The Foundation Beyond Belief, for whom I am the media relations coordinator, has chosen the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty as the recipient of its 2nd quarter 2014 Challenge the Gap grant. A humanist foundation supporting a Baptist group? Yep. And for good reason.
Even as many prominent Baptists have become the worst violators of church-state separation today, other Baptists work tirelessly alongside secularists to preserve the wall of separation. One of the strongest such voices is the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC). Foundation Beyond Belief is proud to feature BJC as our Challenge the Gap beneficiary for the second quarter of 2014.
Many atheists and humanists feel that the best way to oppose harmful expressions of religion is by supporting and encouraging the more positive expressions. Challenge the Gap is an innovative program that finds and features progressive, non-proselytizing religious charities that share common values with humanists and atheists. Since 2011, the nontheistic members of FBB have raised nearly $100,000 for religious charities that meet these requirements.
“The Baptist Joint Committee is delighted to partner with Foundation Beyond Belief,” said Brent Walker, executive director of BJC. “As Baptist Christians, we believe in religious liberty as a gift from God and the separation of church and state as a means of protecting it. We also affirm the rights of secular conscience and freedom from state-sponsored religion. Although our presuppositions and motivations may differ, we often find many areas of common ground on which to stand and work. Just as people of faith and the scions of the Enlightenment joined forces to pass the First Amendment more than two centuries ago, believers and non-believers alike can work together today to help protect it, for all of us.”
We actually got completely fair coverage of this in the Christian Post, which published an unbiased article on it quoting Dale McGowan and Brent Walker. I strongly support this grant. The BJC has been doing excellent work in favor of church/state separation for nearly 80 years now and this is an issue on which atheists and Christians alike can agree and should work together.