Faith in American Public Life: Melissa Rogers Interview PGE15

My guest for this episode is Dr. Melissa Rogers. Dr. Rogers was Associate General Counsel then General Counsel for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Following this, she became Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships during the Obama administration and Special Assistant to President Obama.

Questions about the place of religion in American public life are continuously being raised and debated. Confusion and misconceptions abound. A significant part of what divides us in the political and cultural situation in our nation at this time revolves around religious liberty and plurality.

Dr. Rogers has provided an excellent resource to guide us on the confusing and complex issues relating to government and religion, religious liberty, and the separation of church and state in her recently published book, Faith in American Public Life (Baylor University Press, 2019). This book is the subject of my discussion with Dr. Rogers.

My kind of Baptists have, since the time before the American Revolution, been advocates for and active in issues of religious liberty (I use the phrase, ‘My kind of Baptists’ because there are many different kinds of Baptists and not all support religious liberty, plurality, and the separation of church and state). The existence of the Baptist Joint Committee is a key example of that advocacy and activity. Even though Dr. Rogers is no longer with the BJC, this episode serves as the first in an ongoing series I will have with the BJC about religious liberty and the policies and laws constantly arising concerning it.

Dr. Rogers is presently Visiting Professor at Wake Forest University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at