A hallmark of the Baptist tradition has been freedom of religious belief and practice from interference by government.

But there is wide disagreement on how that plays out in the public arena on issues like school prayer, religious displays in public places and federal funding of faith-based social ministries.

On June 29 in Washington, political, religious and educational leaders gathered at the Capitol for an event called Baptist Unity Rally for Religious Liberty.

It commemorates a speech in 1920 in which Dallas preacher George W. Truett climbed the east stairs of the Capitol to rally support for religious liberty and its Constitutional corollary, separation of church and state.

Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee, says Truett’s words are still ringing true as the national debate continues on contentious issues of church and state.

He says the rally aims to affirm the importance of the Baptist tradition of religious liberty for coming generations.

Source: KWTX – Gray Television Group, Inc.