewed the case of Ramirez v. Collier earlier this season in episode 2, and they talked about the oral arguments in episode 4.  Amanda and Holly previewed Carson v. Makin in episode 5 and reviewed the oral arguments in episode 7. Amanda and Holly previewed Shurtleff v. Boston in  episode 8, and the Court heard oral arguments on January 18. We played a clip from the Shurtleff v. Boston oral argument featuring Justice Elena Kagan, which begins at 13:20 mark in the audio of the arguments, available on the Supreme Court’s website.   Holly spoke to Salon’s Kathryn Joyce for this article “Christian flag” case reaches Supreme Court: Is the Proud Boys flag next?    Segment two: Court’s docket review: a new case this term and more to come for next term?  (starting at 23:02) Amanda and Holly mention this article from Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog that mentions the Court taking up the case of Kennedy v. Bremerton: Court will take up five new cases, including lawsuit from football coach who wanted to pray on the field You can also read about Kennedy v. Bremerton in this post on our website: Supreme Court to hear case involving high school football coach’s post-game prayer on the field   Segment three: Respecting religious freedom for all, in the face of constant threats (starting at 33:22) You can read the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, signed January 16, 1786, at this link. Read President Joe Biden’s proclamation for Religious Freedom Day at this link. On Religious Freedom Day 2022, Amanda Tweeted this: Today as we observe Religious Freedom Day, we are mindful of the ongoing threats to houses of worship across this country. We should be free to worship in synagogues, mosques, temples, meeting houses and churches without fear of violence and attack.I’m holding the people of Congregation Beth Israel in my heart as they heal from yesterday’s attack, with a grateful heart that the hostages are safe. In solidarity with Jewish communities who live with these ongoing threats. We won’t rest until there is faith freedom for all. BJC Board Member Sofi Hersher Tweeted this after news broke about hostages taken at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, on January 15, 2022: Resist anyone and anything that seeks to position the hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel as Jews vs. Muslims.  That kind of reductionist thinking is lazy, untrue, and helps no one. Here’s the NPR interview with Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, from the congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas: Texas Rabbi who was held hostage says we can’t live in fear Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 09: Reviewing the Biden administration’s first year in religious liberty
Jan 20 2022
S3, Ep. 09: Reviewing the Biden administration’s first year in religious liberty
It’s been one year since President Joe Biden took office. What have we seen from his administration in regards to religious liberty? From executive actions to court cases to appointments, Amanda and Holly take a look at this administration’s actions that impact faith freedom for all. In segment three, they talk about how President Biden has continued to practice his private faith in a very public role over the past year.   SHOW NOTES: Segment one: Setting the tone: Executive orders, court cases, and legislation (starting at 01:14) Amanda and Holly previewed the incoming Biden administration at the end of 2020 with Melissa Rogers in season 2, episode 6: What’s next? The Biden administration and religious liberty. They also looked at the Trump administration’s record in season 2, episode 4: Grading the Trump administration on religious freedom.  Click here for President Joe Biden’s signing statement when he repealed the Muslim and African travel ban. Amanda and Holly discussed the complicated relationship between vaccine mandates and religious exemptions on episode 3 of this season: What’s going on with religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates?  Amanda and Holly discussed the oral arguments in Carson v. Makin in episode 7 of this season, and they previewed the case in episode 5.  Amanda and Holly discussed Ramirez v. Collier in episode 2 and episode 4 of this season. For more on Chí’chil Biłdagoteel (which is translated into English as “Oak Flat”) and its sacred importance to the San Carlos Apache Tribe and other tribes, read this article from Chairman Terry Rambler: Save our church from destruction.   Segment two: Presidential appointments and commissions: Substantively and symbolically important (starting at 17:35) Amanda and Holly mention this article on the diversity in President Biden’s appointments, written by Yonat Shimron and published in the Washington Post: Two faiths dominate Biden’s cabinet picks   Segment three: Setting a tone and sharing personal faith (starting at 28:25) Amanda and Holly discussed President Donald Trump’s photo op with a Bible in front of St. John’s Church in 2020 in season 1, episode 15: Protests, the president and the photo op with a Bible Amanda and Holly recommended this article from Politico magazine by Ruby Cramer: A Private Matter: Joe Biden’s Very Public Clast with this Own Church    Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 08: Flying the flag and Christian nationalism: Previewing Shurtleff v. Boston
Jan 13 2022
S3, Ep. 08: Flying the flag and Christian nationalism: Previewing Shurtleff v. Boston
The Christian flag is at the center of a case the Supreme Court hears next week. Amanda and Holly preview Shurtleff v. Boston, share how this situation made it to the highest court, and look at the central legal question presented before the justices. They discuss the best arguments from both sides that the Court will consider when it determines whether this flagpole outside Boston City Hall is government speech or a public forum. In segment three, Amanda and Holly discuss the Christian nationalism aspects to the case, and they talk about the Christian flag’s history, including how this powerful symbol has been appropriated in destructive ways. SHOW NOTES: Segment one: Happy New Year and a peculiar case for the Supreme Court  (starting at 01:09) For a discussion of religious liberty and vaccines, listen to episode 3 of this season: What’s going on with religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates? Read more about the Shurtleff v. Boston case in this article on BJC’s website: U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear bit do fly Christian flag at Boston City Hall Segment two: Is the flagpole government speech or a public forum? Arguments and amici (starting at 16:10) You can see a list of the various parties’ amicus briefs filed in Shurtleff v. Boston and read them online on this page provided by SCOTUSblog. Segment three: The broader context and why it matters (starting at 31:48) Amanda mentioned this piece by Brian Kaylor and Beau Underwood at Word & Way that shares the history of the Christian flag: Has the Christian flag become a lost cause? They also released another article with context on this case: The man behind Shurtleff v. City of Boston For more on the overlap between Christian symbols and white supremacy, check out this webinar from the Christians Against Christian Nationalism initiative: White Christian Nationalism: How Racism Undergirds Christian Nationalism, featuring Dr. Jemar Tisby, Dr. Robert P. Jones, and Amanda Tyler. Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 07: Is religion really just like soccer or book club? Responding to the oral arguments in Carson v. Makin
Dec 16 2021
S3, Ep. 07: Is religion really just like soccer or book club? Responding to the oral arguments in Carson v. Makin
It’s a frustrating day at the Supreme Court when several justices seem not to care about the reasons religion gets special treatment in our constitutional system. Amanda and Holly share audio clips and their reaction to the oral arguments in Carson v. Makin, including spotting some faux outrage from the justices and how six justices seem poised to chart a new and troublesome direction in church-state law. They talk about obvious differences between determining protecting free exercise of religion and requiring taxpayer funding of religious education. In segment three, Amanda and Holly share how they are welcoming the holidays.   Segment one: Why should religion be treated differently? (starting at 00:55): Amanda and Holly previewed the oral arguments in Carson v. Makin in episode 5: What’s the problem with the government funding religious education?  Amanda shared her first impressions of the oral arguments on Twitter. You can read her thread here. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandaTylerBJC.  We played the following clips from the oral arguments, available at this link. *Michael Bindas, attorney for the challenge to Maine’s program: 1:31-2:09 *Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart, arguing on behalf of the Biden administration 1:31:36-1:32:46   Segment two: Is this a choice program? Is there discrimination between different religions? (starting at 14:40) We played the following clips from the oral arguments, available at this link: *Christopher Taub, attorney defending Maine’s program: 42:54-44:14 *Justice Elena Kagan: 29:15-30:04, and then 30:30-31:17   Segment three: The advent of the holiday season (starting at 29:08) Amanda and Holly talked about this New York Times piece by Tish Harrison Warren: I’m not ready for Christmas. I need to take a minute.  Amanda wrote a devotional for Word & Way’s Unsettling Advent series. You can read her devotional here, and read the entire series here. Subscribe to get future editions sent to your inbox.    Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 06: Challenging misinformation: How to have productive conversations with friends and family
Dec 9 2021
S3, Ep. 06: Challenging misinformation: How to have productive conversations with friends and family
What do you do when you’re around the dinner table or visiting family over the holidays and hear someone share misinformation? How do you have productive conversations and truthful exchanges that bring people together? From fake narratives that drive violence to the mundane myths that build a false foundation, Amanda and Holly talk about common misconceptions they hear, what they see when talking about the dangers of Christian nationalism, and how you can find areas of agreement with others. They share some specific ways they would handle difficult statements in one-on-one conversations. In segment three, Holly and Amanda talk about the pros and cons of online worship from their own experience.   Segment one: Why is misinformation such a problem in Christian communities? (starting at 00:49): Amanda and Holly discuss this May webinar from the Council on Foreign Relations: Disinformation and Faith Communities, which featured Joan Donovan from the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, along with Ed Stetzer of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center.  They also mention a piece Stetzer wrote for USA Today in September 2020: “Evangelicals need to address the QAnoners in our midst” Amanda wrote this column for Baptist News Global about Michael Flynn’s troubling comments: If you’re paying attention to Christian nationalism, you won’t be shocked by Michael Flynn’s call for ‘one religion under God’     Segment two: Handling difficult conversations with others (starting at 14:28) Learn more about the Christian Against Christian Nationalism campaign at christiansagainstchristiannationalism.org. Amanda referenced this summer’s webinar: White Christian Nationalism: How Racism Undergirds Christian Nationalism Amanda read this Tweet from author Kaitlyn Schiess:The problem with the “confront your family about politics on Thanksgiving” thing isn’t that we can’t influence our families or shouldn’t have those conversations, it’s thinking one tense dinner will do it.  Long, compassionate faithfulness > “bold” one-time confrontation.   Here are some resources to help combat misinformation from the Christians Against Christian Nationalism website: Frequently asked questionsSmall group curriculum: Responding to Christian NationalismWebinars, including “Confronting Christian Nationalism in Your Congregation” are at this link. Statement of Christians Against Christian Nationalism     Segment three (starting at 28:41): Online and in-person worship services Amanda and Holly talked about this NPR story by Deena Prichep: Worshipers found religious homes near and far thanks to virtual services   Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 05: What’s the problem with the government funding religious education? A preview of Carson v. Makin
Dec 2 2021
S3, Ep. 05: What’s the problem with the government funding religious education? A preview of Carson v. Makin
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.   SHOW NOTES: Segment one: Why are cases about government funding important? (starting at 00:48) Holly previewed Carson v. Makin in this article for BJC’s winter magazine: Forcing states to fund religion Amanda  mentioned this article in The Atlantic by Kimberly Wehle: The Sleeper SCOTUS Case That Threatens the Separation of Church and State  Holly read from the brief of the attorney general of Maine to describe Maine’s public education system and the law that provides school administrative units (SAUs) — alternative ways to ensure every child has an opportunity to receive the benefits of a free public education.    Segment two: Is there a free exercise right to government money? (starting at 17:10)Holly mentioned two recent cases that involved Free Exercise Clause claims challenging government programs: Trinity Lutheran v. Comer (the playground case): Learn more at BJConline.org/TrinityLutheran Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue: Learn more at BJConline.org/Espinoza Read the brief BJC joined in Carson v. Makin at this link. Amanda read from James Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance: “Because the Bill implies either that the Civil Magistrate is a competent Judge of Religious Truth; or that he may employ Religion as an engine of Civil policy. The first is an arrogant pretension falsified by the contradictory opinions of Rulers in all ages, and throughout the world: the second an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation.” Amanda mentioned their conversation about Espinoza on season one, which you can listen to at this link or in your podcast feed.   Segment three: Is Maine discriminating between religions? Spoiler alert: No (starting at 32:31) You can find the link to the article they mention in The Atlantic article linked in segment one.   Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 04: Searching for sincerity and standards: SCOTUS on religious rites in the execution chamber
Nov 18 2021
S3, Ep. 04: Searching for sincerity and standards: SCOTUS on religious rites in the execution chamber
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 McCullough provides a helpful overview of the case: U.S. Supreme Court weighs religion’s place in the Texas death chamber. During the conversation, Amanda and Holly played clips from the oral arguments. You can listen to the entire argument at this CSPAN link. The clips played in this segment were: Justice Samuel Alito, starting at 16:52 in the oral argument.Chief Justice John Roberts, starting at 47:20 in the oral argument. To learn more about the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), visit BJConline.org/RLUIPA.   Segment two (starting at 19:11) Read the brief BJC joined in the Ramirez v. Collier case at this link. The clips from oral arguments played in this segment were: Justice Brett Kavanaugh, starting at 9:23 in the oral argument. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, starting at 1:05:31 in the oral argument. Justice Elena Kagan, starting at 1:26:32 in the oral argument.    Segment three (starting at 34:48) Amanda and Holly talked about this article by Robert Barnes in the Washington Post that shares background on the pastor at the center of the case: Supreme Court considers a minister’s role at the time an inmate is put to death   Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 03: What’s going on with religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates?
Nov 4 2021
S3, Ep. 03: What’s going on with religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates?
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.  Show notes: Segment one: Why do we have religious exemptions for any laws, and why do we see so many requests right now? (starting at 00:50) Amanda and Holly discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and its intersections with religion and religious liberty at length in season one. See the following episodes:  Lawsuits challenging COVID-19 directives (S1, Ep. 10, released April 23, 2020)Christian nationalism during the coronavirus pandemic (S1, Ep. 11, released April 30, 2020) Finding the right response to reopening (S1, Ep. 14, released May 21, 2020) Holly wrote an article about religious exemptions to vaccines mandates for BJC’s fall 2021 magazine, which you can read at this link.  Segment two: Employers dealing with the novel issue of employees claiming exemptions (starting at 15:17) Amanda mentioned watching a hearing talking about vaccine mandates — you can read a recap and see clips in this piece on our website:  House subcommittees hold joint hearing on vaccine mandates and employee accommodations Here’s a link to the guidance issued by the EEOC about what is required by Title VII:   For the latest news on these issues, visit the latest news section of our website.   Segment three: Where are we now with COVID-19, and how are clergy part of the conversation? (starting at 28:43) Holly mentioned this article by Zeynep Tufekci in the New York Times: The Unvaccinated May Not Be Who You Think Amanda mentioned this article by Michelle Boorstein in the Washington Post: New survey: Most U.S. churchgoers trust their clergy for covid vaccine guidance, but clergy aren’t really offering it   Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.
S3, Ep. 02: Out of the shadows and into the courtroom: Religion in the execution chamber
Oct 28 2021
S3, Ep. 02: Out of the shadows and into the courtroom: Religion in the execution chamber
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 (starting at 14:50), 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.   Show notes: Segment 1: Recapping the past few years of clergy in the death chamber (starting at 00:51) Visit the website of the Death Penalty Information Center for statistics and research around the death penalty and its application. The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act is often abbreviated “RLUIPA.” Learn more at BJConline.org/RLUIPA. Visit the latest news section of our website to read about previous Supreme Court cases involving clergy in the execution chamber. Amanda Tyler wrote a 2019 column for Religion News Service about the different outcomes in the Dunn v. Ray (Alabama) and Murphy v. Collier (Texas) cases. Read it at this link.    Segment 2: SCOTUS takes a case about clergy in the execution chamber on its regular docket  (starting at 14:50) BJC joined this brief in the Ramirez v. Collier case with the Christian Legal Society and other groups. Read more on our website. Holt v. Hobbs was a 2015 case regarding a Muslim inmate’s request to grow a one-half-inch beard in accordance with his faith. Learn more at BJConline.org/HoltvHobbs.   Segment three: Personal reflections on visiting death row (starting at 28:10) To learn more about the abolition of the death penalty in Virginia, check out this piece by Dakin Andone for CNN: Why Virginia’s abolition of the death penalty is a big deal for the state and the US  Amanda read from this piece by Elizabeth Breunig for The Atlantic: The State of Texas v. Jesus Christ Linda Greenhouse asked the question “Why did the Supreme Court stop this particular execution?” in the New York Times. Adamp Liptak previewed the Ramirez case for the New York Times in this article: Supreme Court Stays Execution in Dispute Over Pastor’s Role in Death Chamber Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.