Religious Liberty in Crisis: Institute for Global Engagement Hosts Judge Ken Starr

Ken Starr Photo

DALLAS, TX - On February 23, the Institute for Global Engagement featured a special conversation with Judge Ken Starr who discussed the theme of his recent book, Religious Liberty in Crisis: Exercising Your Faith in Age of Uncertainty (Encounter Books, 2021). Judge Starr holds a J.D. from Duke University Law School and has argued 36 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is past President and Chancellor of Baylor University and former Dean of the Pepperdine School of Law. For 25 years, he taught as an adjunct and visiting professor at five law schools, was a partner at two national law firms, and has served on several legal boards. He is author of more than 25 publications and is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions and three honorary doctorates.

Lee Bratcher, Executive Director of the Institute for Global Engagement, welcomed those gathered in the Great Hall and introduced Dr. Adam C. Wright, DBU President, who shared opening remarks about the important vision behind the IGE and spoke of the urgency of this conversation on current and coming challenges to religious liberty in America.

"When I visit different college presidents across the country – large, small, private, Christian colleges and universities and those not of the Christian faith – the common theme in terms of one of the greatest threats facing us today in America is that of our religious liberty and freedoms," said Dr. Wright.

An opening prayer was given by Dr. Randel Everett, who serves as President of 21st Wilberforce Initiative, before Dr. Jim Denison, Co-Founder and Chief Vision Officer of Denison Ministries and a fellow of the IGE, introduced Judge Starr and led the evening's conversation.

"The founding generation knew that without religious liberty there would not be freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and there would not be freedom of the people peacefully to assemble to petition the government for redress of grievances," said Starr.

Stories of recent misapplications of the Establishment Clause, such as in efforts to restrict voluntary religious clubs from meeting on public school property, are cause for alarm that the coming "tsunami" against religious liberty is already here. Yet Starr expressed his optimism in the duty of the Supreme Court to defend these "great principles" enshrined in our Constitution and urged believers, like the Apostle Paul in Acts 17, to understand this cultural moment in our democracy and thoughtfully engage the marketplace of ideas.

About Institute for Global Engagement

The Institute for Global Engagement is a Christian, non-sectarian think tank dedicated to addressing issues in the public square with biblical distinctiveness. The mission of the IGE is to be a moral and spiritual catalyst for renewal in our culture. Founded in 2015, the IGE values the biblical narrative, thoughtful consideration, and gracious civility.

Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

Dr. Michael Whiting is the Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.