On May 4, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on “promoting free speech and religious liberty.” Using a National Day of Prayer event at the White House for the political act, Trump signed an order he claimed would give “our churches their voices back” and “not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.” Yet, supporters and critics alike note his executive order actually does little, instead outlining a general philosophy. Many Baptists quickly responded to the new executive order.
“Everyone went to their own town to register” (Luke 2:3).
The familiar Christmas story starts with a governmental registry. Tracking — and taxing — populations helped Rome enact its oppression. So we read of a journey to Bethlehem by an engaged couple with a faith and ethnicity considered suspicious by the authorities.
The hearing room in the basement of the Missouri Capitol building swelled beyond capacity with each seat claimed and every spot where someone could stand filled. The seats reserved for the state legislators remained vacant. Long after the hearing’s posted started time that Tuesday night in April, the legislators still had not appeared.
Brent Walker can look out his office at the U.S. Capitol and the U.S. Supreme Court building, where he often finds himself heading. He serves as the executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC), making him a key voice for Baptists in the nation’s capital.