By / Aug 26

In this episode, Lindsay talks with Hannah Daniel, ERLC Policy Manager, about the ERLC Washington, D.C., office, Congress reconvening soon, and our priorities for the fall. They also discuss the SBC’s Global Hunger Sunday held on Aug. 28. 

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  • Dobbs Resource Page | The release of the Dobbs decision marks a true turning point in the pro-life movement, a moment that Christians, advocates and many others have worked toward tirelessly for 50 years. Let us rejoice that we live in a nation where past injustices can still be corrected, as we also roll our sleeves up to save preborn lives, serve vulnerable mothers, and support families in our communities. To get more resources on this case, visit
  • Sexual Ethics Resource Page | Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the constant stream of entertainment and messages that challenge the Bible’s teachings on sexual ethics? It often feels like we’re walking through uncharted terrority. But no matter what we face in our ever-shifting culture, God’s design for human sexuality has never changed. The ERLC’s new sexual ethics resource page is full of helpful articles, videos, and explainers that will equip you to navigate these important issues with truth and grace. Get these free resources at
By / Jan 20

I moved to Washington, D.C. four years ago this week. There was an anxious excitement that January as Americans coming and going in the nation’s capital prepared for a new president, new Congress, and a soon-to-be transformed judiciary. Some were enthusiastic and others were worried.

Much has changed since the 20th of January in 2017, but much remains the same. Our country remains deeply divided. The Americans who were eager for the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States are sullen about the 46th. And the inverse is also true.

In 2017, my trek to the National Mall for the Inauguration included dodging the loudest of my fellow citizens’ screams and countless signs of how great America was about to be made again—or how dreadful. Walking in my new city, I felt like a high school kid who moved back to town after a few years away. I recognized the tribal passion but didn’t fit within it. I was, as many young evangelicals have found themselves to be in recent years, politically homeless.

I knew what I believed, what policies required advocacy, both for and against, and that character mattered in leadership. While the state of our politics left much to be desired for a pro-life, pro-refugee evangelical like me, the red, white, and blue flags emblazoned on the U.S. Capitol and down Pennsylvania Avenue that day stirred in me both pride and gratitude.

The day’s events then, just like those we will see again today, remind us of what’s foundational to our country’s system of government. We are a people who are free to vigorously debate the issues because we have maintained a long-treasured peace under the righteous constraints of the rule of law. Elections matter only when we respect them as the way we determine who holds power.

The peaceful transition of power

Every four years, we get to be a part of this remarkable American tradition––the peaceful transition of power. The transition is established in the U.S. Constitution and by the actions of our leaders who, by their submission to the law, constrain partisan passions. What might be most remarkable about the transition is how unremarkable it has been over our country’s long history. Rare is the president who has not attended their successor’s inauguration.

The value of the rule of law can only be understood in contrast with the peril of the rule of man. The rule of man results from our fallen state—it is the system where might makes right. Our system in the U.S., ruled as we are, not by power but by elections conducted and laws passed according to the consent of the people, constrains the powerful, even at times against their will and at odds with their partisan interests. This idea, that a body of just laws ought to constrain us, runs to the very essence of what our union means. Just laws protect the powerless from injustice. For us at the ERLC, this means first and foremost, working through the law to protect the vulnerable, beginning with the unborn, and also the widow, the orphan, the religious minority, and the sojourner.

America’s peaceful transition of power is a ceremony in which our national commitment to the rule of law above the power of man is made most evident. Think about it: this ceremony celebrates the individual holding the most powerful office in our nation, entrusted as the head of government, the head of state, and the commander-in-chief of our armed forces, transferring that awe-inspiring power to someone else.

When President Washington voluntarily gave up the presidency after two terms in office, he began a tradition, now enshrined in the Constitution, to which the world was left in wonderment. This peaceful transfer of power reminds every American watching that the presidency is, above all, a stewardship. And in this stewardship, leaving is just as important as entering. This is a virtue at the heart of our republic.

Sadly, the militarized security surrounding today’s 59th Inauguration of the President of the United States is a stark warning that our experiment in self-government is not guaranteed to last. Only two weeks ago we watched as the resiliency of our democracy was tested by an unimaginable tragedy. January 6 saw seditious riots at the very same building that is today decorated for a ceremony. That violent attempt to forcefully overturn the presidential election on the basis of conspiracy and lies reminded all of us of the threats facing our constitutional order. If we allow partisan passions to undermine faith in our elections, we will eventually replace the rule of law with the rule of man. This is not the way for the people of God, nor for the United States. As Christians in America, let’s consider again that God has always intended for His people to be constrained by a law that stands higher than themselves. 

Today marks a moment that merits our appreciation as citizens of this republic, just as it did four years ago, and in 2009 and in 2001 and so on. These occasions in the American story are days we can be grateful for not necessarily because of the politicians involved but because of the laws and traditions created by the Founders that they operate within. Seeking the welfare of the city into which we have been sent as exiles begins anew on days like today when we uphold the traditions of our democracy, respect the rule of law, and protect justice and liberty for all.

By / Aug 28

This week marks the 57th anniversary of the original March on Washington. This event, held on Aug. 28, 1963, helped to pass the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965).

Here are five facts you should know about the landmark civil rights protest march.

1. The event—officially known as the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”—was organized by the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement: A. Philip Randolph, Whitney M. Young, Jr., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, Roy Wilkins, and John Lewis. Bayard Rustin was chief organizer of the march. 

Although the organizers disagreed about the purpose of the march, the group came together on a set of goals: passage of meaningful civil rights legislation; immediate elimination of school segregation; a program of public works, including job training, for the unemployed; a federal law prohibiting discrimination in public or private hiring; a $2-an-hour minimum wage nationwide; withholding Federal funds from programs that tolerate discrimination; enforcement of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution by reducing congressional representation from states that disenfranchise citizens; a broadened Fair Labor Standards Act to currently excluded employment areas; and authority for the Attorney General to institute injunctive suits when constitutional rights are violated.

2. The event took a staggering level of logistical effort. Organizers and officials planned for a crowd of about 150,000. But on the day of the march over 250,000 gathered together on the National Mall. To get to Washington, D.C., protesters took more than 2,000 buses, 21 chartered trains, 10 chartered airliners, and uncounted cars. All regularly scheduled planes, trains, and buses were also filled to capacity. On the National Mall, over 100 portable toilets were set up along with 16 first-aid stations. Eight 2,500-gallon water tanks were set up, which fed some 21 portable water fountains. Additionally, spouts were attached to fire hydrants so marchers would have access to drinking water. Volunteers prepared some 80,000 boxed lunches—sold for 50 cents each—consisting of a cheese sandwich, an apple, and a slice of cake.

3. Event organizer Bayard Rustin recruited 4,000 off-duty police officers and firemen to serve as event marshals, and coached them in the crowd control techniques he’d learned in India studying nonviolent political participation. The official law enforcement also included 5,000 police, National Guardsmen, and Army reservists. No marchers were arrested, though, and no incidents concerning marchers were reported.

4. Representatives from each of the sponsoring organizations addressed the crowd from the podium at the Lincoln Memorial. Speakers (dubbed “The Big Ten”) included The Big Six; three religious leaders (Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish); and labor leader Walter Reuther. Along with the speakers, the marchers were entertained by celebrities, including Ossie Davis, Joan Baez, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Jackie Robinson.

5. King was the last speaker because no one else wanted that slot, since all of the other speakers assumed the news media would leave by mid-afternoon. King agreed to take it and planned to speak for four minutes, but ended up speaking for 16 minutes. He improvised the most recognizable, memorable part of the speech for which he is most famous, according to his speechwriter and attorney Clarence B. Jones. Although King had spoken about a dream before two months earlier in Detroit, the “dream” was not in the text prepared by Jones. King initially followed the text Jones had written but gospel singer Mahalia Jackson yelled, “Tell ’em about the dream, Martin!” King nodded to her, placed the text of his speech aside, and veered off-script, delivering extemporaneously what is referred to as the “I Have a Dream” speech, one of the most famous orations in American history.

By / Aug 26

Washington, D.C., runs on adrenaline and 20-somethings. Young interns are always zooming from one place to another, doing their part in the running of this country. I’m one of them; but this summer, we all Zoomed a little differently.

Instead of finding an apartment, booking a flight, and showing up to the office in my new power outfit, I made the trek from my bed to my desk—less than five feet. My professional clothes hung unused in my closet, except for a jacket in case of a Zoom call with a politician. In our onboarding sessions, rather than asking where everyone comes from, we asked “Where are you quarantined?” Instead of sharing space with other interns or tagging along to Capitol Hill meetings, my time was structured into blocks on a Google calendar and squares on a Zoom call as I filed away my list of D.C. sights to explore. One afternoon, an intern joined our call from a coffee shop, and we all realized how shocked we were to see a public space open again. 

I became frustrated with myself when I couldn’t stir up the motivation to write that one paragraph or read more chapters or schedule another networking meeting. I’m a huge extrovert; I get energized when in a group, at a library, or working in a coffee shop. But doing all of this online did not give me the same energy that I would have if I were actually in D.C. Yet, I’m thankful we still had the opportunity to intern when many found their summer plans canceled. 

God’s work cannot be hindered by a virus

Rather than cancelling completely, my supervisors chose to painstakingly recreate the intern program, trying to make up for the losses of in-person interactions. I could have deferred the internship, and this was also a tempting offer. Why not wait until things get back to normal and go get my D.C. experience then? But waiting for conditions to be “perfect” would have been a mistake for me. If even the Supreme Court pushes on and still manages to hand down decisions, why shouldn’t I continue to work as well? 

I don’t know when my city will fully reopen; I don’t even know what life will be like when I move back to school for my senior year. But I do know that waiting for things to be perfectly aligned in what I envision is counterproductive. Work doesn’t halt; it simply relocates. Injustice doesn’t care that there’s a pandemic. Uyghur Muslims are still persecuted, and human trafficking victims are still in danger even when a new disease ravages the world. There are still experiences to be had and lessons to be learned even from a laptop screen in the same room every day.

Patience can fit all formats

Interning remotely meant I needed more explanation with less time to get a handle on things. It meant I got all my information through Slack and emails, which became an issue when the internet cut out as a result of being overburdened at my house. It’s hard to determine inference or how someone is really feeling, which meant my strongest people skills initially felt obsolete in this format. My internship became a time of active waiting. These terms sound paradoxical, but they perfectly describe the daily choice I had to make to work hard even when I didn’t know what would happen next. 

Every time I was kicked off a Zoom meeting due to internet issues, I tried to take a moment to breathe rather than groan and frantically click whatever I could to restore connectivity. I pushed myself to attend virtual coffee hours, game nights, and networking meetings because there are still stories to hear and friends to make. Seeing my supervisors work so hard to teach us well while also completing important work inspired me to do the same. Because others showed patience and understanding to me, I was motivated to give the same to others. This outlook of persistently pursuing connections and practicing patience turned what could have been a frustrating battle against technology into a richly rewarding internship and life experience.

God uses all situations for his glory and my benefit

An internship is not the pinnacle of this summer; it is the outflowing of a God-given initiative to discover his handiwork where it is evident and to seek biblical reform where it is not. I was taught about convictional kindness, human dignity, biblical diversity, and why I think office suits should become obsolete after the pandemic. We debated the death penalty, church culture, cancel culture, racial inequalities, tribalism, and more, but all encased with respect and care. 

These kinds of conversations can, ironically, become more productive in a Zoom setting; one person spoke at a time rather than shouting over someone else. God sent me a variety of projects to work on and amazing people to work with. He offered new connections I could make over one-on-one Zoom calls and hilarious memories related to the question of the day asked during group activities. 

That list of places to explore is still waiting for me. Someday I’ll make my way to D.C., but I’m not in charge of that decision. And that’s okay. God redirected my plans, and although difficult, he turned it into one of my best summers. I logged off my last ERLC Zoom meeting better equipped as a child of God and more knowledgeable of his work in the world. He used my doubts and the world’s uncertainty to show how he can bring good out of anything, and I am better for being a part of it. 

In his book, Onward, Russell Moore points out that our lives are an “internship for the eschaton: “Our lives now are shaping us and preparing us for a future rule, and that includes the honing of a conscience and a sense of wisdom, prudence, and justice. God is teaching us, as he taught our Lord, to learn in little things how to be in charge of great things.”

My little thing this summer was an internship. Only God knows how it will be used or what the next great thing will be. But I’m learning to seek after God’s shaping rather than enforce my “perfect” plans. 

By / Jul 31

Jeff Pickering and Matt Hawkins interview the ERLC’s 2017 team of D.C. interns to share a glimpse into life and vocation in Washington, D.C. The interns share their favorite experiences and what it’s like to work in the ERLC’s D.C. office.

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By / Sep 19

WASHINGTON, D.C, September 19, 2016—Russell Moore, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has appointed Travis Wussow as the new vice president for public policy and general counsel.

In this position, Wussow will direct the ERLC’s Washington office, coordinating all its legislative, coalition and legal efforts. Wussow will also coordinate international affairs for the ERLC.

Prior to assuming this position, Wussow served as the ERLC’s director of international justice and religious liberty, launching the ERLC’s first international office located in the Middle East.

“Travis Wussow is the natural choice to serve with me in this vital capacity in Washington,” said Moore. “Travis has modeled conviction and skill in law, in advocacy and in ministry. During his time at the ERLC, Travis has brought unmatched insight and effectiveness in areas of international justice and freedom. I look forward to working together in our nation's capital, connecting the vision of the kingdom of Christ to the pressing issues facing the country and the world.”

Prior to his tenure with the ERLC, Wussow served as executive pastor and general counsel for the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, and prior to that served as a Fellow with International Justice Mission. Wussow began his career at Jackson Walker LLP in Austin, Texas, the largest law firm in Austin. At Jackson Walker, Wussow represented clients in the energy sector, practicing administrative and legislative law before the state legislature and federal and state agencies.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead ERLC’s work in Washington,” said Wussow. “Our country and our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world face significant challenges, and ERLC is well-positioned to provide policy and advocacy leadership in the years to come.”

Wussow received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from The University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from The University of Texas School of Law.

Wussow’s appointment to this executive role was unanimously confirmed by the ERLC board of trustees at their most recent meeting. He will assume his new position in January 2017.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.2 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

The ERLC has recently opened fully-functioning insert studio equipped with a dedicated fiber optic link to Vyvx for on-demand and cost-effective access for live and pre-taped television interviews seven days a week.

To request an interview with an ERLC representative, contact Elizabeth Bristow by email at [email protected] or call 202-547-0209.

By / Jan 20

Starting tomorrow, ERLC and Focus on the Family will be hosting Evangelicals for Life, the first-ever major pro-life conference for evangelicals in conjunction with the March for Life. Here are five facts you should know about the annual demonstration: 

1. The March for Life is an annual pro-life event held in Washington, D.C., on or around the anniversary of the United States Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion in the case Roe v. Wade. The overall goal of the march is to overturn the Roe decision.

2. The first March for Life was held in the nation's capital on Jan. 22, 1974 — exactly one year after the Roe decision was announced.

3. The annual event was started by Nellie Gray. Following the Supreme Court decision in Roe in 1973, Gray retired from her federal career and dedicated the remainder of her life to the protection of the unborn. Before her death in 2012, Gray had attended all 38 rallies.

4. The March for Life is one of only two protest marches and demonstrations that are held annually on the National Mall. The other one is “Rolling Thunder,” a demonstration of bikers for the benefit of American POWs held every year on Memorial Day.

5. The original March in 1974 was attended by 20,000 pro-lifers. By 2003, the March for Life brought in around 250,000 attendees each year. In the past few years, however, an estimated 300,000-400,000 people have attended the D.C march.