Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

September 30, 2016
Commonwealth Policy Center Hosts State Conference on Religious Freedom
Contact: Richard Nelson (270) 271-2713

The freedom for pastors to teach Biblical truth and churches to govern themselves accordingly is under attack according to the Commonwealth Policy Center (CPC). "Hostility toward religious freedom is becoming common," said CPC executive director Richard Nelson.  "The question is, what do those who care about preserving religious freedom do about it?" In response to recent developments, the organization is holding a state conference in Lexington Sunday, October 2 to address how religious freedom is threatened and how it can be preserved.

Nelson points to an Iowa Civil Rights Commission mandate that told a pastor that teaching a Biblical view of human sexuality and marriage is prohibited under their state's nondiscrimination law. The Commission Against Discrimination in Massachusetts told churches they must allow crossdressers to use restrooms of their choice and a recent report by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission elevates sexual rights above religious freedom. "Sexual rights are a new if not emerging type of civil right. However, the right to religious freedom has been part of our core identity as Americans," Nelson said. "Religious freedom has enjoyed permanency since the Pilgrims found it when they first touched our shores."

The conference, which is open to the public, will address why religious freedom is a cornerstone to a free society, how it's under attack and how it can be preserved. "When the state steps into the realm of the church, censors teachings and dictates churches' bathroom policies, an egregious First Amendment violation has taken place," Nelson said. "This conference is for those who want to better understand what religious freedom means and what can be done to preserve it."

Notable speakers include Dr. Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, David Prince, professor at Southern Seminary and pastor of Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington, and Bryan Beauman, attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom. The conference will be held at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington October 2 from 6-8:30 PM. For more information, go to