Day: September 11, 2019

The First Baptist Church

Religious freedom and the American experiment

Few things set my father into action more than news of some fellow Baptist or other Evangelical Christian trampling over the doctrine of the separation of church and state in order to advance the views of their personal brand of religion or to persecute a faith community they saw as un-American. That rare breed of liberal Southern Evangelical Christian, my father was a regular on the Letters to the Editor page of the local newspapers, as he worked to tell his neighbors why Baptists—of all denominations—should cherish religious freedom. Just before he died, my father—a proud member of the Religious left—sent in his last letter on the topic, in response to Tennessee’s consideration of naming The Bible the official State Book. As one of his neighbors described the letter to me at his funeral, “It was a good one!” Suffice it to say that Tom Brown would have appreciated Steven Waldman’s new book, Sacred Liberty: America’s Long, Bloody, and Ongoing Struggle for Religious Freedom as a welcome addition to our understanding of this important right. Waldman’s 2019 …