What a Touchy Subject!April 05, 2014
I recently read What a Touchy Subject!: Religious Liberty and Church-State Separation by J. Brent Walker, who is Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (for some background on the BJC's excellent work, see my earlier post). This quick read is a fantastic work that needs to be put in the hands of every member of Congress and every religious leader in the country. After noting that the topics are touchy because of the importance of sacred beliefs and democratic rights, Walker also explains at the start of the book:
Religious liberty and separation of church and state are also touchy because they are so commonly misunderstood.Unfortunately, he is correct. This book seeks to address many of those misunderstandings by offering a quick and accessible tour of religious liberty, its history, and some present concerns. Walker covers theological groundings for religious liberty and separation of church and state, constitutional considerations and tensions, and roles religion can and should play in the public square. I appreciate the voice of Walker and the work of the BJC to help educate and advocate for true religious liberty for all. Therefore, I heartily recommend this book and hope it will spark more careful consideration among religious and political leaders about how religious liberty and separation of church and state are good for both government and (more importantly) religion.