Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

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The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (often referred to simply as Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission or ERLC) is the public policy arm of the SBC, the nation's largest Protestant denomination.

The ERLC was founded in 1988 as the Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, at a time when the SBC (in the midst of its Conservative Resurgence) began reducing its involvement in the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty over conflicts on separation of church and state;[1] ultimately in 1990 the SBC formally withdrew from the BJC.

The ERLC operates a think tank providing research on political matters involving religious affairs, conducts voter registration drives, and files amicus briefs (usually jointly with other like-minded groups on a specific issue) before the courts. Notably, one of its major projects is the Psalm 139 Project, which donates sonogram machines to crisis pregnancy centers.


  1. The SBC officially holds to the belief in such separation, as officially outlined in its statement of faith, the Baptist Faith and Message; however, it does not hold to the view of such held by political and theological liberals that such separation is an absolute bar from religious entities speaking out or being involved on matters of public concern affecting religious viewpoints.

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