Robert P. George Named Recipient of 2013 ERLC John Leland Religious Liberty Award

By Elizabeth Bristow
Oct 8, 2013

Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, announced Robert P. George as recipient of the 2013 ERLC John Leland Religious Liberty Award during a recent ERLC board meeting for his courageous work to advance religious liberty around the globe.

George, a writer and thinker on constitutional issues and moral philosophy, serves as McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, where he also directs the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.

“My friend Robert George is the most brilliant and effective religious liberty defender alive today,” Moore said. “He not only is an intellectual force behind religious liberty advocacy, but he also is the key organizational force as well, bringing people together across every conceivable divide, to contend for freedom of conscience for all persons in the world,” said Moore. The ERLC board of trustees voted to name George as the recipient of the religious liberty award Sept. 11.

The award, given by the ERLC for the 22nd consecutive year, is named in memory of John Leland of the late 1700s and early 1800s who strongly advocated for religious freedom. Leland worked with James Madison, often described as the Father of the Constitution, to gain support for the First Amendment’s guarantees of no government establishment of religion and no interference with religious free exercise.

“Just as John Leland could count on James Madison, I wouldn’t want to imagine my task if there were not a Robert George with whom to team up,” Moore said.

George also serves as the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, where he was first appointed by Speaker John Boehner in 2012. He is the author of several scholarly works, including, most recently Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism, published in 2013 and What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense, published in 2012.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.

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