Audio and Video Clips

In 2011, IRFA, in partnership with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, sponsored a series of briefings on Capitol Hill about the importance of religious freedom.  Below are the videos of the five briefings.





On April 25th, 2013, Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies delivered the Center for Public Justice’s 18th annual Kuyper Lecture on the campus of Calvin College.  In his talk, entitled, “Prohibiting the Free Exercise Thereof: The Affordable Care Act and Other Threats to Institutional Religious Freedom,” he defended the religious freedom of faith-based service organizations in the context of the contraceptives mandate and other threats to their religious identities and practices.

The Kuyper Lecture is an annual event organized by the Center for Public Justice, where Dr. Carlson-Thies is a Senior Fellow.

You can find the video, along with the responses by Leah Seppanen Anderson (Associate Professor of Political Science at Wheaton College), Shirley Roels (Senior Advisor at the Council of Independent Colleges), and Bill Blacquiere (President & CEO of Bethany Christian Services) below. For a PDF of the lecture, click here.

September 24th Hill Briefing

On Tuesday, September 24th, IRFA hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill entitled, “Bigotry or Basic Right: Myths and Musts About Religious Hiring.”  Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies was joined by Kim Colby, Senior Counsel of the Christian Legal Society; Steve McFarland, VP and Chief Legal Officer of World Vision.

They discussed topics including:

  • Why religious hiring by religious organizations is a civil right, not a discriminatory wrong
  • The 1964 Civil Rights Acts and religious hiring by religious organizations
  • Developments in the courts
  • Religious hiring when government money is involved
  • Religious hiring and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
  • Addressing shortfalls in ENDA’s current religious exemption

At the briefing, the following materials were handed out:

“Why we need institutions in order to be faithful, and what institutions need so they can be faith-full.”

IRFA President Stanly Carlson-Thies reflects on this important topic as a part of the First Mondays lecture series at Dordt College, April 07, 2014.

“Does personal religious freedom really matter without institutional religious freedom?”

The Canadian think tank Cardus asked IRFA President Stanley Carlson-Thies this question. Here is his answer:

Four More Years of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

From the website of the Brookings Institute: On December 17 [2012], the religion, policy and politics project at Brookings hosted an event featuring comments from Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House office, and other Obama administration officials on the past work and future plans for the office. Following the presentations, a panel of experts responded and offered their thoughts regarding priorities for this White House office during President Obama’s second term. Speakers will explore how the Obama and Bush White House offices differ, whether the office is succeeding in meeting the needs of people who are at the margins in today’s society, and what the prospects are for resolving contentious issues such as religion-based decision-making regarding government-funded jobs.

You can find the events page here.  Dr. Carlson-Thies’ comments run from 2:19:40 to 2:31:04.

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: Religious Hiring

On August 11, 2011, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly aired a segment on the right of faith-based organizations to hire based on religion.  Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies was interviewed extensively for this piece.  Below you will find the extended interview with Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies.  You can find the original piece, which testimonials from a Baltimore Rescue Mission and the arguments of those opposed to religious hiring, here.

New Challenges for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

From the website of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown: The Berkley Center hosted [on April 2, 2009] a symposium that addressed the future possibilities and challenges facing the rechristened White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Panelists E.J. Dionne, Jr., Ira C. Lupu, Melissa Rogers, and Stanley Carlson-Thies addressed issues related to President Obama’s reconfiguration of the office’s mission, including whether to bar religious groups from using religion as a basis for hiring, and how to pursue common ground on divisive “culture wars” issues. A key theme was the degree of continuity and discontinuity to be expected with the outreach strategies of the Bush administration and whether the office would inevitably be drawn into partisan politics.

You can find the website for the event here.  Dr. Carlson-Thies’ remarks begin at 32:30.