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Baptists and Church-State Advocacy: An Analysis of the Effects of Membership Opinion on Lobbying the Supreme Court

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Abstract:

Interest groups provide an opportunity for citizen interests to be represented before the Supreme Court. In recent decades, numerous religious advocacy organizations have formed, seeking to influence the Court. Among these groups, advocacy organizations connected to religious denominations have structural advantages, as they can easily overcome the collective action problem. They have advantages in resources, membership numbers, and leadership autonomy. However, they are constrained because their members do not join for ideological incentives, as denominational group membership comes as a byproduct of their affiliation with a local church. This may reduce their ability to gain influence. Two denominational groups, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and the Baptist Joint Committee (BJC), serve as a useful case study to analyze how the structure of denomination advocacy groups affects political decisions, particularly lobbying the Supreme Court and taking positions on constitutional issues. Using the Baylor Religion Study, this study compares the activities of the BJC and ERLC on church-state issues, evaluating the congruence between their members’ opinions on church-state issues and the groups’ official church-state positions and amicus brief filings. This study has implications for the tactics that groups targeting the Court may take and citizen representation before the Court.

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group (200), bjc (127), church (123), religi (102), state (100), erlc (99), member (87), denomin (84), baptist (84), polit (76), membership (71), church-stat (69), file (66), case (65), posit (64), brief (62), american (52), organ (51), support (50), court (48), govern (48),
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Name: The Law and Society Association
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http://www.lawandsociety.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p304324_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Lewis, Andrew. "Baptists and Church-State Advocacy: An Analysis of the Effects of Membership Opinion on Lobbying the Supreme Court" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado, May 25, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p304324_index.html>

APA Citation:

Lewis, A. R. , 2009-05-25 "Baptists and Church-State Advocacy: An Analysis of the Effects of Membership Opinion on Lobbying the Supreme Court" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado Online <PDF>. 2014-11-29 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p304324_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Interest groups provide an opportunity for citizen interests to be represented before the Supreme Court. In recent decades, numerous religious advocacy organizations have formed, seeking to influence the Court. Among these groups, advocacy organizations connected to religious denominations have structural advantages, as they can easily overcome the collective action problem. They have advantages in resources, membership numbers, and leadership autonomy. However, they are constrained because their members do not join for ideological incentives, as denominational group membership comes as a byproduct of their affiliation with a local church. This may reduce their ability to gain influence. Two denominational groups, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and the Baptist Joint Committee (BJC), serve as a useful case study to analyze how the structure of denomination advocacy groups affects political decisions, particularly lobbying the Supreme Court and taking positions on constitutional issues. Using the Baylor Religion Study, this study compares the activities of the BJC and ERLC on church-state issues, evaluating the congruence between their members’ opinions on church-state issues and the groups’ official church-state positions and amicus brief filings. This study has implications for the tactics that groups targeting the Court may take and citizen representation before the Court.


Similar Titles:
The Organized Representation of American Religious Groups: Religious Mobilization or Interest Group Politics?

Denominational Interest Groups and Democratic Representation: A Case Study of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the Baptist Joint Committee


 
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