Render Unto Caesar: How Should Faith Inform Our Politics?

Tuesday, October 20th, 7:00 pm ET 

Heading into the 2020 election, polarization is growing. While we might want religion to bring us together, it seems to have become part of the problem. How can those with so much in common see politics so differently? This panel will explore how Christians can be good democratic citizens, not only with those outside of their religious communities, but within their own faith tradition as well.

Baylor in Washington was pleased to co-sponsor this event with the Faith Angle Forum, a project of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, as well as with Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning, and Washington College's Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture.


Melissa Rogers is a visiting professor at Wake Forest University Divinity School and a nonresident senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. From 2013-2017, she served as special assistant to President Barack Obama and executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Her area of expertise includes the First Amendment's religion clauses, religion in American public life, and the interplay of religion, policy, and politics. Rogers co-authored a case book on religion and law for Baylor University Press, Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court (2008). She holds a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from Baylor University.

Kelly Shackelford, Esq. is President and CEO of First Liberty Institute, the largest legal firm in the nation dedicated exclusively to protecting religious freedom for all Americans. He has served in this role since 1997, leading First Liberty’s efforts to defend religious freedom in the courts and in the public arena. Shackelford is a constitutional scholar who has argued before the United States Supreme Court, testified before the U.S. House and Senate, and has won a number of landmark First Amendment and religious liberty cases including a recent watershed, precedent-changing victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association. Shackelford is on the Board of Trustees of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society and earned his law degree from Baylor University.

Moderated By: 

Malcolm Foley serves as the Special Advisor to the President for Equity and Campus Engagement. In this joint role, Mr. Foley facilitates engagement and interaction with and among the many diverse members of Baylor's community and works collaboratively to develop initiatives designed to foster a welcoming and inclusive campus for all. Mr. Foley holds a B.A. in Religious Studies with a second major in Finance and a minor in Classics from Washington University in St. Louis. He then completed a Master of Divinity at Yale Divinity School, focusing on the theology of the early and medieval church. Mr. Foley is currently a sixth-year Ph.D. student in Baylor’s Department of Religion studying the history of Christianity.  He is the Director of Black Church Studies at George W. Truett Theological Seminary and the director of discipleship at Mosaic Waco, where he serves with his wife, Desiree.


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