Gonzales's SBC speech irks church-state experts

Attorney general announces DOJ religious-liberty project
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s decision to launch a new Justice Department “First Freedom Project” during a recent meeting of Southern Baptist leaders riled a number of advocates of church-state separation.

“Nothing defines us more as a nation and differentiates us more from the extremists who are our enemies than our respect for religious freedom,” said Gonzales in his February 20 speech in Nashville to the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, one of the church bodies most supportive of the Bush administration. The project will include efforts to inform government officials, employers and ordinary Americans about their religious-liberty rights.


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