By / May 7

In this episode, Josh, Lindsay, and Brent discuss a big dip in U.S. fertility rates, Biden’s July 4th vaccination goal, COVID-19 in children, mask mandates on planes, Trump Facebook ban, Amy Bockerstette’s college title, and the Malian woman who gave birth to nine babies. Lindsay gives a rundown of this week’s ERLC content including Alex Ward with “Why reading classics can help us answer age-old questions: An interview with Karen Swallow Prior,” Jared Kennedy with “Conversations about gender should begin with humility: Helping parents navigate hard topics with their children,” and Rachel Lonas with “Why it’s important to value neurodiversity in the Church: And three ways you can help.” Also in this episode, the hosts are joined by Elizabeth Graham for a conversation about life and ministry. 

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Graham serves as Vice President of Operations and Life Initiatives for the ERLC. She provides leadership, guidance and strategy for life and women’s initiatives and provides oversight to other strategic projects as needed. Additionally, she directs the leadership, management and operations for all ERLC events. Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is married to Richmond, and they have a son and a daughter. You can connect with her on Twitter: @elizabethgraham 

ERLC Content


  1. U.S. fertility dips to its lowest rate since the 1970s
  2. Biden sets goal of fully vaccinating 160 million Americans by July 4
  3. Children Now Account For 22% Of New U.S. COVID Cases. Why Is That?
  4. Pfizer vaccine expected to be approved for children ages 12-15 by next week
  5. TSA Extends Mask Mandate Aboard Flights Through Summer As Travel Increases
  6. Trump Facebook Ban Upheld by Oversight Board
  7. Amy Bockerstette to Be 1st Athlete With Down Syndrome to Compete for Collegiate Title
  8. Malian woman gives birth to nine babies


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  • Brave by Faith: In this realistic yet positive book, renowned Bible teacher Alistair Begg examines the first seven chapters of Daniel to show us how to live bravely, confidently, and obediently in an increasingly secular society. | Find out more about this book at
  • Every person has dignity and potential. But did you know that nearly 1 in 3 American adults has a criminal record? To learn more and sign up for the virtual Second Chance month visit
By / Jan 15

In this episode, Josh, Brent, and Meagan discuss president Trump becoming the first president to be impeached twice, the increased national guard presence at the U.S. Capitol, COVID-19’s raging numbers, new thoughts on COVID-19 immunity length, US Space Command, Alabama winning the National Championship, and ‘Way Maker’ topping the charts in 2020. Meagan and Josh also gives a rundown of this week’s ERLC content including Carl Laferton with “3 ways smartphone usage can distort our perceptions: Habits, theology, and Christian discipleship,” Jason Thacker, and Josh Wester with “Understanding Twitter suspensions and the need for consistent policies,” and Russell Moore with “The Roman Road from Insurrection.” Also in this episode, the hosts are joined by Haley Byrd Wilt for a conversation about life and ministry. 

About Haley

Haley Byrd Wilt is an associate editor for The Dispatch. She previously reported on Congress for CNN and The Weekly Standard. Haley and her husband Evan live in Washington, D.C. You can connect with her on Twitter: @byrdinator

ERLC Content


  1. Trump becomes first president to be impeached twice
  2. Here are the Republicans who voted to impeach Trump
  3. Here’s what the U.S. Capitol looks like as impeachment is underway
  4. Axios: Next move is the Senate
  5. Multiple resignations in wake of Capitol riot
  6. Capitol Hill police chief resigns, said he requested back-up
  7. US Space Command Headquarters is coming to Huntsville
  8. Air passengers entering the United States will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test, according to the CDC
  9. Coronavirus Immunity May Last Years, Possibly Even Decades, Study Suggests
  10. Covid is raging
  11. Alabama wins national championship
  12. ‘Way Maker’ top 2020 worship song


 Connect with us on Twitter


  • A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Your Children About Gender: by Jared Kennedy. This short book walks through six conversation topics designed to help you apply the truth and hope of the gospel to the complex issue of gender. 
  • Stand for Life: At the ERLC, we stand for life. Our work to save preborn babies and care for the vulnerable is vital to our work. Believing that abortion can end in our lifetime, will you join us as we STAND FOR LIFE?
By / Jan 12

We begin 2021 with a conversation between Jeff Pickering and Russell Moore about the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and not just that as a lone event but all that led up to it. The constant assault on the truth and reality of the 2020 presidential election, that Joe Biden won and Donald Trump lost, stirred up the worst of partisan passions and led to an unimaginable assault on our democracy and a historic tragedy on Wednesday, January 6.

The interview was hosted as an ERLC webinar on Friday, January 8, 2020.

Resources from the Conversation

By / Jan 9

On Friday evening, Twitter officially suspended the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, from its platform for violating its stated community policies related to inciting violence and spreading false information. This suspension comes after the heinous attack on the United States Capitol on Wednesday, inspired by the president and his key supporters, following a rally on the National Mall. The protest, which culminated in both violence and rioting, was organized in response to the congressional certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election also taking place on Wednesday. 

According to the Associated Press, “Twitter has long given Trump and other world leaders broad exemptions from its rules against personal attacks, hate speech and other behaviors.” But since the election in November 2020, many of the president’s tweets were labeled for promoting conspiracy theories alleging election fraud and the stealing of votes as well as encouraging violence. Twitter utilized these warning and fact check labels to inform the public of the potential misinformation, while the content remained available online due to the compelling public interest of having direct access to communication from the president of the United States. 

But as the Capitol Police and National Guard were clearing the building after the insurrection was quelled, Twitter disabled the president’s account temporarily and deleted certain tweets deemed as encouraging further violence. The temporary suspension also came with a warning that continued violation of Twitter’s policies may lead to a permanent ban from the platform. The account was reenabled on Thursday, Jan. 7. But due to continued policy violations by the president, his account @RealDonaldTrump was permanently suspended on Friday night. 

Community policies and compelling interest

Many prominent technology critics including a number of lawmakers, press, and public figures have called for social media platforms to take a firmer stance with the president concerning his violations of their stated content policies for users. But until recently, Twitter and other social media platforms, such as Facebook, allowed the president to continue posting due to the compelling public interest surrounding his speech given the gravity and responsibilities of the Oval Office. Yet after continued violations of these policies, which this week stoked violence and an attempted coup, Twitter took the unprecedented step of permanently suspending the president’s personal account. It should be noted that this official suspension only applies to @RealDonaldTrump, and not to official White House accounts such as @POTUS, @WhiteHouse, and other U.S. government accounts. However, because Twitter does not allow users with banned accounts to operate alternate accounts, some tweets have already been removed from @POTUS after the president chose to post to that account following his suspension.

Many have questioned the wisdom and timing of this suspension, as well as the potential fallout of such a monumental decision to suspend the sitting president of the United States. Much of the concern lies in the fact that these social media platforms have become ubiquitous in our society. In our digital age, social media sites now represent a primary vehicle of communication. Twitter serves as a news platform for many users and is a significant conduit of real-time information, including news and reporting about the very events that led to this moment.

Each social media platform has its own set of community standards, policies, or rules to govern user activity. Twitter for example allows pornography on its platform, while Facebook and Instagram ban nudity. Other platforms, such as Parler, market themselves as free speech alternatives and have very loose or even nonexistent content moderation policies. The implementation of community policies and content moderation is actually encouraged by Section 230 of the 1996 Communication Decency Act, which was a bipartisan piece of legislation designed to promote the growth of the fledgling internet in the mid-1990s. Section 230 gives internet companies a liability shield for online user content—meaning users and not the platforms themselves are responsible for the content of posts—-in exchange for enacting “good faith” measures to remove objectionable content in order to make the internet a safer place for our society.

Free speech and content moderation

The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech for all people. But it only protects citizens from interference by the government. The First Amendment’s free speech protection does not apply to the actions of a third party such as a private social media company governing certain speech. A helpful way to think about these issues is to compare them to the many religious liberty cases litigated in recent years, including Baronelle Stutzman (a florist) and Jack Phillips (a baker) who were taken to court based upon their refusal to render speech or use their creative gifts in ways that violated their consciences. These cases involved the government taking action to override the civil liberties of these individuals, compelling them to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or face civil penalties.

In these cases, the ERLC argued that the government did not have a compelling interest to violate their First Amendment freedoms by forcing them to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies. The key to these cases is the idea of a compelling interest, which also ties into the issues of content moderation with social media.

Content moderation online is an admittedly difficult and thorny ethical issue. And this is because of the ways that social media has become such a massive and integral part of our society, not to mention the hyper politicization of such issues. An internet or social media platform without any type of moderation or rules would quickly devolve into a dangerous environment filled with misinformation, and interminable unfiltered or illegal content. Even with such rules, it is undeniable that social media has been utilized in ways leading to real world harm

In the case of this particular suspension, a line was crossed when the president knowingly endangered members of the public as well as law enforcement and elected officials by inciting physical violence and destruction. In response, Twitter determined that the potential threat of further violence and physical harm overrides the compelling public interest by which they previously justified allowing the president’s account to remain active and his posted content to remain online even in violation of its policies. And though this was a significant action—the president’s speech is of great importance—it was not a violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech.

Slippery slope?

As news of this monumental suspension broke, many rightfully questioned how this type of action by a social media giant could or would be used against views that are outside of the mainstream such as those by conservative Christians. This is an understandable concern based on the unequal and often controversial application of content moderation by the platforms. Undoubtedly, action of this kind opens the door for further censorship. But even so, Twitter’s actions must be seen in light of the full picture. Throughout his term, the company had extended significant latitude to the president despite the regular posting of false, misleading, and potentially threatening and dangerous information. But after the grievous display of brutality and loss of life at the United States Capitol—where five people died including one Capitol Hill police officer—public interest gave way to grave public safety concerns.

Still, among the most alarming elements of this suspension is not the suspension itself, but the inconsistency of Twitter’s policy enforcement across the board. While the company is well within its rights to enforce suspensions due to policy violations, Twitter has also allowed posts from accounts representing authoritarian leaders around the world, such as from Chinese and Iranian governments, that clearly violate the same policies used to ban the president’s account. These oppressive and authoritarian regimes promoted by these accounts incite and perpetrate devastating violence and human rights abuses beyond anything we’ve witnessed firsthand in the United States. 

In China, over one million Uighur Muslims have been detained, persecuted, and even sterilized in “reeducation camps.” But social media platforms like Twitter often turned a blind eye to these atrocities. Deceptive tweets from Chinese officials often do not even carry a label of danger, or even misinformation, yet nearly every tweet by President Trump has been marked by such since the election in November. (It is worth noting that Twitter did act to remove certain content from foreign leaders following the announcement about its permanent ban of the President.)

However reasonable or necessary Twitter’s decision in this particular instance might be, its inconsistency in content moderation is harmful to our social fabric, which is sustained by ideals like trust and equality. It is impossible to gain public trust by overlooking such egregious violations, even if the company has the right to enforce its rules as it sees fit. 

Moral courage and responsibility require the equal application and enforcement of stated policies. Taking difficult but necessary action is only meaningful if such actions are carried out consistently. If administrators at Twitter felt compelled to curtail the President’s speech in the name of public safety, it is only right that they follow suit by banning the accounts of other known offenders, including officials within the Chinese Communist Party—the single greatest human rights abusers on the planet.

Christians are wise to be vigilant about matters related to censorship. But it is important to recognize that the difference between censoring speech that is disagreeable and limiting speech that threatens or elicits physical harm. Going forward, careful attention should be paid to the actions of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook regarding content moderation and censorship, but in itself, Twitter’s decision to ban the President’s account should not be seen as an existential threat to free speech in our democracy.

By / Jan 8

In this episode, Josh, Brent, and Lindsay discuss the protests and attacks on the US Capitol as a result of the 2020 election results. Lindsay also gives a rundown of this week’s ERLC content including Jordan Wootten with “3 ways smartphone usage can distort our perceptions: Habits, theology, and christian discipleship,” Josh Wester and Jordan Wootten with “Why we need the tenderness of our Savior: An Interview with Dane Ortlund about Gentle and Lowly,” and Jason Thacker with “3 ethical issues in technology to watch for in 2021.”  Also in this episode, the hosts are joined by Seth Brown for a conversation about life and ministry. 

About Seth

Seth Brown serves as Executive Editor of the Biblical Recorder, a Baptist news outlet based in Cary, N.C. He lives in Wake Forest with his wife and three children. They are members of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh. You can connect with him on Twitter: @dsethbrown

ERLC Content


  1. Warnock wins Georgia runoff, CNN projects, as control of Senate comes down to Perdue-Ossoff race
  2. Pro-Trump protesters force US Capitol into lockdown as Congress meets to certify 2020 election results
  3. Protesters breach Senate chambers at U.S. Capitol
  4. Trump pledges “orderly transition” after Congress certifies Biden’s win
  5. Exodus begins for White House staff after pro-Trump siege on Capitol

 Connect with us on Twitter


  • A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Your Children About Gender: by Jared Kennedy. This short book walks through six conversation topics designed to help you apply the truth and hope of the gospel to the complex issue of gender. 
  • Stand for Life: At the ERLC, we stand for life. Our work to save preborn babies and care for the vulnerable is vital to our work. Believing that abortion can end in our lifetime, will you join us as we STAND FOR LIFE?
By / Oct 9

In this episode, Josh, Lindsay, and Brent discuss the president and first lady contracting COVID-19, other white house staff contracting COVID-19, airborne transmission of COVID-19, the first vice presidential debate, tropical storm Delta, the Lottie Moon Christmas offering, and the return of Tasmanian Devils. Lindsay also gives a rundown of this week’s ERLC content including a piece by Russell Moore with “What is the basis for Christian ethics?,” Josh Wester with “A closer look at the judicial philosophy of Amy Coney Barrett,” Amanda Hays with “4 conversations I’m having with my child about ‘Mulan’,” and Jeff Pickering and Travis Wussow with “Rolland Slade on how pastors can build partnerships with public officials.” Also in this episode, the hosts are joined by Dana McCain for a conversation about life and ministry. 

About Dana

Dana Hall McCain is a lifelong Alabamian and a graduate of Auburn University. She is a Resident Fellow with the Alabama Policy Institute where she writes editorial content for a host of media outlets dealing with faith, politics and cultural issues of the day. Her work regularly appears on multiple platforms including, Yellowhammer News, The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and Mobile Press-Register. Dana and her husband Greg “Scooter” McCain are members of First Baptist Church of Dothan, Alabama. She has served the church in the past as Women’s Ministry director and a Bible study leader. The McCains are parents to two teenagers. You can connect with him on Twitter: @dhmccain

ERLC Content


  1. POTUS and FLOTUS tested positive for COVID-19.
  2. Trump returns to White House, although doctors say he ‘may not entirely be out of the woods’
  3. 34 members of WH staff have COVID-19
  4. Senior Pentagon leadership quarantining after exposure to coronavirus
  5. CDC Acknowledges Coronavirus Can Spread Via Airborne Transmission
  6. 2020 vice presidential debate
  7. Trump says he won’t do next presidential debate after it goes virtual, Biden still wants town hall
  8. Tropical Storm Delta breaks record as it moves toward Gulf Coast, could become hurricane
  9. Lottie Moon Christmas Offering total exceeds goal at $159.5M
  10. After 3,000 years, Tasmanian devils are returning to Australian mainland


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  • Caring Well Hiring Guide – Download your free copy now and strengthen your efforts to make your church safe for survivors and safe from abuse.
  • Courage and Civility Church Kit – Pastors and church leaders download your free copy today to help guide your congregations through this polarized moment.
By / Oct 2

In this episode, Josh, Lindsay, and Brent discuss Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, the first presidential debate, and update on COVID-19 numbers, United Airlines doing COVID-19 testing, NFL postponing games, and GuideStone’s search for a new president. Lindsay also gives a rundown of this week’s ERLC content including a piece by Brittany Salmon with “Three ways of thinking for a healthy relationship with technology: “The Social Dilemma” and our social media habits,” the Policy Staff with an “Explainer: Executive Order to protect born-alive babies,” and Jason Thacker with “What is digital authoritarianism? The use of technology to suppress human rights.” Also in this episode, the hosts are joined by Bryant Wright for a conversation about life and ministry.

About Bryant

Bryant Wright is the Founder and Chairman of Right From The Heart Ministries, a media ministry, which he began in 1992. Bryant also serves in the role as President of SEND Relief. He retired as the founding Senior Pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia, on December 15, 2019, where he had pastored for 38 years. The church grew to over 7,300-members under his leadership as senior pastor. He is a straightforward communicator who uniquely connects God’s unchanging truth with a diverse culture through compelling and creative teaching. Bryant is the author of six books and co-host on the new Right From The Heart Leadership Podcast. You can connect with him on  Twitter: @bryantwright

ERLC Content


  1. Trump officially nominates Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court
  2. Barrett meets with key figures on the Hill
  3. Southern Baptist leaders welcome Barrett nomination
  4. Key takeaways from the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden
  5. Commission make may changes to debate rules
  6. Coronavirus cases rise in 25 states
  7. United will become the first US airline to offer COVID-19 testing
  8. 8 Tennessee Titans Players And Staff Test Positive For Coronavirus
  9. NFL postpones first game amid pandemic
  10. TRUSTEES: GuideStone votes to establish presidential search committee


  • LindsayCelebrity couple miscarriage (Chrissy Teigen and John Legend)
  • Josh: Star Wars
  • Brent: John Dickerson’s The Hardest Job in the World featured on the Remnant podcast with Jonah Goldberg

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  • Caring Well Hiring Guide – Download your free copy now and strengthen your efforts to make your church safe for survivors and safe from abuse.
  • Courage and Civility Church Kit – Pastors and church leaders download your free copy today to help guide your congregations through this polarized moment.
By / Dec 7

WASHINGTON, D.C, Dec. 7, 2015Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention denounced Donald Trumps statement to close the U.S. border to all Muslims in a “blog”: today calling it reckless, demagogic rhetoric and a threat to religious liberty.

Moore wrote the following in a blog post:

Anyone who cares an iota about religious liberty should denounce this reckless, demagogic rhetoric.

The United States government should fight, and fight hard, against radical Islamic jihadism. The government should close the borders to anyone suspected of even a passing involvement with any radical cell or terrorist network. But the government should not penalize law-abiding people, especially those who are American citizens, for holding their religious convictions.

Make no mistake. A government that can shut down mosques simply because they are mosques can shut down Bible studies because they are Bible studies. A government that can close the borders to all Muslims simply on the basis of their religious belief can do the same thing for evangelical Christians. A government that issues ID badges for Muslims simply because they are Muslims can, in the fullness of time, demand the same for Christians because we are Christians.

We must never lose in a time of war precious freedoms purchased through the blood of patriots in years past. We must have security and we must have order. But we must not trade soul freedom for an illusion of winning.

Moores complete comments can be found “online”:

The Southern Baptist Convention is Americas largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBCs ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

– END –

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