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ERLC Fall Look Ahead and Melissa Ohden on Surviving Abortion

Returning from summer travels, Jeff, Steven, Travis, and Chelsea are back together around the table and discuss the ERLC’s policy priorities for the fall. One item from earlier in the year that has yet to recieve a vote in the House is the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This ought to shock the conscience. Today, September 10, Republican members of House are hosting a hearing on this legislation and the moral insanity of leaving these vulnerable infants outside the protection...


Summer reflections with the 2019 interns

As the summer wrapped up, the ERLC interns in Washington joined Jeff Pickering to reflect on their experiences. The group discusses their favorite 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...


David French on the rise of alt-right white supremacist terrorism

At the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, the messengers passed a resolution on the anti-gospel of alt-right white supremacy. Among decrying racism, the resolution also made clear our belief that the Kingdom of Christ is made up of a “multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language” in worship of our risen Savior (Revelation 7:9). This past weekend, the United States was hit with more tragic mass shootings, first in El Paso, Texas and then in Dayton, Ohio. The...

Brent Leatherwood on what you should know about the presidential debates

The 2020 presidential election kicked off with double header debates this summer for the Democratic Party’s nomination. As Christians, we want to approach these debates and each election thoughtfully to engage as well-informed citizens. Longtime politico, Brent Leatherwood joins Jeff Pickering around the Capitol Conversations table to talk about his recent article about the history of presidential debates and what we need to know going into 2020. Guest Biography Brent Leatherwood serves as...

The ERLC team on advancing religious freedom with the State Department

Last week, the State Department held their second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, which turned out to be the largest human rights gathering in the history of the State Department. Nearly 200 foreign delegations and over a thousand of government representatives, religious leaders, survivors of religious persecution and members of civil society convened to discuss the challenges of religious persecution and promote the fundamental human right of religious freedom. In addition...

Kenneth Bae, the longest held U.S. prisoner in North Korea, on hope in a hard labor camp

North Korea today remains one of the most repressive regimes on earth restricting the freedom of its own people and considering Christianity a threat to the state. Kenneth Bae is a Christian missionary and American citizen who knows all too well about North Korean oppression. Although it is difficult to enter North Korea, Bae hosted state approved tourism visits from China. Each trip, though a risk, was a successful time of prayer for the Korean people until the country’s security officials...

2019 SBC resolutions and what they mean for ERLC policy work in Washington, D.C.

This year, at the 2019 SBC Annual Meeting, 13 resolutions were passed, eight of which relate to key issues and concerns within the ERLC’s public policy work. On this episode, Jeff, Travis, Steven, and Chelsea discuss the importance of these resolutions and the process behind how they are proposed and adopted. Specifically, the D.C. staff explores the eight resolutions relevant to the ERLC’s work in Washington and what implications they hold for the future. Resources from the Conversation...

Reflections from the SBC in Birmingham, what happened and why it matters

This episode of Capitol Conversations was recorded live in Birmingham, Alabama from the 2019 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. This episode consists of three brief conversations with ERLC staff and local church leaders at the ERLC booth about the value of cooperation as a convention of churches. The episode finishes with highlights from Russell Moore’s address on the floor of the convention. Guest Biography Daniel Patterson serves as ERLC’s Vice President for Operations and...

Supreme Court rules 7-2 for the Bladensburg Cross

On Thursday, June 20, the Supreme Court decided the fate of the Bladensburg Peace Cross, a memorial to the fallen of World War 1 in Maryland. The memorial stands thanks to a 7-2 decision by the justices yet the opinion of the court was fractured. Jeff, Travis, Steven, and Chelsea circle up on the afternoon the opinion came down for this special episode to discuss the case, the opinion, dissent, and what it all means for the future of Establishment Clause. Resources from the Conversation...

What’s happening with the abortion debate in America?

This is part one in the series: What’s happening with the abortion debates in America? Jeff interviews Alabama columnist Dana Hall McCain to talk about the headline news made by her state’s new pro-life bill. Last week was momentous for the pro-life movement as state government in Alabama as well as those in Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri enacted new laws prohibiting abortion. All this attention then catalyzed new nationwide conversations about life, women, and the unborn. Dana’s column...

Keeping the faith in child welfare

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, and the child welfare system is overwhelmed, especially in the middle of the opioid crisis. Yet many faith-based foster care and adoption providers find themselves defending their very right to exist up against legislation like the Equality Act. These providers and families entered the child welfare system because of their religious convictions to care for the vulnerable. We need as many providers as possible to serve vulnerable children and that...

Kimberly Kuo on cherishing life when given six months to live

After she and her husband David Kuo were in a car wreck late one Saturday night in 2003, Kimberly waited in the George Washington University Hospital for news of his condition. The newly married couple were at the top of their Washington careers at the time. David worked in the White House as a senior aide to President George W. Bush. Kimberly was an executive downtown having previously worked in the Senate as a top aide for Majority Leader Bob Dole. When David was finally wheeled out of the...

The Easter attack on Christians in Sri Lanka

Jeff, Steven, Chelsea, and Travis grieve the recent attack on Christians in Sri Lanka this past Easter Sunday and discuss what to make of the recent surge in terrorism targeting faith communities. This attack on our brothers and sisters in Christ comes after other attacks on people in religious services, including on Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. As people of the cross, we must...

The Equality Act Conundrum

On April 2, the House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing for H.R. 5, the Equality Act. This legislation would reopen the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to redefine “sex” to include “sexual orientation and gender identity” as a federally protected classes. Jeff, Travis, and Chelsea welcome Andrew Walker from the ERLC’s Nashville office to discuss the cultural background of this bill and how the Equality Act would devastate the legal protections for sex, women’s equality, and the country’s...