Pending Justice Dialogue will critically examine the intersection of free expression, religion and power

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 02/23/2024)—A cornerstone of American democracy and often-invoked right, freedom of speech is conferred by the seemingly straightforward language of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, in practice, the exercise of this right has occasionally proven to be surprisingly complex.

On February 28 at 1 p.m. ET, freedom of speech will be explored in the first 2024 session of the Justice Dialogues, when American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) welcomes presenter Holly Hollman, general counsel and associate executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC), for a critical examination of the sometimes-thorny intersection of power, religion and free expression.

The Reverend Kerwin Webb, national coordinator of Justice and Mission Engagement within ABHMS’ Healing & Transforming Communities ministry, describes Hoffman as a respected authority on religious freedom who will bring a wealth of knowledge and insight to the discussion. In her role at BJC, she leads the organization’s efforts to defend faith freedom through education and advocacy in forums that include the three branches of the federal government.

With limited exception, freedom of speech allows public expression of differing ideas and opinions without fear of governmental interference or reprisal. Hoffman will be addressing the inherent value of this right—and the responsibilities that go with it—in the context of religious freedom and its distinctive nature in the constitutional order.

To register for this virtual public event, click here. To learn more about ABHMS’ Healing & Transforming Communities, visit

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.