The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) exists to assist churches by helping them understand the moral demands of the gospel, apply Christian principles to moral and social problems and questions of public policy, and to promote religious liberty in cooperation with churches and other Southern Baptist entities. As part of that role, we are committed to representing Southern Baptists on issues that hold immense importance for our churches and the gospel.
One of the ways we fulfill this mission is by actively engaging in the judicial process, particularly at the United States Supreme Court. In this article, we want to update you on the current cases before the Supreme Court, why they matter for Southern Baptists, and how the ERLC is involved.
(For more in-depth analysis, please visit our website at ERLC.com/SCOTUS.)
The Religious Postal Work Case | Groff v. Dejoy
One of the cases we are closely monitoring is Groff v. Dejoy, which revolves around Gerald Groff, a USPS carrier and devout Christian who was denied religious accommodations to observe the Sunday Sabbath. This case has the potential to challenge or limit the 1977 Supreme Court decision in Trans World Airlines v. Hardison, which restricted employers’ obligations to accommodate religious beliefs.
To support Groff and advocate for enhanced religious liberty protections in the workplace, the ERLC has come alongside other religious organizations in filing an amicus brief.
The 303 Creative Free Speech Case | 303 Creative v. Elenis
Another critical case we are following is 303 Creative v. Elenis. It involves Lorie Smith, a creative professional who refused to create a wedding website for a same-sex couple due to her religious convictions. This case raises significant questions about the boundaries of free speech and when the government can compel individuals to express themselves, even if it contradicts their beliefs.
We are actively urging the court to rule in favor of Smith, as it has implications for free speech and the ability of people of faith to live out their convictions in the public square.
The Abortion Pill Case | Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA (5th Circuit Decision)
Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA is a case brought by pro-life medical groups challenging the FDA’s approval of the chemical abortion drug, mifepristone, and the removal of safety precautions surrounding its usage.
The ERLC has been closely monitoring this case and has advocated for the protection of preborn lives and the well-being of women affected by this harmful drug. We will continue to urge the court to prioritize these critical concerns and will actively seek further engagement if the case is appealed to the Supreme Court.
The ERLC is deeply committed to equipping Southern Baptists with the necessary knowledge to understand court rulings and navigate these vital issues effectively. Recognizing the significance of staying informed and engaging thoughtfully in the public square, we have established a dedicated landing page, ERLC.com/SCOTUS, to equip our churches and fellow Baptists. This platform serves as a comprehensive resource for all the cases we are monitoring, focusing on religious liberty, free speech, and the sanctity of life. Our goal is to empower Southern Baptists to comprehend and respond to these crucial matters.
In our role representing Southern Baptist churches and advocating for our deeply held convictions, the ERLC plays a vital role in addressing key legal cases before the Supreme Court. Through our engagement in cases like Groff v. Dejoy, 303 Creative v. Elenis, and Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, we seek to protect religious accommodations, defend free speech, and uphold the sanctity of life.
As Southern Baptists stand alongside us, we have the opportunity to bring light to a chaotic public square with the transformative message of Jesus Christ. Together, we can make a significant impact on crucial societal issues and ensure that our voices are heard and respected.