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What we’re advocating for in 2019

The ERLC publishes a legislative agenda at the beginning of each year to outline the issues and policies we will focus on in our work in Washington, D.C. to serve Southern Baptists and advance the common good. The ERLC policy team, with Lauren Konkol joining the Capitol Conversations roundtable for the first time, talk about our 2019 Legislative Agenda. The team also discusses the new 116th Congress and what to expect in the year ahead. Resources from the Conversation ERLC 2019 Legislative...


Year in Review with the 2018 Interns

The 2018 ERLC interns join Jeff Pickering to talk about their experience in D.C. The group discusses their favorite policy projects, memorable meetings on Capitol Hill, and laughable moments at the Leland House. Our internship program exists to prepare students and young professionals with a gospel-centered, kingdom-focused perspective on the issues of everyday life. We offer semester and year-long programs in both of our offices in Nashville and D.C. The ERLC is dedicated to seeing each...

Christian Ethics with Russell Moore (Part Two)

For this special two part series, we bring you ERLC president Dr. Russell Moore teaching on Christian ethics. These lectures were recorded live in Washington, D.C.. at the ERLC Academy on the Hill events earlier in 2018. In part one, which aired last week and is linked below, Dr. Russell Moore gives an introduction to Christian ethics. And in part two this week, Dr. Moore teaches about the role of conscience in battling temptation. Resources from the Conversation Podcast Episode |...


Christian Ethics with Russell Moore (Part One)

For this special two part series, we bring you ERLC president Dr. Russell Moore teaching on Christian ethics. These lectures were recorded live in Washington, D.C., at the ERLC Academy on the Hill events earlier in 2018. In part one, Dr. Moore gives an introduction to Christian ethics. And in part two, he teaches about the role of conscience in battling temptation. Resources from the Conversation ERLC Academy ERLC Public Policy Team How to Develop a Christian Ethic by Russell Moore Video |...


Lessons in Leadership: Reflecting on George and Barbara Bush, John McCain, and Billy Graham

In 2018 our nation said goodbye to four American heroes. This week we mourn the passing of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. He was preceded in death this year by his wife of 73 years —former First Lady Barbara Bush, U.S. Senator John McCain, and the Rev. Billy Graham. Russell Moore and Dan Darling join Jeff Pickering to reflect on these towering leaders who shaped generations of politics, culture, and world events. Guest Biography Russell Moore serves as the...


Lame Duck Priorities

The lame duck session of the 115th Congress is underway. On this week’s episode the ERLC policy team discusses the organization’s legislative priorities which include repealing the new tax on churches that resulted from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the First Step Act, an important criminal justice reform bill that recently gained the support of the White House, and the Conscience Protection Act, a religious liberty protection for healthcare professionals. Guest Biography Chelsea...


How the nations rage with Jonathan Leeman

Christians are rethinking their relationship with politics as American culture moves away from certain moral Christian principles. Jonathan Leeman, author of How The Nations Rage, joins Steven, Travis, and Jeff at the Leland House to talk about the church, the state, and how to have confidence in this divided age. From the conversation: “What I’m trying to help readers do is to understand what is the state, what is the church, how to read the bible politically, what is justice, and perhaps...


America Voted: 2018 Election Review

America voted. Who won? Who lost? And what does it all mean for the country and for the issues Southern Baptists care about? For this special episode of Capitol Conversations, Jeff Pickering is joined by Travis Wussow and Brent Leatherwood the morning after Tuesday’s elections to discuss what happened in the 2018 midterms. Resources from the Conversation ERLC Article | How should Christians approach election day? by Brent Leatherwood ERLC Article | Why we should follow Paul’s example in...


State Ballots and Split Juries

The nation’s eyes are on Congress one week away from the November 2018 elections, but the most consequential changes to public policy which affects your daily life happen on your state and local ballots. For one of those ballot initiatives, the ERLC policy team speaks to a criminal defense attorney in Louisiana leading the campaign to overturn a 138 year old law with critical implications for justice, equity, and race in America. Guest Biography Ed Tarpley is an attorney in Alexandria,...


The Dignity Revolution with Dan Darling

How should our theology of human dignity impact our debates of public policy? Dan Darling, author of The Dignity Revolution, joins Travis, Steven, and Jeff to discuss how this rich Genesis 1 truth applies to the complex decisions Christians face in the public square. Guest biography Dan Darling is the Vice President for Communications at the ERLC. He is a writer whose work has appeared in USA Today, CNN, Washington Times, Huffington Post, and The Gospel Coalition. Dan is the host of...


Farewell to ERLC's Matt Hawkins

Matt Hawkins, who has served faithfully at the ERLC for 17 years, announced that he is leaving the ERLC to pursue Ph.D. studies. Matt was a brilliant, winsome presence on Capitol Hill and on the airwaves of this podcast. He will be missed. The good news is he is moving to Tennessee and will be close to our Nashville office. For Matt’s final episode as host, Jeff Pickering joins him at the Leland House to reflect on memorable interviews, guests, and advocacy in Washington, D.C. Capitol...


Roundtable: Ministerial Edition

In advance of this week’s U.S. State Department Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, the policy team discusses ERLC’s international engagement. Matt Hawkins talks with Steven Harris about his congressional testimony concerning religious liberty in Sudan. Travis Wussow and Jeff Pickering discuss their recent trip to the United Nations in Geneva. Then the team interviews Eugene Yapp, a human rights and religious freedom lawyer in Malaysia. Eugene elaborates on the cultural, political,...


Former Canadian Ambassador for Religious Freedom, the Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett

Matt Hawkins and Travis Wussow welcome former Canadian Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, the Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett. Their wide-ranging conversation includes religious freedom in the context of diplomacy, Bennett’s current projects with Cardus (the only faith-based think tank in Canada), and the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington. Bennett also services as a deacon in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and he provides Matt (a Baptist) with some insight into that...


Gary Marx talks Judge Kavanaugh

Gary Marx of the Judicial Crisis Network and Madison Strategies joins Matt Hawkins and Jeff Pickering to discuss President Trump’s recent nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. ERLC Coalition Letter from evangelical leaders supporting Kavanaugh Press release: Russell Moore calls Kavanaugh “a tremendous choice” for US Supreme Court Explainer: What you need to know about Judge Brett Kavanaugh Judicial Crisis Network Madison Strategies


Meet the staff of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Staff from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom sit down with ERLC policy director Matt Hawkins to discuss their work and the most recent annual report from the Commission. Dwight Bashir serves as Director of Research and Policy; Elizabeth Cassidy serves as Director of International Law and Policy at the Commission. What is the U.S. Commission on IRF? - Matt Hawkins 2018 USCIRF Report Other special reports from USCIRF including on women and religious freedom...


Pastor Joel Rainey on the opioid crisis and multi-faith engagement

Joel Rainey, Phd., pastor of Covenant Church in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, joins ERLC policy director Matt Hawkins to discuss how his local church is participating in combating the opioid crisis. Also, what does it look like for a Christian church to engage their neighbors in a multi-faith context while remaining faithful to doctrine? Joel’s Twitter Covenant Church One America Movement Conversations about our broken system aren’t enough | Joel Rainey, Aaron Alexander, and Lauren...


Jeremy Tedesco on Jack Phillips’ wins at the Supreme Court

Jeremy Tedesco, senior council at the Alliance Defending Freedom, joins Matt Hawkins and Travis Wussow to discuss the nuances of the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. ERLC Explainer: Supreme Court supports baker in an important religious liberty case Top quotes from the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court win | ERLC Policy Staff A good trajectory for the future of Christians in the public square | Andrew Walker Press Release: Russell...